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Work From Home and Burnout: Why Does It Happen and What Can You Do

Working from home has many benefits. With more flexibility over your time and space, and instant access to your kitchen, it’s clear why more and more people are looking for remote work.

But although the benefits of working from home are undeniable, many people who work from home struggle with burnout, stress, and poor mental health. In this blog, we’ll break down some of the common reasons people experience burnout when they work from home, and what you can do about it.

Poor work/life balance

Often when you work from home, there is little to no separation between your living space and your work space. Whether you have a home office or work at your kitchen table, the lines between work time and rest time can easily get blurred, as you never really leave work for the day.

Working from home also comes with an element of social isolation, as you don’t have that daily interaction with your coworkers you would get in an office. While it can be nice not to have to make small talk as you get coffee, ultimately, this can take its toll. Social connection is an important part of a healthy work environment, and a lack of it can lead to burnout.

Lack of support

When you work from home, your work becomes much more self-directed. For people who prefer to work independently, this is often part of what draws them to remote work. However, this element of self-direction can become a challenge when you’re struggling to understand or complete a project. It may feel more difficult to reach out to coworkers or your employer for help when you’re not sharing the same space, and you can end up feeling unsupported.

Hustle culture

It seems like everyone on social media is talking about remote work in recent years. This is great, as more and more people are becoming aware of the unique careers available to them. Unfortunately though, remote work often gets wrapped up in hustle culture. It seems like everyone on social media has 5 online businesses nowadays, and try as you might, the popularization of that lifestyle puts a lot of pressure on people. It may feel like you’re never doing enough, and should always be adding more projects to your plate.

It’s clear that working from home can easily lead to burnout. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost! There are a few steps you can take to help prevent or cope with burnout.

First, set boundaries around your time and space. Try setting up a designated workspace in your home, and create a schedule for when you will begin and end work each day. The goal is to create better separation between when and where you work, and when and where you rest, to make sure you’re able to fully disconnect and recharge.

Plus, take time off, if and when you can. Sometimes, all you need is a week or even just a day off to refocus. While you want to incorporate proper rest into your daily routine, allow yourself to book a whole day off every now and then if you’re struggling.

It can also be helpful to accept the ‘slow seasons.’ Though hustle culture might make you feel like you should be giving 110% every week of the year, that isn’t always how life works. Don’t feel like you need to add more to your plate if things are slow. Enjoy the slower seasons of life so you’re ready for the busy ones.

Finally, grow your network. The social isolation of working from home is one of the biggest contributors to burnout, so invest in growing your social network. See if there are coworking spaces you can join, or even online communities of other work from homers in your area. Moreover, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Whether it’s your boss, your friends and family, or even a therapist, remember that there is support available for you.

Burnout is never easy. But by knowing the common causes and what steps you can take to prevent it, you can design a work from home lifestyle that works for you.

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