For many, making the transition to working from home hasn’t been easy. It has altered the way we operate and how frequently we find ourselves unable to switch off, with a constant flurry of zoom invites, the demands of homeschooling and uncertainty of when offices will be allowed to return to normality. It’s unsurprising how many have suffered from work-related burnouts throughout the last year.
While the term burnout may be a relatively new phrasing it certainly applies to a large number of exhausted workers, who feel empty and unable to cope with the demands of juggling their job and life outside of that.
What is burnout exactly?
Monsters recent findings suggest that a staggering 69% of employees having to work from home are suffering from burnout. Its symptoms include a lack of motivation, heightened anxiety, irritability and maybe even a lapse in your performance at work. Some are unfortunate enough to experience physical symptoms, from lack of sleep to stomach pains work-related burnout offers little in the way of glamour.
What can cause it?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what triggers this, for many, it’s an amalgamation of difficulties that culminate in one burnout. But some common causes to look out for are:
- Feeling a lack of control – feeling overwhelmed by your workload schedule and trying to juggle everything can leave you feeling like you’re spiralling out of control.
- Unclear job expectations – It’s easy to feel stressed when you’re unsure of what your role expectations are or the level of authority you or your supervisors have.
- Difficult work dynamic – There can be lots of variables that can upset the workplace dynamic, from overbearing bosses to colleagues that undermine.
- Lack of support – Burnout can be exasperated by feeling unsupported, both in and out of work.
- Work-life imbalance – When work takes over your life and leaves you unable to switch off and spend time with family and friends it heightens burnouts.
How do you cope with it?
All of these causes can be the stepping stones that lead to burnout and once you reach a breaking point it can be harder to recover. This is why it’s so important to spot the warning signs early on, so you can take the time and necessary steps to ensure you relax and prevent it. Here are four easy coping mechanisms to get you started:
- Sleep – One of the biggest prevention techniques is ensuring you get enough sleep. It can be so easy to fall down the social media scrolling wormhole before bed but this will leave you feeling more alert than relaxed and a lack of sleep will leave you feeling exhausted and potentially irritable.
- Work to a deadline – Working from home has blurred the hours of the working day, making it easier than ever to keep working into the early hours of the morning to ensure everything gets done. By setting yourself deadlines and working to a schedule that would resemble the working day in the office you allow for evenings to be free from work.
- Make time for relaxing – While it’s important to make time for your work it’s just as important to make time for yourself. Whether that’s nestling down with a good book or pursuing a passion project, making time for relaxing is crucial.
- Seek help when you need it – One of the hardest things can be seeking help and talking to someone but it’s so important too. By discussing with loved ones, your manager or HR about how you’re feeling you allow others to understand and offer support.
Burnouts are reversible but in some cases, they can cause a re-evaluation and complete change of career, your lifestyle choices and how you choose to cope with stress. It’s important to remember that while holidays and time away from work can be a quick fix you have to make active and conscious changes to your work and lifestyle to feel the benefits and prevent burnout.