6 Unique Burnout Challenges from WFH Employees (Video)
At the height of pandemic lockdowns, a staggering 42% of the workforce was working from home (WFH). While the exact percentage currently continuing to do so is difficult to pin down, it’s likely that the WFH experience will continue until the pandemic lifts (and perhaps even into the future beyond that). While there are certainly advantages to working from home, there are also unique burnout challenges for WFH employees.
6 Unique Burnout Challenges for WFH Employees
If we’re going to care for our employees well while they work from home, we need to help them be on their guard against these potential dangers.
Depending on a WFH employee’s living situation, a sense of isolation can affect them in different ways. If they live by themselves, their sense of personal isolation can prove extremely trying, especially over the long haul. Even if they live in a lively household with family members, roommates, or loved ones, they can still feel a sense of relational distance from their fellow employees. Since they’re no longer meeting face-to-face with their colleagues, clients, co-workers, and teams, the sense of workplace isolation can prove wearing.
Trying to Do It All
When employees work from home, there’s a temptation to try to do it all. We don’t just mean trying to get all their expected office work done (though it’s often much tougher to accomplish remotely); we refer here also to the daily tasks they feel they should also be doing because they’re home all day.
Often, however, given the special challenges of remote work, “doing it all” simply proves impossible, and trying to keep all these plates spinning effectively at all times can lead to burnout.
Letting It All Run Together
Without the structure of a commute and regular office hours to keep our boundaries in place, employees’ work lives can easily seep into their personal lives, taking over every waking hour and giving them no rest. The next thing they know, they’re so completely burnt out on work that they’re ready to quit.
In an ironic twist, sometimes the WFH lifestyle is so all-encompassing that although employees are spending more time at home than they have previously, they’re somehow finding less time for self-care than ever. When basic routines of sleep, nutrition, exercise, hydration, and social interactions fall by the wayside, people are well on their way to WFH burnout.
Losing Track of Priorities
One of the first things most people do when they take on a new position at work is to learn to prioritize their tasks. This helps them keep their focus on the most crucial aspects of their responsibilities, even when seemingly urgent issues would knock them off track. In making the shift to a WFH environment, however, it’s easy to lose touch with these habits. When that happens, burnout can soon follow.
Failing to Disconnect
Failing to disconnect from work could be one of the most dangerous of the unique burnout challenges faced by WFH employees.
In a remote work environment, professionals don’t have the benefit of officemates to notice subtle changes in behavior, prompting an intervention. Therefore, each professional is responsible for self-management, including a self-awareness of these symptoms and the discipline to enforce a solution before it sabotages their career. (Forbes)
Once someone has reached this point, they’re very close to a crisis.
We Can Help
At One Stop Wellness, we’re here to help you support you and your employees through these unprecedented times. To learn more about how we can help you build healthy habits and create a mindful culture, please contact us.
We look forward to working with you.