While working from home over the past five to six months, have you taken any breaks? Or are you finding yourself overloaded with more work, or anxious that if you ask for time off it could lead to termination in an already scary economy? All of these reasons, of course, are valid. But, experts warn that overworked employees, specifically stressed out employees during COVID-19 could lead to burnout.
Working from the office guarantees a natural cut-off time. You see the sun go down, the cleaners come in, naturally the motion light shuts off, and you finally realize you’ve been at the office for way too long and you take yourself home. But when your home is your office and your office is your home, it’s a little hard to turn off. And in a pandemic where stay-at-home orders are still very much in place, it’s a little weird to take time off when you’re not going anywhere. You might be thinking “why would I take time off if I’ll still be sitting at home?” Short answer: to avoid burnout.
It’s extremely important to take breaks throughout the day, and even more important to build a long break in (like a vacation) into your work life, regardless if it’s a staycation. Trust me, your mental wellbeing will thank you. If you’re experiencing burnout, take a couple days to yourself to recharge. Of course, we understand in some situations this is not an option, so if burnout has got the best of you, here’s how to treat it.
Problem: Declining Performance
Are you arriving late to Zoom meetings? Is your work quality going down? When you make a mistake, do you even acknowledge it? These are early signs of burnout, your brain saying it’s in a state of stress and is powering on survival mode.
It’s important to remember to turn off and find the balance as you continue to work from home. Set up a designated amount of hours every day when you work and do no work outside those hours. If need be, turn off notifications and activate out-of-office or will-get-back-to-you internal messages so your brain knows it can now relax.
Problem: Avoiding Work
Have you stopped answering your phone calls? Is your inbox constantly full? Are you procrastinating?
Solution: Take Time Off
You know the saying, distance makes the heart grow fonder? Well the same is true for work. By stepping away, you will feel more rejuvenated and grateful for the time unplugged. If possible, turn off all notifications, email alerts, and forward any incoming news to a responsible coworker. Chances are, when you return you’ll be ready to tackle with new found energy.