How To Combat Burnout As A Remote Worker
Millions of people around the world were recently struck with a rapid transition to remote work. In fact, according to a CNBC All America Survey , 42% of U.S. workers who did not work from home before now do. For some, it may be a dream come true, but for others, it’s posing many challenges
While there are many positives to working remotely, such as saving on commuting time and costs and more lenient dress codes, there is one glaring negative that can come from working from your home: burnout. A 2019 survey by Digital Ocean found that 82% of remote tech workers in the U.S. felt burnout, with 52% stating they work longer hours than they would in an office.
What Is Burnout?
Burnout, also known as “ vital exhaustion ,” becomes apparent after long periods of exposure to workplace stress and leads to feelings of irritability, intense fatigue, and low productivity.
Not to be confused with simply feeling tired, a researcher at the University of Southern California Medical school, Parveen Garg , explained the difference between vital exhaustion and more typical exhaustion, saying:
“Vital exhaustion is the experience of ‘profound stress’ that goes unchecked, unmanaged, or is unrelenting over time. It’s not a transient feeling of fatigue — it sticks with you and can lead to decreased motivation and increased irritability.”
Noticing the Signs Of Burnout
The Mayo Clinic describes the following symptoms of job burnout as:
You’ve become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers, or clients.
You feel disillusioned about your job.
Your sleep habits have changed.
You find it hard to concentrate.
You’ve become cynical or critical at work.
You lack satisfaction about your achievements.
The first thing to do when experiencing some or many of these symptoms is to talk to your supervisor and speak openly about your feelings. Co-workers, loved ones, friends, and mental health professionals can also be helpful when experiencing the above symptoms.
How To Combat Burnout
Not only is it possible to “cure” burnout after it happens, but it’s also preventable. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings while working and note any constant unhappiness. The first step to solving your burnout problem is realizing that you have one, but to combat burnout — continue reading.
Draw a Line Between Personal And Professional Life
It’s easy for the line between work life and home life to become blurred when your office is located within your home. Habits such as telling yourself to finish ‘ just one more task’ only to realize three more hours have gone by may make you feel like a hard-working employee, but not setting concrete boundaries can be damaging to your mental health .
Begin with physical boundaries and set up a separate space to work, even if that means a seat at your kitchen island. Creating a...