With approximately 2/3rds of the workforce having 60%* of employees working remotely the business world has changed quite dramatically. Not only did businesses close but schools and daycares closed too. Many families were sprung with at-home learning for their children, juggling their new remote job and trying to keep everyone in their home clean, fed and well, essentially alive. All this chaos has caused an influx in work from home burnout.
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What Is Work From Home Burnout?
Well, first let’s discuss what work from home burnout is so that there is no confusion.
Many people struggle with leaving their work at work but what happens when your work is at home? This becomes an incredibly difficult feat to separate the two from one another. Boundaries are crossed and responsibilities begin to intertwine and they become one giant jumbled mess of overwhelm, stress and absolute freaking chaos.
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Work From Home Burnout Is Real
Moms around the world have been dealing with work from home burnout for years and now that 2020 has shifted the entire workforce to remote work and learning, it has thrown even the most experienced mom burnout survivors through a loop.
Often times in the past work from home burnout was dismissed as an inability to multi-task or stay focused. As the world is faced with it in much higher numbers than ever before it has become prevalent that work at home burnout is real!
Work From Home Burnout Signs & Symptoms
There are many signs and symptoms that could mean you experiencing work from home burnout. These symptoms can be different for everyone and vary in degree of severity.
Some of the symptoms to be on the look out for include:
- decreased energy and persistent fatigue that doesn’t go away with a full nights sleep
- insomnia or inability to fall asleep
- a decrease in cognitive function leading to errors and mistakes
- experience anxiety and overwhelm
- struggling with productivity and face procrastination
- a loss of appetite
- feelings of detachment from family, friends and coworkers or even emotions
- increased irritability or anger towards others and the situation
- and in some cases depression of varying degrees
Of course these are just a few symptoms of work at home burnout. Ensure to stay in tune with your body for other symptoms ad signs not listed here.
Work From Home Burnout Statistics
With the decline of mental health in relation to the pandemic growing by 80% in some studies it is becoming much more relevant that the world in general is not as adaptive to change as once thought. Some reports have stated that 50% of employees working remotely are experiencing work at home burnout.
The fact that a large increase of employees (60%*) are working from home means that a much larger population is struggling to maintain a home life work life balance.
Please note the numbers are changing dramatically as places reopen and as others begin the second wave. This article is filled with the most up to date information found from studies at the time of publication.
Why You Need To Learn How To Deal With Work From Home Burnout
It’s here to stay! During the pandemic, a substantial amount of business moved remotely. More employers are choosing not to go back to the office and keep their new and improved remote businesses running.
During this critical pivot period, many businesses became aware of the benefits of having employees working from home rather than an office space. A few examples of perks to continue remote work are cutting costs to office rent and utilities.
Dealing with work from home burnout.
Being a work at home mom for the past 7 years I have struggled with my share of work from home burnout. Now that the entire world seems to be going remote there is a huge increase in work from home burnout and it is taking its toll on people worldwide.
With the potential of more and more businesses staying remote and another shutdown potentially in the future, we need to learn some ways to cope with working remotely and avoid work from home burnout.
Work From Home Burnout Tips
Below are some tips that have helped me and others find a balance and avoid work from home burnout. There are many other tips out there but these are tested and true strategies that personally have worked for me and my family.
Finding which work for you and which you can tweak will help you substantially. Do not be afraid to modify them for you and your family.
Designate a work from home space
Designating a work at home space that is free of distractions will increase your ability to focus and with focus comes productivity. Your work from home space should be free from distractions and focused on work. Having an organized office space will help keep you on task.
Ensure to keep your designated area clean on daily basis. It is best to tidy up at the end of the work day so that you can start your morning off in clean clutter free environment.
If you are struggling with staying on task and breaking bad habits (running to the kitchen for an unhealthy snack every hour) try reorganizing your space. A change as simple as moving your desk can help you break a bad habit.
Meal Prepping For Healthy Meals and Snacks
Although many people think of meal prepping as some sort of homemaker jargon it truly essential in order to keep your diet healthy. Good healthy foods help your brain to keep functioning and your energy levels will thank you for it.
Ensure to stock up on healthy snack choices like having cut up fruit and veggies available, granola bars etc. Buy yourself a new water bottle and keep your hydration up. Ensuring your water consumption is appropriate will help you stay awake and reduce muscle soreness from long bouts of meetings.
Take A Body Break
While working from home one task can easily run right into another and. before you know it is 2 pm and you have not moved from your desk since 9 am.
You need to schedule in a few breaks so that you can rejuvenate your mind and body. Whether they be a 5-minute body break of stretching or a 15-minute break walking the dog, get up and get active.
In between meetings can be a great opportunity for adding a break. Stretch your legs, use the rest room, grab a healthy snack and fill your water bottle.
Take care of yourself by practicing self-care. It may seem like common sense but the fact is that most people do not practice self-care and this is a key trigger for burnout.
If work at home burnout is caused by stress overpowering you change your focus to start eliminating stress with these 10 stress relief activities.
Set Clear Boundaries
Many people have found themselves working more hours in a day remotely than they would put in at the office. It can be detrimental to your well-being to allow this to continue.
Talking with your manager about the most productive times available to you during the day can help you to come to an agreement and allow you to keep on a more regular time schedule like at the office.
What hours of the day do you find your home life responsibilities all-consuming? Is there a way you can schedule in a break so that you can tend to these responsibilities?
For example, if your children are at home can you schedule time in for a proper meal with your family? Can you work a bit earlier in the day before they are awake or perhaps later once they are in bed?
What time of the day do you find yourself most productive? If you would like some more tips to increase productivity check out our guest post on productivity.
Grab a copy of our productivity guide!
Grow Your Mindset
With many businesses embracing the remote work platform for the foreseeable future it is time for you to also embrace it. Retrain your brain to nurture positivity towards working from home and let the negativity go.
Focus on what you can control. You can only control your feelings, your actions and your reactions. Be open with discussions within your family and your office to help you all find a common ground.
Empower your mind to eliminate limiting beliefs and to grow with the changing world around you.
Practice happiness and gratitude every day preferably before starting your workday or before you sleep at night if an inability to sleep is triggered by dissatisfaction.
Use Productivity Apps
There are so many apps on the market and finding the one that best suits you might take some trial and error. Many people swear by Trello and Asana but a quick search in the app store will show many other options too.
Utilizing your smart phoens calendar system can help you with alerts in order to remember important meetins and events.
Our girls are schooling through an online at home teaching platform, a bit different than homeschooling and the distance learning. Through this new adventure we were introduced to Microsoft teams and the Microsoft calendar.
This has made a world of difference for us. No more digging through emails looking for zoom meeting codes and remembering long passwords that have no rhyme or reason. We simply pull up the calendar and once it is time, hit the meeting on the schedule and we join just like that!
Use A Planner
Ok, so maybe you have never used a planner in your life and you prefer a calendar system just bare with me for a moment to see why you should seriously consider using a planner instead!
Calendars are great for a quick time and meeting note but once you reach 4 important tasks for the day it can start to look very overwhelming and cluttered. Remember what clutter does to the mind? We want to avoid it at all costs.
Using a planner can help you clearly see what meetings are on the daily agenda and help you to stay focused on that the day requires rather than looking at the whole picture and getting overwhelmed.
Many planners allow enough space to add in notes and much more room than the little calendar squares provide. What’s more, is that a planner is more portable than a calendar.
Overview Of 7 Tips To Avoid Work At Home Burnout
Now that we know the signs and symptoms and why we need to adapt to working from home in a healthy way let’s do a quick review of the tips you can use to help reduce work from home burnout.
- Dedicating an area of your home with the sole purpose as a workspace will help you stay on task and define your work boundaries.
- Preparing healthy meals and snacks will help you function better both mind and body.
- Getting up moving around will help you combat stress and get you the break you need.
- Clear boundaries are essential for separating work-life from home life. Work with your boss and coworkers to find a solution that works for you.
- Using the power of your growth mindset can help you to alleviate stress and practice more self-care which is essential to your wellbeing.
- Productivity apps can be very helpful if you like a tech way of organization check out the app store and get organized.
- Planners have become my best friend and there are many to choose from. Decide what you need in a planner and get started, be creative with it too.
I hope you are able to break free from your work from home burnout. Remember changing habits and mindset takes time and practice but you have the power to do it and you can!
We want to hear from you
We love getting feedback from our readers so drop us a comment or shoot us an email. Let us know what you think of this article.
Is there anything you do to help fight work at home burnout that you would like to share with our readers?
If you are facing this problem what is your biggest struggle with work from home home burnout?
Just because we hit publish on a post doesn’t mean we don’t have more advice that could possibly help you. It just means the article is getting a tad long ha!
Thanks for coming, hope you find your balance!
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Working Remotely Government Of Canada Tips
*reference in accordance to CTV News Calgary July 2020