Millions of Americans trying to work from home and constantly trying to manage changing health guidelines have another pandemic side effect for balance: burnout.
Neither pandemic stress nor burnout is new – but burnout workers are realizing right now that it’s different. With the drop in vaccinations and Covid-19 cases at the start of the summer, many people enthusiastically took off their masks to plan for an almost normal fall, Travel booking and count down the days until they can see their colleagues in person again. However, the highly contagious version of Delta dashed such hopes: cases are on the rise again, and several companies, including Apple and Facebook, which previously announced a downgrade, have now postponed their plans to 2022. East .
Laura Pendergrass, Ph.D., an industrial psychologist who advises Fortune 500 companies, told CNBC Make It. “People were tired when the lockdown started, but focusing on work is even more tiring when the world still feels like it’s going off the rails after 18 months. ”
According to a recent TINYpulse survey, around 86% of remote workers report having personally experienced a lot of burnout, compared to around 69% of employees.
While working from home can seem impossible at times, there are a few small changes we can make to our daily routine to make our work (and our lives) happier and more engaging. Below, Pendergrass shares their top tips for tackling burnout while working remotely:
take the time to recharge
The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t cost a lot of time – in fact, research by NordVPN teams found remote workers were working 2.5 hours overtime per day from their pre-pandemic schedules.
Instead, workers should spend at least an hour each day walking away from their computer screens and doing an activity of their choice, Pendergrass says. “If you work from home, especially for 18 months, the job can extend to all corners of your life,” she adds. “Breaks help us take a break and readjust our work-life balance. ”
Start with a list of activities that improve your mood and set aside time to relax into your schedule, whether it’s in the morning, at lunch, or between meetings. “Even 20 minutes to take a walk, watch a new TV show, or read a chapter in a book can help build energy and focus,” says Pendergrass. “Try different types of breaks to stimulate your brain.”
Rewrite your to-do list
Dealing with a pandemic – especially given the familiar and frightening pace of the increase in Covid-19 cases – can seem overwhelming. Dealing with a never-ending to-do list at work and at home only builds up unnecessary stress, Pendergrass says. “The best way to fight burnout is to set manageable goals,” she says. “If your goal is to tackle an intense, multi-month project, that won’t give you the positive mental toughness you need. “
These short-term goals can be anything that can be ticked off your to-do list by the end of the day, or at the end of the week Pendergrass tips like cleaning your kitchen, answering questions. emails or schedule a meeting with a collaborator. Making lists not only helps us navigate the chaos of life, but it can also help reduce anxiety and renew our sense of purpose, she adds, even when we’re apart from our co-workers. are isolated and alone when working from home.
manage a new project
Burnout doesn’t just happen when we’re overwhelmed, it can also surprise us when we feel like we’re not doing enough. “When each day is repetitive and monotonous, it can lead to irritation,” Pendergrass explains. “Workers can feel like they are not doing anything really impressive, as if there is no clear finish line they can ever cross.”
To avoid burnout, Pendergrass encourages workers to think about what they can do to renew their sense of hope and the ability to take action in their current jobs. “Ask yourself, ‘How can I use my skills better or differently at work? And “What can I do to contribute to the business in a new way that other people might not have thought of?” ” “, she says.
Workers should also explore side projects or committees in which they can be involved to remind them that they are capable of making a positive impact on the world, even in these difficult times. “Finding hope is really important,” Pendergrass says. “Your work matters. “
to verify: 3 Ways to Update Your WFH Location If Your Return To Office Has Been Postponed Indefinitely
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