Work burnout is a common problem across all business organizations. It’s a state of situation where employees feel exhausted at work, both mentally and physically.
Burnout is a feeling of being unable to work, where people fail to be productive due to mental and/or physical exhaustion.
This exhaustion does not necessarily result from extreme work pressure or too much workload, but it is frequently caused by a lack of motivation and poor management from both the employer and the employee.
What are the statistics and stages of Remote Work Burnout? How to prevent it?
Although people claim work burnout emerged from working in isolation while working remotely, burnout has existed since the beginning of jobs, so it is not just a “pandemic problem.”
According to a survey in 2015, a whopping 77% of working professionals said they experienced burnout.
The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies work burnout as an occasional phenomenon resulting when employees fail to successfully manage chronic workplace stress.
WHO also classifies work burnout as not a medical condition.
In this article, we’ll explore work from home burnout, what it feels like when working remotely, why many remote workers experience burnout, and steps to effectively prevent this state of condition at work.
What Remote Work Burnout Feels like
Falling into the state of remote work burnout will drop a lot of different challenges when working remotely. From lack of motivation to excessive stress, these are the burnout symptoms and what it actually feels like.
Lack of Motivation
One of the symptoms of remote employee burnout is a lack of motivation for work. You might be motivated and interested in doing work in the beginning. But once you’ve been in the same job for some time, you’ll slowly lose this motivation.
This feeling of no interest in your work is one of the major symptoms of remote work burnout. Employers should strategically collaborate and work with remote employees to help them avoid this state.
Some tips to cure this is to use good tools for collaboration that makes remote work easier, or cut down the workload for your remote employees.
Lack of Pleasure
Similar to lack of motivation, another symptom of remote work burnout is a lack of pleasure in doing your work.
Again, this usually happens as remote employees work on the same job in the same company for a long time. Another correlating cause is poor management, so make sure you have a definitive strategy to effectively manage your remote employees.
Exhaustion is another one of the major symptoms of remote work burnout. This is where remote employees feel exhausted during work, both mentally and physically.
Feeling exhausted is basically the state where you feel extreme tiredness. If this happens without even working too much or working at all, then that’s a feeling of remote work burnout.
Strained Work Relationships
Finally, remote work burnout will also make you feel less satisfied in your work relationships. Work relationships will no longer feel like they used to.
In this case, you may not be interested in keeping personal connections alive, and you’ll even despise the event when a colleague is collaborating with you for work.
Common Causes of Remote Work Burnout
Remote work burnout doesn’t just emerge into existence in a snap. It usually happens through a period of poor management and other factors done wrong by both the remote employee and employer.
Before we jump into how preventing remote work burnout works, it’s critical that you identify the common causes to get more clarity. So here are some of the common causes of remote employee burnout.
Too Many Meetings
One of the most common causes of remote work burnout is tracked to too many meetings. Many remote organizations tend to schedule multiple meetings every day. This is, for the most part, unnecessary.
Always try to keep meetings as minimal as possible. If it’s already too much in your organization, take measures to reduce the number of meetings.
A great way to do this is to follow async communication and document as much information as possible rather than having a meeting.
If not done right, meetings can contribute to being one of the most disruptive elements of a remote company. Too many meetings often lead to interruptions for your remote employees, meeting fatigue, lack of productivity, and remote work burnout. Reduce them at all costs!
Bully Manager or Colleagues
A remote organization will have bully managers and colleagues. If not all, at least some of the remote companies will be nurturing such employees without being aware of the consequences.
A bully manager of colleagues puts pressure and slows down the entire team they’re involved in. Some managers and colleagues tend to share disruptive feedback as opposed to constructive criticism. And they often do things on purpose that negatively affect the people around them.
Such managers or colleagues can easily cause remote work burnout for someone. If you’re in a similar environment, try not to be triggered by them, avoid, or if possible, report to someone in a higher position in the company.
As a remote organization, managers must ensure they’re not being bullies themselves. Then, they must take the right measures to ensure the employees they’re managing are all friendly and not toxic to others or the organization.
Not Saying “No” When Clearly Swamped With Tasks
It’s normal for most remote employees to agree to take on more work even if they’re struggling with what they have at hand.
Most of the time, they’re afraid to say no. Although it’s a little word, a mere “no” can sometimes make all the difference in the world, especially for remote employees who are already struggling with their current tasks.
When you agree to take on more tasks at this point, you’ll have to work harder. Even if you’ve been enjoying work, trying to manage tasks beyond your capability with lead you straight to burnout.
There’s not much that managers can do here. So remote employees should try to cook up the courage to deny it when your manager is trying to assign more work when you clearly don’t have the bandwidth to get them done.
Poor Work-from-Home Experience
One of the final most common causes of remote work burnout is lacking a good work-from-home environment.
Not every remote employee will have access to a quiet space at home, or have a good home-office setup that motivates them to get started on work every day.
If you’re one such remote employee, that means you have to drag yourself to work and force yourself to work in a struggle. This ultimately leads to remote work burnout, so change your current environment.
Go to a nearby café or any other quiet space and see if you can work from there. In case you’re lacking a motivating home-office setup, invest in one.
As a remote organization, you can do your remote employees a favor and set up local working spaces for people in the same area to work together. You can also offer them home-office allowances, which the remote employees can use to set up a neat home-office.
Effective Steps To Prevent Remote Work Burnout
Now that we’re through with the basic information, let’s look at the effective steps that remote employees and employers take to prevent remote work burnout. It’s better to have a plan in place that keeps work burnout at bay rather than having to struggle your days.
Take a Walk
Taking a walk before or after work is refreshing. A little bit of greenery and sunshine will do wonders for your body mentally and physically.
It’s always best that you sit down for work after a walk of around 10-20 minutes long. You can even cut off from work, take a walk, and come back to work again. It’s a refreshing activity, as it clears your mind and prepares you for the day ahead.
Take Adequate Breaks
Just like going for a walk to refresh your mind and body, you must take adequate breaks between work. It’s always nice to have a schedule in front of you; something that lets you take a short break after 1 or 2 hours of straight work.
Remote managers should encourage remote employees to take these breaks. Breaking from work for a few minutes will let you free your mind and recharge your body.
Create a Reward System
Another effective tip to prevent remote work burnout is to reward yourself for every milestone you complete at work.
For instance, treat yourself to a day off for finishing the biggest project that you’ve been working on. Or perhaps an extra taco for delivering a project way before the deadline.
It might sound a little bit like spoiling yourself. But as a remote worker working in isolation, you deserve to be rewarded for your accomplishments. And when you get this feeling of being rewarded, even if it’s you treating yourself, you’ll be more motivated and interested in your work.
Utilize Your Vacation Time
Similar to rewarding yourself, you need to make the most use of your vacation time. After so much hard work, this is time for you to now take deep rest and enjoy life away from work and meetings.
Knowing that you’ll use your vacation time effectively will let you work in joy. This is another great technique to prevent remote work burnout, so make sure you take this to enjoy life to the fullest!
Coming to a conclusion, that’s everything you need to know about remote work burnout and how you can prevent it.
Work burnout disrupts not only the employee of an organization but their colleagues as well at some level. This ultimately slows down the company as a whole, as the quality of work goes down even though the burnout employees push their limits.
By following the tips above, you can effectively avoid experiencing burnout in remote work. It’s also important to gather the courage to say “no” when necessary and always reward yourself for your good work and achievements.
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