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7 Strategies to Keep You From Getting Work From Home Burnout
The option to work from home is a newer reality for many businesses. For employees, this arrangement offers many alluring advantages including the freedom to sleep in later, not commuting to an office, or taking a lunch break in their own kitchen. Sounds great, right? The reality is that virtual remote jobs can be just as stressful as working in an office, especially if you’re not careful. There are several new challenges that employees did not experience when working in the office, such as isolation, distractions, lack of structure, and feeling they need to be accessible 24/7. These challenges can lead to burnout if not appropriately managed through some simple tips that can help support anyone that works from home, like remote assistant jobs.
What Does Work From Home Burnout Mean?
Burnout can have a wide range of symptoms. It is typically characterized as a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by intense and persistent stress. It often leads to feelings of cynicism, detachment from work, and a decreased sense of accomplishment. Burnout can also lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, and cardiovascular problems.
The type of on-site burnout that is familiar to most people is typically characterized by physical and emotional fatigue, cynicism, and a lessened sense of accomplishment. However, burnout from working from home can look a little different. Some of the most common symptoms of work from home burnout are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, struggling to focus, constantly feeling like you’re not doing enough, working long hours with no break, and feeling isolated.
Signals of Virtual Burnout and What’s Causing It
There are several signals that can indicate that you are experiencing virtual burnout. Some of the most common symptoms include:
This is defined as feeling extremely tired both physically and emotionally to the point that you feel like you can’t keep going.
Inability to focus
This can manifest as struggling to pay attention to anything or struggling to focus on one task for an extended period of time.
Muscle pain or headaches
This can be a sign that you’re working too hard and not taking proper breaks.
You may be feeling tense or on edge for no specific reason.
Struggling to sleep or not feeling rested after sleeping.
Feeling irritable or impatient more often than usual.
Having a generally negative attitude towards work, people, and the world in general.
There are several different factors that can be causing these signals, including:
This can be caused by trying to do too many things outside of work while working from home or feeling like you can’t disconnect from work because there is always more to be done.
Too much workload
You may have taken on more work than you can handle or are feeling like you’re not productive enough without an office structure to guide you.
A feeling of lack of control
If you don’t have a dedicated work area at home, you may feel that you don’t have the same control over your workday as when you worked in an office.
Procrastination and lack of organization
This can be caused by working in an environment that doesn’t have the same level of accountability as an office, or feeling like you can work on whatever you want whenever you want.
Why Is It Important to Prevent Work From Home Burnout?
Burnout from working from home can be just as damaging to your career as on-site burnout. The consequences include:
When you’re burned out, your productivity drops because you’re not able to focus or you’re taking longer to do the same tasks.
Feeling overwhelmed and stressed can put you in survival mode, dampening or completely blocking your creative ability.
Inability to maintain relationships
The symptoms of burnout could prevent you from developing and maintaining relationships essential to your career and your personal life.
Lack of job satisfaction
This can be due to feeling like you’re not doing enough, struggling to focus, or feeling isolated.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to take steps to prevent burnout from happening and protect your mental health. Our mental health is vital to our overall well-being. When it’s disrupted, it can lead to any number of negative consequences that will bleed into our personal and professional lives, causing chaos.
Tips on How to Prevent Burnout While Working Remotely
1. Setting boundaries and limits
It’s important to set boundaries for yourself whether you’re working in an office or from home. This includes setting time limits for how long you’ll work each day and taking appropriate breaks.
2. Setting a schedule between work and family life
Without a clear distinction between your working hours and personal time, work can quickly overwhelm your schedule. You may begin to miss out on important events in your personal life due to work, leading to disappointment and burnout.
3. Take time off
Just as you would when working in an office, it’s important to take time off for vacations and sick days. When you’re burned out, you may find it difficult to take a day off because overworking is the reason that you’re burned out in the first place. However, it’s essential to your mental health to take a break every once in a while.
4. Change your environment
If you’re finding that you’re struggling to focus or are feeling overwhelmed in your home office, it might be time to change your environment. Take a step outside or even just sit in a different room within your home. While working remotely, it’s also possible to work from almost any location, whether it’s a coffee shop or a friend’s home. Sometimes a change in scenery is all you need to get the creative juices flowing again.
5. Talk openly about your feelings
When you’re feeling burned out, it’s important to talk openly about your feelings with your supervisor, coworkers, family, or friends. This will help create a support system and ensure that you’re not struggling alone.
6. Stay connected
Working from home can easily lead to feeling isolated. It’s important to stay connected with your coworkers, friends, and family. This can be done through email, messaging, or even video chatting. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s nice to have someone to talk to who understands the situation.
7. Invest in self-care
Investing in your self-care can be beneficial to your mental and physical health. This includes taking time for yourself, doing things you enjoy, getting adequate sleep and exercise, and eating a balanced diet. When you’re feeling burned out, it’s easy to let your self-care routines fall by the wayside. However, it’s vital for your well-being.
If you’re working from home and find that the isolation is causing your productivity to decrease or you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s crucial to take steps to prevent burnout. As with any job, there may be challenges such as balancing work and personal life and setting boundaries between these two aspects of our lives. To have a healthy personal and professional life, we need time off for self-care routines to protect ourselves from burnout.
As many employees now work from home offices, some employers have embraced remote work and understand the challenges that come with working from home. They offer their employees the tools and structure needed to be connected, stay engaged, and feel accomplished.
Looking for a new rewarding work-from-home career in Latin America? Check out how to become a virtual assistant at Virtual Latinos and why so many are making the switch to remote virtual assistant jobs.