Work from home burnout is very real, and it’s horrible. And It’s even worse when it’s in a place of sanctuary, such as your home!
Do you feel that you are lacking motivation, focus, and can’t seem to get anything done?
Feelings of wanting that traditional in-house jobs again will probably enter your brain. Before you make any drastic decisions, Stop… You may have burnout! It’s normal to start doubting skills and abilities.
There are so many perks and benefits that come with working remotely from home, and it’s important to remember your passions and loves because burnout from home is usually temporary.
Burnout usually happens when life gets overwhelming and you’re overworked. Here are some tips on how to get through a work from home burnout.
Should I be working from home?
When you first begin working remotely from home or begin using a new freelancing platform such as Upwork, you’re usually excited to start, but also a little nervous. Sometimes we underestimate how hard something is until we do it, especially if we are planning to work remotely from home with a toddler by our side.
Whether you have been planning this transition for years, or you have just ended up in a situation out of your control. Your Mental health is important and it should always be considered when making life changes such as this.
In a recent 2020 poll by monster.com “69% of workers are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home during COVID-19, a 35% increase since early May (51%).” This statistic shows that burnout can happen to anyone.
Working from home can make you feel isolated
If you are working remotely, communication tends to stick to structured channels; such as zoom calls, and lots and lots of emails. This works well to accomplish structured tasks.
But, not being physically next to colleagues and clients can prevent you from feeling part of a collaborative and fun community, which can hamper your work and make you feel like you’re part of the computer instead.
Written exchanges via email are effective, however, they can be prone to misinterpretation, even with people you know very well, this can dampen relationships making things worse for your mental health. You may start to miss the coffee chats in the kitchen and general human interactions, what felt like an unproductive waste of time is now vital for sanity.
Lack of excitement
You keep putting off work. You feel exhausted and unmotivated to do the job you once enjoyed a few weeks ago. Putting off work and letting it build up can just create more problems.
Working remotely takes a high level of discipline. Working from home is even harder because of all the distractions. And when you’re dealing with short deadlines, difficult tasks, or not establishing healthy work from home boundaries and routines, you may struggle with managing all your responsibilities on your own.
If you spend a lot of time in your home office, and it looks a little dull, tired, and perhaps a little bit boring, Maybe your interior needs enhancing.
What are the signs that you need to re-manage your working routine?
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms and signs you may have hit burnout, you could be in a downward turn or heading towards one;
- You don’t want to start working.
- You want to complete tasks as quickly as possible, disregarding quality.
- You keep finding distractions, such as TV, cleaning and social media.
- You can’t separate work zones from relaxing home zones.
- You feel physically and mentally drained and can’t stand your own house anymore
- You can’t stop complaining about work.
- You begin to feel undervalued and under appreciated.
- You start to wonder if you should switch back to a traditional job to find happiness and recognition again.
- You feel isolated but you don’t feel like going outside or socialising to make it better.
- You miss the joys of working in-house and forget why you left.
I have personally felt all of the above and some of the surface a few times a year. Once you can identify the problem, it’s important to not ignore the warning signs and nip it in the bud before issues snowball into bigger problems.
The Quick Fix
There is no quick fix, but trying these simple yet effective strategies will help you rebound into a better place:
1. Switch Up Your Workspace
When your schedule is packed solid, it’s easy to get fixed back into a location routine, especially as time is money.
If you have no option but to work from your boring home office, due to solid scheduling, you could decorate your space to make the place more interesting, or move the furniture around so you are facing a different direction. This is one of the best things about working from home. You set up your desk how you like it.
I personally only spend 3 days in my home office. The other days I’m out and about. When you change location its amazing how fresh you feel.
That different view really does freshen up the thinking.
Should you need a break from your screens, could you work from a notebook? When I am not working on my computer, I’m jotting things down and scheduling inside of a beautifully made moleskin. I actually bought mine from Starbucks and It came with coffee coupons, another reason to nip out to the coffee shop!
2. Thank you!
I tend to save emails from people who love what I do. On those rainy days, it’s reinsuring to read and remember the value I added at that time.
But thank you don’t stop there… Noting down what you are thankful for, such as that flexible schedule with no time wasted on commuting or spending more time with the kids, or just being away from the office gossip.
Oftentimes when we are booked up solid with work, our thinking can become very non-linear and toxic thoughts, may make an appearance.
This causes us to get stuck and ruminate on all the bad things, leading us further down the spiral of depression. So remember the good! Maybe write positive words onto sticky notes.
3. Take More Breaks Outside
Humans aren’t meant to stare at computers all day, so book in a reminder on your phone or on google calendar. Ditch your computer for an hour and think of your break as the most important job of the day.
At a traditional job, you naturally talk and visit coworkers at their desks or meet up in the kitchen for a coffee. You may even go for group lunches and beers. Unfortunately, this is often lost in the remote world.
According to University College London, Taking breaks have 5 benefits such as; Improved memory, energy boost, stress reduction, and performance and creativity boost.
4. Get Dressed and Ready for the Day
Take off those PJ’s! One of the best tips for working remotely is to get dressed each day as if you were heading into the office, this helps separate work mode from home mode.
Spend a few extra minutes getting ready in the morning, and you’ll find yourself feeling more motivated and productive, with and a sense of satisfaction that you are ready for the day.
Final Thoughts; Dealing with a Working From Home Burnout
Everybody suffers a depression now and again. It’s a normal human emotion. It happens to the best of us and it’s likely to happen more than once as a remote worker.
Instead of feeling down in the dumps, following these practices will help with your success in remote working.
Remote work is as enjoyable as you make it. Don’t be afraid to switch things up every so often, and keep reminding yourself of what you love about remote working because there are far more positives than negatives.
If you try these tips and don’t feel your work from home burnout disappearing, it might be time to find another remote position.
This post has been written on personal experience, it may not work with everybody. If you are struggling with your mental health or work from home burnout there are many resources and people who can help. Some charity organisations in the UK include; Mind, Calm, Rethink mental illness, Anxiety and Together.