Remote Work Burnout: What is remote working burnout?
We’ve all heard about work burnout and may have also experienced work burnout at some point in our lives. It is a condition that makes us feel tired, lose interest, and dream of a tropical island while sitting in front of our laptops. Long commutes, office surroundings, and toxic company cultures are some contributing factors to work burnout.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, many have started working remotely. Nice, isn’t it? Your own working space, no more traffic jams, wearing shorts to work, and a mid-day shower.
Has it ever occurred to you that remote work burnout is actually - a thing? According to Harvard Business Review, working from home has led to longer working hours, a lack of downtime, and a lack of separation between meetings and the commute. These soon impact your mental health and affect relationships as well.
Let’s learn the 5 phases of remote work burnout, signs of remote work burnout, causes of remote work burnout, how to avoid it, and ways to manage it!
Remote Work Burnout: The 5 Phases & Signs
The 5 Phases of Remote Work Burnout (Reference Credit: Qlearsite.com)
Pressure to perform Working remotely sometimes puts pressure on work performance. It makes some of us think, are we being productive enough compared to working in the office? The increased workload is also one of the factors that add stress when working remotely.
Overworking and struggling to maintain a work-life imbalance Skipping lunch, not taking breaks, and working long hours will soon lead to remote work burnout. It could be difficult at times to achieve that work-life balance when your home is your workplace. The enjoyment that we used to feel when we got home from work has now felt indifferent and lacking in excitement.
Losing interest and feeling disconnected This is the stage where you start to lose interest and feel disconnected from your job. You will feel physical exhaustion, anxious and isolated. The lack of face-to-face interaction makes it easy for you to dwell into this phase and feel low.
Lack of motivation and perceived value You are experiencing remote work burnout during this phase. You are struggling to find the value of working for the company. You no longer feel motivated to perform and become more pessimistic.
Poor mental health and performance Your mental health and work performance are negatively affected. This could become an endless cycle without management.
Remote Work Burnout: Causes of Burnout
Lack of support Working remotely has a different kind of challenge or ‘distractions’. Children, family members, pets, etc. This might affect your work efficiency and productivity while managing from your home. You might experience a lack of support from your team members due to the absence of face-to-face contact.
Difficulty in setting boundaries It will take some time to adjust to a home office for some. When the home is your office it is difficult to set boundaries between work time and the after-hours - as you are at home during both hours. At the end of the day, you realize you have been working more than you should.
Poor communication Working remotely relies heavily on technology. Thus, if there is a tech issue such as poor internet connection, it could lead to miscommunication which affects work quality.
Unmanageable workload Compared to working in an office, people will know you are busy through the pile of files on your table, or your 120% concentration in front of your PC that indicates, ‘Do not disturb me, ever.”
When you are working remotely, nobody could notice your workload during that day or for the week.
Remote Work Burnout: How to avoid burnout when working remotely
Reach out and seek support Talk to your managers and team members about how to overcome remote work burnout as a team. You can in fact create personal goals as a team (a tip from the video below).
Set clear boundaries Practice healthy lifestyle habits by disconnecting from work at certain times. Spend quality me-time and connect with your friends and family. Take small breaks and definitely enjoy your lunch break!
Take a day off You need a break before you are feeling burnout or when you are experiencing burnout. A day off or ‘some’ days off could help you rejuvenate your energy and attract positive emotions.