Surprising Study Results: Work-From-Home Employees Are Most At-Risk for Burnout
by Maurie Backman | Published on Aug. 22, 2021
You'd think working from home would lend to a better balance. Maybe not.
These days, employers have a tendency to demand a lot from their employees. Technology makes it easy for workers to stay connected even when they're supposed to be taking a break from the job. As such, there's really no such thing as not being available, even on evenings and weekends.
It's this attitude that can easily lead to a major case of burnout. And while it isn't a medical diagnosis, burnout is more than just a buzzword. Mayo Clinic defines it as "a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity." And that sounds pretty serious.
Of course, burnout can take on different forms. In some cases, it can mean feeling sluggish on the job. In other cases, it can mean slacking off on the job due to an overwhelming lack of motivation.
Now you'd think that when it comes to burnout, people working in office buildings would have it the worst. After all, they're the ones most likely to have a boss constantly breathing down their necks.
But actually, in a recent TINYpulse survey, in-person workers were shown to suffer from burnout the least.
In fact, 85.65% of remote workers say they've experienced some or a great deal of burnout. By contrast, only 80.87% of hybrid workers and 68.91% of in-person workers have experienced the same.
Meanwhile, a lot of people have been working remotely for 16 months and counting. If you're planning to work remotely on a long-term basis, you, too, could fall victim to burnout. Here's how to prevent that from happening.
1. Establish a clear work schedule
When you do your job remotely, it can be difficult to bring your workday to an official close, what with your office being right there in your living room. But if you want to prevent burnout, set a work schedule so you know when you're supposed to be doing your job and when you're not. You may even decide to put in a few hours in the evenings or on the weekend, and that's fine. The key is to distinguish between work time and leisure time so you really get that break.
2. Turn off notifications
The dings and alerts that disrupt you all day can be enough to stress anyone out. If you're working remotely, it's important that you not be tethered to your computer and phone all the time. And a good way to ensure that you follow that rule is to disable notifications after hours and on weekends so you're not lured back to work.
3. Take breaks
You may feel guilty sneaking away from your desk in the middle of the day to watch some TV or tend to your laundry. After all, working remotely is a privilege, and it's one you don't want to abuse. But remember, just as office workers get a break during the day (think lunch hour), so, too, should you. Don't deny yourself some time away from your desk.
Working remotely comes with plenty of benefits. By not having to commute to an office, you can spend less and pad your savings. Plus, you may get more flexibility with your overall schedule, such as not having to rush out the door to make the 8:15 bus or risk being late.
But just because you work from home doesn't mean burnout can't impact you. Quite the contrary -- you may be even more susceptible to burnout as a remote worker. So do everything you can to avoid it.
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