The flexibility of working from home may be a godsend for you -- at first. During the first few weeks you appreciate that laidback mornings that roll smoothly to afternoons and evenings.
But as you spend more weeks working from home, you start to notice the nuances of the situation. The chores are endless, the disturbing noises steal your concentration, and the long breaks seem to be getting in the way of more relaxation.
You may find yourself steeped in anxiety. You are not alone. According to this CNBC article, there is a growing number of cases of remote work burnout.
The article cited a recent survey by the global online employment platform Monster. The survey results showed that over two-thirds, or 69 percent, of employees, are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home. That is up almost 20% from a similar survey in early May. The latest was conducted on July 10 and surveyed 284 U.S. employees.
It's okay not to be okay
If you feel irritable or withdrawn all the time, it might be because of the work-from-home stress that accumulated over the past few months. Be kind to yourself and recognize that you might be tired from work and keeping up with the changes brought by the pandemic.
Simple tips to help you
It’s fair to say that everyone has had their share of woes these past few months. But if you look on the brighter side, you can still stay productive and more aware of how to take care of your mental health.
Here are some tips that can help you to adjust to the new ways of living and working:
1 ) Create boundaries -- According to Harvard Business Review, you must set physical, social, and temporal boundaries. Setting boundaries is crucial if you have to take care of children or the elderly. This activity includes establishing routines. In the morning, you can dress up for work. In the evening, you can change into your regular clothes to signal that you are shifting to house mode.
Turn your commute into a quick walk in the park. You can also allow time for meditation and exercising. This Mashable article gives ideas on how to make use of your commute time even if you are working from home.
2 ) Set up a home office -- A part of creating boundaries is making sure that you have a compartmentalized lifestyle at home. You can do this by setting up a workstation where you can finish your office tasks. Look for a space that is away from distractions and noises that can hamper your productivity.
Your work spot need not take up a whole of space. But while you are at it, make sure that it is sufficient for your needs. You can invest in a height-adjustable desk so that you do not have to spend too much time on your chair. Another alternative is to get a desk riser that you can place on your old table. This way, you do not have to spend a lot to get the ergonomics that you need for your home office.
3) Take a break -- You do not have to go out of the country to take a vacation! Instead, be creative in defining what a fulfilling staycation is. This Vox story discussed that you could try to find a new hobby or change where you sleep inside the house. If weekend breaks are not possible, try taking micro-breaks throughout the day. The key is to take an unstructured break to let yourself breathe.
4) Stay connected -- This BBC article said that working from home can feel unstructured and isolating. It further said that last year, a study of 2,500 remote workers by online brand development agency Buffer found that loneliness was the second-most reported challenge, one experienced by 19 percent of respondents. Loneliness can make people feel less motivated and less productive.
Do not forget to keep in touch with your colleagues at work. Try to schedule a Zoom meeting where you can talk and catch up. Maintaining these relationships can help you stay sane.
5) Consult an expert -- Be honest with yourself if you want to talk to a mental health professional. There is nothing to be ashamed about asking for help in expressing and processing your emotions.
Let us stay positive!
It has been a tough year for everyone. If you are working from home, you can choose to see the bright side instead of dwelling on the negatives of remote work. Keep your chin up even as the tough gets going.