It’s another Wednesday morning Zoom meeting. You’re trying to stay positive and motivated, but the monotony of working from home and the hardships that come with working remotely are getting you down. Covid-19 is a rapidly evolving situation, and every day can feel like a new struggle.
We already know that burnout is a major problem in the workplace. However, moving from the office to your couch doesn’t mean you’re immune from its clutches. In fact, many Americans are dealing with work-from-home burnout.
Being tired of working from home is a given effect of being isolated for longer than we could’ve hoped for, and a feeling of never going away from your work. The days of work-life balance seem to be so far behind you… You might have your days off, but the desk and workload are constantly right in front of you. How many times have you heard that bringing work home with you is a bad idea for maintaining a healthy work-life balance? That’s all good and fine, except now your home office is your couch or the desk in your kitchen. Mixing up work and home life is nearly unavoidable now. It can be difficult to not think about work all the time when you’re living in your office, especially if you don’t give yourself some breaks in between workdays.
Remember, it doesn’t matter if you’re working at the office or from home. Burnout can happen anywhere, and it can cause a variety of health conditions that you may not easily take notice of yet due to being committed and plugged in to work. It’s also important to realize that burnout is not the only health inconvenience you’re going to encounter when you’re working from home (overworking being one of them, which will absolutely lead to burnout anyways).
Job burnout can affect your mental and well-being, so it’s imperative to take a step back and recognize if you’re experiencing burnout. Once you can identify the problem, you can move on to figuring out solutions. Here are three major ways you can shake the feeling of being tired of working from home, and combat burnout.
Take care of yourself
Given the work-from-home situation, it’s gotten harder for all of usl to steer clear from overbearing workloads and tasks, not to mention the household chores that pile up. It has been reported that workers who work from home have increased their work time by up to 3 hours.
And it doesn’t look like working from home is going anywhere anytime soon. Global Workplace Analytics estimates 56% of US workers have jobs that can be done from home and predicts around 25-30% of the workforce will be getting their work done at home several days a week by the end of 2021.
Social isolation and lack of movement are some of the challenges remote workers face nowadays. Skipping the commute to work and sitting for a whole shift will definitely raise some health issues.
It’s important we start to take a good look at how we can combat these daily cycles of inactivity. Purchasing an exercise mat and doing light exercises when you’re not working (or even while you work) is a form of self-care that you have to incorporate into your routine, even when Covid is over.
Taking a break from your busy schedule can definitely help you overcome burnout especially if you’re tired of working from home. While it may seem difficult to do given your busy schedule, taking rest days away from work is also crucial to your well being. It’s a good way to disconnect from anything work-related and focus on rest and recuperation. It can be hard, but with the right intentions in mind — prioritizing your productivity and well-being — you can disconnect successfully, and put work out of your mind for the weekend.
A toxic community can be a great stressor that can contribute to burnout. According to Positive Psychology, “a significant contributor to workplace stress is psychosocial hazards related to the culture within an organization such as poor interpersonal relations and a lack of policies and practices related to respect for workers.”
Unfortunately, working from home doesn’t make us immune to toxic coworkers. In fact, with everyone’s stress heightened, it can even aggravate certain interactions.
Having open communication about your concerns in the workforce can absolutely have a positive impact on your career. Consider talking about what you feel to your supervisor or your boss, and if they’re a good leader, they will understand that you’re having trouble dealing with certain tasks or coworkers.
Additionally, positive relationships with colleagues can ultimately aid you in solving whatever predicaments you have or may have in the future. Not only can it contribute positive energy and emotions, but maintaining good relationships with your workmates can increase your level of productivity, which can in turn help with burnout. Try taking a moment to send little notes of appreciation to your coworkers, or greet them on Zoom with a smile. You never know what can brighten someone else’s day.
Moreover, communicating with someone about your problems and thoughts can be a big contributing factor to overcoming burnout. If you’re feeling tired of working from home, try talking to a friend or a spouse. They might have something to say to relieve your stress or even motivate you.
Get enough sleep
You could say this is a no-brainer, but that’s where you’re wrong.
While most of us have grown closer to our bed, it’s also gotten harder to sleep whenever we want — or can. Working from home also comes with an expectation that we are sleeping and resting enough, especially to combat burnout and other health issues that stem from sleep deprivation. However, getting restful and deep sleep while in the middle of a global pandemic is just a bit harder than you might think.
Since we’re stuck at home, diversions can be the culprit of most of us being sleep-deprived. There’s Netflix, video games, our pets, children, house chores, etc. And when spending the days working from home, your focus can tend to shift away from self-care.
Additionally, health care workers struggled with sleep during the first few months of the pandemic. Did you know that poor sleep means poor work? According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, healthy adults should get a minimum of 7 hours of unbothered sleep per night.
Sleep deprivation has dramatic effects on our mental and physical health altogether. It makes us cranky and moody, and ultimately impairs brain functions such as memory and decision-making.
That being said, here are the ways you can improve your sleep (or get some):
- Figure out your ideal sleep schedule. Just because you don’t have to catch the morning train or drive to the office doesn’t mean you should completely give up your sleep schedule. Keeping things consistent will help with burnout.
- Stick to your work zone. We know it’s not a good idea to take your work home, but since we’ve been doing this thing for months now, I’d change that sentiment to: It’s a bad idea to take your work to bed. Stick to your work desk or sofa.
- Cut caffeine consumption. Not completely cut, but skipping a cup of two before going to bed can aid you in getting some rest. Caffeine has stimulants that make it hard for us to sleep which delays the timing of our body clock.
It has been an incredibly long time in this new and strange pattern, and we’re all tired of working from home, but having a healthy routine to follow each day will certainly help. We’re slowly working our way up to the new norma. With that being said, it’s perfectly fine to feel tired and restless some (or even most) days. Just make sure to take the time to rest and recover, so you don’t fall into burnout.
Your main job is to take care of yourself. It’s impossible to get any tasks done if you feel unwell and all sorts of burned out from the continuous routine. Make self-care a habit, and positive side effects will follow.