- New research suggests that as the pandemic stretches on, workers are struggling to balance working from home with living at home.
- The lack of boundary is leading to increased feelings of burnout, stress, and anxiety.
- To prevent burnout, self-care is essential. These easy ideas for self-care can help you decompress, which can do wonders for your mental health.
A recent survey conducted by recruitment company Monster found that as the pandemic stretches on, workers are becoming more burnt out.
Despite the fact that government lockdowns have been lifted and in some places organizations can welcome workers back into the office, many companies are allowing employees to continue working from home for longer. Google for example recently announced that employees will be allowed to work remotely until next summer.
Remote working has always been seen as a desirable perk; however, with the onset of the pandemic, that has changed, especially as workers struggle to successfully combine and balance work from home with living at home.
Monster’s survey found that 69% of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home. According to the survey report, that number is up almost 20% from a similar survey conducted earlier during coronavirus lockdowns.
To exacerbate the issue, 59% of respondents reported taking less time off than they normally would, and 42% of workers still working from home did not report having any plans to take time off any time soon.
The problem only gets worse among working parents. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 57% of mothers and 32% of fathers reported that their mental health has deteriorated since they began working from home.
The line between work and life has been completely erased, and workers are having a hard time placing boundaries between their work and their personal lives.
The result: increased feelings of burnout, stress, and anxiety.
How to Prevent and Combat Burnout while Working Remotely
1. Focus on self-care
Self-care is probably the last thing on many people’s minds at the moment. Many are trying to figure out how to keep their jobs, others are struggling financially if their salaries or hours have been cut, many are too busy trying to keep up to date with the news, and others are pouring themselves into their work as a way to escape pandemic-related anxieties.
But self-care needs to be a priority.
To prevent burnout, self-care is essential. Taking some time to dedicate to yourself can help you decompress, which can do wonders for your mental health. Some self-care ideas include:
- Stay active; whether it’s walking, doing yoga, or anything in between.
- Engage in activities you like; read a book, cook yourself a hearty meal, watch a movie, or have a spa night.
- Try something new; whether it’s meditation, a new breathing technique, coloring a book, or doing a DIY project.
2. Create a comfortable workspace
Although it’s tempting to work from your couch or your bed, fight the temptation. Instead, create an inspiring, comfortable workspace for yourself. Find a spot in your house or apartment that can accommodate a desk and a chair and set up shop there.
Having a clearly defined space to work will make it easier to keep some boundaries between work and life.
Here are some things you might want to focus on:
- Access to natural light
- Ergonomics (if at all possible, invest in a good chair)
- Add some personal touches (a plant, a photo, etc.)
- Distractions (i.e. try to set up shop somewhere where distractions are less likely to happen)
3. Limit your screen time
This is easier said than done.
A good strategy is to take breaks every couple of hours. Not only will your eyes thank you for it, but so will your brain.
Once you’re done working, give yourself some time to engage in non-screen activities before you hit play on your favorite show or video game and before you start checking the news or social media on your phone.
4. Step outside
Take some time every day, even if it’s just 15 minutes, to leave your home. Go for a quick walk, pick up your favorite coffee, or visit the local park.
By simply leaving your house, you will be able to unwind and de-stress.
Besides, research has found that being in contact with nature can help relieve stress, improve our mood, boost our energy, and improve our mental health.
5. Create a schedule…and stick to it
It’s easy to work non stop when you’re working from home. But doing this only increases stress, fatigue, and the chances of burnout.
Set a clear schedule for yourself and stick to it. More importantly, try to avoid mixing work time with home time; for example, do not work while you’re eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The goal here is to create an obvious distinction for when you are on the clock vs off the clock.