People who work remotely are experiencing higher rates of burnout compared to people who have gone back to the office. It is estimated that over two thirds or 69% of remote workers are experiencing burnout symptoms. Working from home can provide advantages; it is less expensive, eliminating commute times, and a decrease in carbon footprint. However, it can also have negative impacts on mental health.
A large contributor to remote workers burning out is the blurred lines between work and personal life. Remote working can lead to a tendency to work longer hours and have difficulty disconnecting from work. Lack of social interaction, increased distractions at home, and the absence of routine can also contribute to burnout among remote workers.
For remote work it is important to establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. This can include setting up a dedicated workspace and sticking to regular hours. Taking regular breaks and engaging in physical activity, hobbies, or social activities can also help.
In addition, employers can play a role in supporting their remote workers’ mental health by providing resources and support for stress management and mental health counselling. Encouraging open communication and check-ins can also help to ensure that employees feel supported and connected.
Overall, while working from home has many benefits, it is important to prioritize mental health and proactively take steps to maintain wellbeing.
Ways that remote workers can enhance their wellbeing
1. Prioritize physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. It is important to take care of self on multiple levels, this can look like getting good sleep, daily exercise, eat a balanced diet, and take time to unwind, and practicing mindfulness such as meditation and breathing exercises.
2. Maintain social connections. Checking-in and staying connected with friends, family, and your community is important for mental health. Making plans with people and engaging in activities that bring you joy and nurture your relationships will help to reduce stress.
3. Seek professional support: If you are struggling with mental health issues, seek professional help from a therapist or counsellor. If there is not access to health benefits and private care is unaffordable, there are free resources in Ontario that can be accessed.
4. Set goals: When goals are set, they can provide a sense of direction and purpose. By setting realistic and achievable goals can help lift the stress of the daily grind.
5. Engage in hobbies and interests. As adults this may seem difficult, but there is lots of opportunities to find activities that you enjoy and make time for them regularly.
Ways employers can help remote workers avoid burnout
1. Setting clear expectations and boundaries: Employers can clearly communicate the work hours, deadlines, and workload to remote workers. This takes the guess work out and promotes a healthier work environment.
2. Encouraging breaks and self-care: Employers can encourage workers to take regular breaks and disconnect from work during off-hours.
3. Promoting social interaction and team bonding: Employers can organize virtual team-building activities, encourage communication, and provide a platform for social interaction.
4. Offering flexible work arrangements: Employers can offer flexible work schedules or options to work from different locations to help remote workers balance their work and personal life.
Signs you may be experiencing workplace burnout
1. Feeling exhausted or drained emotionally, physically, and mentally
2. Difficulty focusing or concentrating on work-related tasks
3. Decreased productivity or quality of work
4. Increased absences or tardiness from work
5. Negative attitude or cynicism towards work or colleagues
6. Reduced motivation or enthusiasm for work
7. Relationship problems with colleagues, clients, or customers
8. Anxiety or depression related to work
9. Increased irritability or impatience
10. Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach problems, or muscle tension.
It’s important to note that these signs can vary from person to person and may not all be present in every case of burnout. It’s also possible to experience some of these symptoms without being burnt out, so it’s important to consider the context and underlying causes.
Offering counselling services for workplace burnout
If you are a resident of Ontario, and need support dealing with stress and workplace burnout, I would be delighted to offer an open space to talk through your experiences.
For more information about my practice and to book a free 15-minute consultation check out: