Burnout is a state of exhaustion that can lead to ongoing fatigue, listlessness, anger, irritability, and sadness. Burnout is closely tied to work-related stress, and those who are heavily stressed out by their work are more likely to get burnt out, even if they are working from home.
A survey by Monster.com stated that 69% of employees working from home are experiencing work from home burnout symptoms. Such symptoms can include overworking, overeating, overdrinking, overexercising, and changes in appearance. Even the best virtual assistant services offered by freelancers and independent VAs can degrade the moment they get burnt out.
Signs of WFH burnout
Remote workers can easily suffer from burnout when they start overworking since they feel like they have more control of their time. The signs that people are suffering from work from home burnout include the following:
- Physical exhaustion
- Emotional Exhaustion
- Feeling that they lack accomplishments
- Being forgetful
- Being more irritable
WFH burnout is a state of chronic stress, and these signs won’t appear overnight. However, once it’s taken hold, people will no longer function effectively as they feel exhausted, become pessimistic, and be more irritable with people.
Causes of WFH Burnout
Anyone can get burnt out from work due to many different reasons, but remote workers will have it harder even though many people think that they should have more time to rest. Even though remote workers can theoretically have more control of their time, this actually makes things more problematic due to the following reasons:
- Blurred boundaries between work and home life
- Remote workers who can’t “shut off”
- Isolated remote workers
- The necessity to be viewed as a “good worker”
Thanks to the pandemic, many businesses had to resort to layoffs, and many people are more uncertain whether they’ll get a job or not. Because businesses can easily hire new eager remote employees and virtual assistants, there is a constant fear of being replaced.
The fear of being replaced and the natural fact that there are people who struggle with work and need adequate support from managers will make it easier for some remote workers to get burnt out from a WFH setting. Fortunately, people-conscious managers can help employee burnout by encouraging healthy remote work habits that freelancers and virtual assistants can also adopt.
Different Ways to Overcome WFH Burnout
Set Office Hours
Veteran Filipino virtual assistants and freelancers might know how to overcome WFH burnout or avoid it entirely, but office workers who were forced to work from home will find adjusting difficult. The WFH setting complicated this for many new remote workers since they can no longer use the time they get to the office and the time to leave to determine their work hours. Remote workers must learn to set specific office hours so they won’t work when they should be resting.
If it’s hard to set up specific office hours, remote workers should try setting up specific times to rest and relax. Gamers can set up specific times to play games and set up online lobbies to play with co-workers and even treat it as a team-building activity. Avid readers should allot time to read some new books. As long as remote workers can relax after work
Set Up an Office Space
Setting up specific work hours may be difficult no matter what people do if they don’t have a dedicated workspace at home. A dedicated space meant only for office work can work wonders on one’s psychology and influence one to be more productive.
Besides focusing more on work, remote workers can also get their minds to focus on things apart from work after they leave their dedicated workspace. Setting up a separate office space is arguably easier for former office workers who were assigned their workstations and had to bring them home to use since they won’t need to use their own computers for work.
Take Time Off
Work from home burnout is arguably the same as regular work burnout. They’re both because of workplace stress. Stepping away from work from time to time is possible today, as long as no new lockdown restrictions are set in place.
Traveling was hard during the first days and months of the pandemic because of lockdowns, so WFH burnouts were more common at the time. Anyone still working from home now that most people have a choice whether to work in the office or at home because lockdowns were lifted can make up for lost time and file vacation leaves. Freelancers can even pause from accepting new work to prepare for their well-deserved vacations.
Of course, staycations are still good if people can stop themselves from working.
Get a Hobby
Working all day, all week, and all month will lead to someone getting burnt out easily, so remote workers will need to do other activities to enjoy their free time. Hobbies are excellent since people can use some of their hard-earned money for whatever they’re passionate about.
Remote workers should think about learning new skills, learning a new art, joining sports teams, gaming with friends, and any other activity to give themselves other things to do.
Notify the Team that You’re Getting Burnt Out
Anyone can easily experience burnout from work due to their workloads, and it’s not exactly theirs or their manager’s fault why this is. It is, however, the employee’s fault if they don’t notify their co-workers and superiors about their dilemma. Telling the team that they’re experiencing burnout can allow for better collaboration to redistribute workload and even possibly allow for encouragements from other members.
Telling others about burnout might also allow other people to open up. Several people from a single team can get burnt out, and their feelings are valid. Receiving support and getting approved for leave are among the benefits of informing the team that you’re feeling burnt out.
This won’t likely be an option for freelancers, but they can tell their regular clients that they might need to take a break due to burnout.
Burnout affects productivity and willingness to work and function normally, so remote workers will need to learn how to overcome it. Those who didn’t have a choice can be forgiven since working remote might not be for them, but those who chose to work virtually will need to learn it to be successful.
Because many international businesses hire a virtual assistant Philippines, Filipino VAs will need to learn how to overcome WFH burnout. Any Filipina who wants to try getting a fulfilling career as a dedicated virtual assistant should consider joining OVA Virtual’s team.