Burnout is not a foreign concept for the workforce. Things like stress, lack of sleep, and repetition can all contribute to burnout, reducing productivity and diminishing quality of life. Interestingly, a new report reveals that burnout is much worse for those who work from home.
How Burnout Affects Remote Workers
UniqueIQ research showed that remote workers were among the most likely to suffer burnout. There are many factors that contribute to this problem.
For one thing, work-from-home employees are more detached from society. They spend hours without anyone around while they work on different tasks. Countless studies have revealed that social interaction is essential for mental health, and remote workers often find themselves deprived of such stimulation.
Freelancers are also more likely to put in extra hours than they might in an office, especially when there are looming deadlines. Their schedule is flexible, and the lines between working and personal time are often blurred. Productive, focused work at home is often more difficult to manage than at the workplace because you can usually fit more work into an hour at home. As a result, it’s easier to overwork yourself.
More research shows that when average in-office workers spend more than 50 hours per week in the office, their productivity declines. For freelancers, productivity decreases even faster, at 35-40 hours because of the extra focus required.
The average person can’t sustain this style of overworking for too long, and their health can suffer. They exercise less, eat out more often, choose unhealthy snacks, sleep odd hours, and have less social interaction.
Stop Burnout Before It Occurs
Burnout is obviously a problem and it needs a solution. Employees will see a drastic decrease in quality of life and companies will see less productivity if they continue to let their employees overwork themselves.
“Failing to recognize this need for wellness in the workplace, and the benefits that can be enjoyed from implementing appropriate strategies, could be detrimental to many companies in the future,” reports Eileen Brown of ZDNet.
Companies can’t sustain employees who become unproductive and make a lot of mistakes. For their health and job stability, employees should recognize the signs of burnout and develop some strategies to combat it.
Use Your Resources
Technology makes working from home possible, and it also eases the process. Take advantage of the tools available to make work faster and decrease working hours.
For example, certain communication tools can reduce stress and help you better organize your schedule. When it’s easier to communicate with your employers and collaborators, you’re less likely to experience burnout.
Solicit Flexibilty with Your Employers
Oftentimes, your employers are unaware that you’re getting more work than you can handle. Simply asking for some flexibility can make all the difference.
“Home working must be strategically implemented with the correct procedures in place in order to ensure the happiness and wellness of staff is maintained,” reports David Lynes, director of UniqueIQ.
“It is important for management to keep a close eye on the working routine of those that operate from home in order to become aware of those that may be at risk of burning out, but understandably this is difficult without any physical presence.”
Exercise and Socialize
Take care of your body physically and mentally. As you do this, you’ll realign your priorities to target better health, even if it means stretching out a deadline.
Spend time with people daily. You might talk on the phone with friends or go out to eat regularly with someone you’re close to. If you join a gym, you’ll have an opportunity for socialization and exercise at the same time. You can connect with people in fitness classes or go with a friend.
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