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  • Burnout While Working From Home

    Now that most of us are staying at home due to movement restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we still must continue on with work. We now just have to do it from home.

    Unfortunately, not everyone is coping quickly. And some are already suffering burnout.

    It is just too much stress. Longer working hours. No "recharging" breaks. No high fives with a colleague. Higher expectation on higher efficiency and greater output.

    It's like we are now robots.

    What are your thoughts?

  • #2
    Interesting. I read a recent article where someone was claiming zoom meetings where more stressful than real-life meetings. Everyone is different but overall I know many of my colleagues in the law profession are working in their nightgowns and saving 2-3 hours a day from commuting and getting dressed up. That's 10-15 hours a week. More the equivalent of a 1 working day or 520 hours a year we're not travelling, getting up extra early and so on. If anything I think this contributes to less burnout. But based on the personality type of an individual some people just need others around them.

    Comment


    • Skye
      Skye commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree it is based on the personality of the individual. It also depends on what kind of life the person is used to before the restrictions.

    • mjmnl
      mjmnl commented
      Editing a comment
      Speaking from experience and for my personality, wasting so much time on the road really leads to burnout. I spent 6 hours of travel time (back and forth) for a 16.4km distance daily. Leaving the house fresh but arriving in the office drained because of the stress brought by the heavy traffic. No matter how much I enjoyed my job back then, I just chose to leave. On the other hand, my highschool friend prefers commuting for hours because she enjoys working at her office more and being with other people. So yeah I agree, it really depends on the person's preference.

  • #3
    I also believe it depends on the person. For people who are more comfortable working from home, we already know how to ease the burn out if ever we experience some. Or at least know how to prevent it from happening. For some, it is really hard for them to cope in this setting. I've read a lot of sentiments from my friends that they don't know how to draw the line between work and life anymore ever since they started working from home because of the pandemic. Some of them are working more hours from what they used to do. They were so used in associating being in the office as the limit of work and now that they stay at home, they don't know when to stop. It does take time to get used to.

    Comment


    • #4
      I think I'm feeling exhausted because I cannot really take holidays. They say working from home is like being in a vacation but it really isn't. It's nice to get away from it all every few months but with travel restrictions, there's really nowhere to go. The only reason I take vacation leaves these days is to do some chores because some offices are open only half of the day or for family celebrations that still happen at home. A change of scenery would be nice and would really help me recharge.

      Comment


      • Skye
        Skye commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, this I agree on. Having an option to remove yourself from where you live and where you work is great. To have this option removed from you to keep yourself healthy or even alive, is such a dire condition.

      • Bjun
        Bjun commented
        Editing a comment
        It truly is a dire condition. I'm running out of ideas on how to distract myself and just to break the routine. A new task at work would be a welcome distraction at this point. It really is a mental struggle these days with this feeling of being stuck with no definite end.

    • #5
      I agree with Bjun. I've been working from home for quite some time and I always make it a point to go out of the house/workplace every few weeks. And because we don't have that option anymore, I settle to just sitting on the porch or taking walks and sometimes a little drive around the park. Supply runs become short holidays, and weekends mean no computers, emails, whatnot. Also, I find rearranging the things on my table helps in creating that different work environment. All these help me recharge and avoid burnouts. Every one of us is different though, you just have to find ways that works with you. But between working from home and commuting to workplace, I'd take the confinement of my home any day.

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      • #6
        I agree that it depends on the person. In my case, I am a homebody so being in quarantine while working from home does not affect me that much. Although there are times when I miss going to the mall and dining out with my family. However, for some, I can say that it's really hard for them to stay at home especially those who are used to traveling and being surrounded by people.

        Í used to commute to work for more than 7 years and I must say, I will choose to work from home in a heartbeat. I guess it's because I'm a mom and staying with my kids is something I enjoy a lot. However, for those who are single, I guess going out and having social connections is important for them and not being able to go out of the house for long affects them.
        Last edited by Lou; 08-17-2020, 05:26 PM.

        Comment


        • mjmnl
          mjmnl commented
          Editing a comment
          For some, especially for those extroverts, they get their energy from people around them. Working from home does not really improve their lifestyle and productivity. I have 2 best friends who have been dreading this setting after just 2 weeks at home. They didn't mind the long commute as long as they get to meet more people than usual. Totally opposite for us who are already comfortable in staying at home. I just hope that they are coping better now because it seems like this will last longer than what we initially expected.

        • Lou
          Lou commented
          Editing a comment
          It's true. This pandemic is taking a lot longer than we all initially thought. I do hope those who are having a hard time in quarantine find ways on how to cope with their feeling of isolation and stress. I found this article online from the CDC. They have some tips there on how to cope with stress and take care of your mental health during this pandemic.

          Check out the article here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019...s-anxiety.html

      • #7
        I do have a hard time working from home now that there is a pandemic. Monotony does not suit me well. Working from home is fine. been doing it for 5 years now. In this pandemic, not being able to break the monotony by going out, seeing family and friends, doing outdoor activities is bringing me down. There is just a big difference between "WFH and not having to go out unless you feel like it" and "WFH and not allowed to go out at all"

        Can't do much about it.. so I deal with it the way I know how. I got a piano... . Learning something new helps

        Comment


        • kdy
          kdy commented
          Editing a comment
          Oooooh... Online shopping yap yap yap clicking the "add to cart" can be therapeutic 😅

        • Kamille
          Kamille commented
          Editing a comment
          I have been trying to avoid all online shopping apps on my phone. It was definitely therapeutic during the start of lockdown, but after months, I noticed it became an addiction and a waste of money. I had spent money on things I don't really need and some I end up not using. I lost control and had to hide all my online deliveries and make up excuses lol
          Lately I have been checking vacation destinations, resorts and virtual tours. It inspires me to save money instead of buying things online. I'm looking forward to the time this pandemic ends so I can finally book that much needed vacation.

        • mjmnl
          mjmnl commented
          Editing a comment
          I did not think of it that way. You're right! I just realized that I bought 4 pairs of shoes since the lockdown and I haven't used even a single pair. We cannot even go out and if I do, I just go to the drugstore or grocery. I used online shopping as my coping mechanism and I convinced myself that I have to do what makes me feel good during these hard times. You made me realize that the money I will spend in my future purchases could just be pooled for a bigger dream of mine. Thanks, Kamille! I will try my best to control my unnecessary spending during this quarantine period 😅

      • #8
        I'm quite a home-oriented person, having grown out of the old social high years of my life. Then again, it gets too monotonous these days as I float from month to month, and these days, I observe more signs of chronic pain even without actually having pain. Such signs like depressive symptoms, anhedonia, loss of interest in anything and just the lack of mindfulness when it comes to the flow of time -- heck, I think most of us don't recall what we're up to much in the first 2-3 months of the pandemic.

        It must have something to do with our cortisol bloodstream levels reaching an all time high, the sense of uncertainty of the future, the many things that come to mind in the darker hours of the day and the lack of mindfulness. Humans are generally adventurous beings that like a balance of adventure and routine -- too much monotony ends up being existentially horrifying when we begin to explore the "is this all there is to my existence?". It's a usual question but most who explore it get even more stressed.

        I generally handle burnouts by doing other things that are new to me. For example, at the moment, I'm trying out other unexplored talents I may have had when I was younger or facing regrets-bound-to-not-doing head on. I began playing games online with people I haven't talked to in years, I'm certainly opening a video creating hobby or even trying out streaming with a variety of games that I find fun.

        These I'm doing simply because I realized that perhaps, I'm actually burned out because behind my conscious mind, I know I'm not exerting full effort when it comes to maxing out any potential I have. It's kinda a hard cross or burden to bear to realize that it's almost a decade and it's mostly an accumulation of what-if's instead of something productive like actually trying more.

        Add that to the current global sense of uncertainty, the urge to quit crying over spilled milk and time long gone gets jacked with steroids, screaming ever louder to "just do it".

        Comment


        • Skye
          Skye commented
          Editing a comment
          jcoppi29, I am into podcasts now, those that help you meditate. I use it when I feel my heart racing and I feel like everything is pressing down on me. So I need it to lower my heart rate. But no meditation happening, just relaxation then straight to sleep.

          Lou, I agree with the anxiety you feel when you watch the news. When this pandemic started, I was all news, like 24 hours the TV was on. But I realized that I am only stressing myself out. So I switched to Amazon Prime. Hahaha... I must say, it was the best decision I have made those days.

        • jcoppi29
          jcoppi29 commented
          Editing a comment
          @Skye

          Podcasts are awesome. I generally go for the Joe Rogan ones, or Eric Weinstein, some Neil de Grasse Tyson (his voice is really sleep inducing).

          There are youtube links out there for his audiobook, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. I listen to it every night at .75 speed and I don't even notice that I fell asleep within minutes just listening to him talking about stars, the universe, dark matter and other astrophysical quantum things.

          Otherwise, the Joe Rogan sets have a lot of interesting guests like Snowden for example. Lex Fridman also has a lot of nice chill and relaxing conversations -- be warned, however, that some topics tend to be very very intellectually overwhelming or mind blowing.

          I recall instances wherein I intended to sleep but ended up being kept up because of a mindbomb.

        • Skye
          Skye commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the recommendation for a podcast, jcoppi29. Since he has interesting guests, I think they will keep my mind awake. But I'll give it a shot and try it at .75 speed.

      • #9
        This article (https://www.economist.com/graphic-de...-working-lives) just shows that some industries are not having it easier working from home. These may result to burn out and might affect the employee's productivity. Companies must adapt faster in this situation and care more about the employees since it is harder to deal with grievances virtually.

        Click image for larger version  Name:	Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 4.19.59 PM.png Views:	0 Size:	329.3 KB ID:	1172
        The graph shows an abrupt increase in the number of meetings and attendees since the start of the pandemic. These results to more time wasted. If time was maximized prioritizing what is needed to be done, then the deliverables will be finished faster. Then there's no need for overtime or overworking.
        Last edited by mjmnl; 08-24-2020, 08:31 AM.

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        • Indelible_Mark
          Indelible_Mark commented
          Editing a comment
          Nice find wonder if there is a study on companies that did not do meetings and suddenly have to now that everyone is at home doing their thing...

        • Kamille
          Kamille commented
          Editing a comment
          This is true. My sister now works from home and they have weekly meetings that sometimes take hours to finish. She said its mostly because one of them always have technical issues and sometimes, they have to restart the meeting. Also, they had mandatory overtime for months when their company was still figuring out how to work the new set up.

          It may be stressful for us but I also empathize with business owners. Most have already gone bankrupt. Nothing can really prepare us for this pandemic. But its true what they said. Its truly a blessing to still have a job during this times.

      • #10
        Found this article https://www.thehomeworker.com/how-to...m-in-lockdown/ . Most of the tips, I think we already know. This though captured my interest, and suddenly a light bulb went off in my head - "It’s a bit like when you’re driving the same route everyday. You no longer really notice things, your brain has gone into autopilot. But if you change the route, you suddenly become more alert and aware and notice new things"

        I think I will do a little rearranging of furniture this weekend. Hmmm. where should I move my workspace now?

        Comment


        • Kamille
          Kamille commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree to this kdy. I rearrange furniture every month since the lockdown and it gives a refreshing change. If I'm feeling a bit lazy, I just put new curtains and furnishings on my workplace. A new fresh set of flowers on the table or fresh sheets do the trick. I even have this crazy idea of putting Christmas decorations early this year for the added festive look lol

        • Skye
          Skye commented
          Editing a comment
          Most of the furniture in my house, they quite moveable. I rearrange once a month even before the pandemic. But now, I do it more often. It's like a puzzle. And I get my exercise too.

          Went overboard about two months ago. I tore down some set of fixed cabinets just so I could hang a very big painting. Best decision ever! hahahaha...

        • mjmnl
          mjmnl commented
          Editing a comment
          I thought I was the only one who does this. Haha! thank goodness it's completely normal! My mom always tells me that I need to stop rearranging monthly and put everything in its "permanent" position. My work area experienced the most change since the lockdown. It really gives that fresh new start feeling and makes me feel more put together seeing everything in a new perspective.

      • #11
        This is so true kdy. A little bit of rearranging things in your house makes a really big difference. Since the kids have started their online schooling, we set up a corner of the house to serve as their study area. It gave the space quite a new look and it made us all proud of ourselves as we were able to achieve something as a family. It may be a small achievement, but it was also our fun time together.🥰🥰🥰

        Comment


        • #12

          Saw this tweet while browsing my twitter timeline. I do think this is necessary for us to do this while working from home. Working continuously in front of our screen may damage our eyesight and make us feel more exhausted. My doctor also advised me to look away for a moment, into the distance.
          Click image for larger version

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          Last edited by mjmnl; 08-31-2020, 08:10 AM.

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          • jcoppi29
            jcoppi29 commented
            Editing a comment
            It actually works simply because the reward neurotransmitter, dopamine, gets triggered by productivity or stimulation in many cases. The problem with continuous dopamine triggering, however, is its potential for addiction.

            Addiction steps in because the feel-good neurotransmitter heightens its trigger threshold, so it takes more of an action or substance to bring out the dopamine effect over time. The same applies for working -- if it feels fulfilling, do it the same continuously for an extended time, the fulfilling sensation gets lower and lower or takes more to achieve.

            An occasional break from dopamine-triggering activities, therefore, maintains the threshold at its healthy height and prevent burnouts.

          • kdy
            kdy commented
            Editing a comment
            Definitely, a must try! Along with getting that much needed reset every now and then, we get to stretch and move around. That may help with the back pain too

        • #13
          I think most of us could also be greatly affected by being restricted in how to relax and de-stress which leads to burnout. Same goes for the little ways we do so in the work place, as you mentioned in those simple high fives from our workmates. As we are all now limited to our homes, we all need that change in scenery, hopefully, soon.

          Comment


          • Indelible_Mark
            Indelible_Mark commented
            Editing a comment
            Not to rain on your parade but a change in scenery is just not nearly 'soon' enough...https://specialty.mims.com/topic/cov...&elq_cid=40520 virus is trending to be airborne

            On second thought...lets all go to the beach!

          • mjmnl
            mjmnl commented
            Editing a comment
            New research about the virus kinda make this situation more stressful, at least for me. As much as we all needed to be updated, I try to avoid reading the headline and watching the news. I get so paranoid and I realized that it's making my physical and mental health suffer. The goal is to be healthy and boost the immune system and this bad news just doesn't help me. Hoping for some good news soon, a vaccine maybe? or the virus slowly fading away? Haha.

            Ughh. Really missing the nature right now, most especially the mountains and the beach.

          • JerryYan
            JerryYan commented
            Editing a comment
            You're right. We need to allow ourselves some space from all the 'bad news' reported everyday but I think a possibly better way to cope is to put most of our time, and attention into news that are factually accurate, and progressive. Aside from this, we could also focus on finding ways to boost immunity through good nutrition and at home workouts. It just may be our new way to de-stress. 😊
            Last edited by JerryYan; Yesterday, 07:42 AM.

        • #14
          I think one of the best tips in avoiding burnout is getting enough sleep. When we have enough rest the night before work, it'll reduce our stress level and improve our health altogether. Its tempting to watch one more episode at night; we don't need a lot of time to prepare for work in the morning anyway. But remember that even though we are working from home, we still need to restore our energy and 'cleanse our brains'. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation will exacerbate burnout. So, I hope you all get a good rest tonight!
          Last edited by Kamille; 09-15-2020, 01:37 PM.

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          • Indelible_Mark
            Indelible_Mark commented
            Editing a comment
            I could not agree more on the need for sleep...its just that there are days when I want to sleep while watching (wake up when the tv gets turned off), and then there are days when I just can't tolerate the slightest sliver of light..keeps me awake all night.

          • kdy
            kdy commented
            Editing a comment
            so true. lack of sleep can just take a toll on our bodies and minds. To actually have at least 8 hours of sleep (consistently) is my goal. I find it very hard to fall asleep. I can lie in bed for hours and not fall asleep at all. I diffuse lavender oil, and it helps.

          • mjmnl
            mjmnl commented
            Editing a comment
            I'm really a sucker for enough sleep. I am a morning person and I'm usually asleep as early as 9 pm during the weekdays then I automatically wake up between 5 and 6 am. In some days when I have to stay up late and wake up early, I find it hard to focus on anything even with the help of caffeine. With just that personal experience, I already know that sleeping for at least 7 hours is a must. It affects both our body and mind.

            You may want to read this article to read about the effects of sleep deprivation and ways to get enough sleep that you need: https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorder...p-requirements

        • #15
          Kamille Sleep is indeed important. I've been working in a continuous night shift and so far, I've found the method that works best for me. I made some rules.

          1: Find a way to work out if sleep is at least 7 hours. I do mine when I wake up so the crash hits hard for sleep time.
          2. No devices, gaming, or bingey shows 3 hours before target sleeping time -- save the insomnia tasks for the waking hours.
          3. No coffee or caffeinated drinks 12 hours before the target sleep hours.
          4. Do everything you can when you wake up so by the time you're going to sleep, there are no more lingering thoughts.
          5. Never sleep hungry. I usually just eat a boiled egg coz it is light and bulky enough.

          Lastly, I listen to Neil Degrasse Tyson's audiobook at .75 speed, downloaded it via youtube:

          All that talk about dark matter and quantum theory and stars and stuff at that speed led me to lots of dreamy sleep lmao
           

          Comment


          • Kamille
            Kamille commented
            Editing a comment
            Great tips for a better sleep! It was a struggle to follow the no caffeinated drinks hours before my bedtime though lol. As for me, I can add that getting some sunlight in the morning can really make me sleep like a baby. I try to get sunlight as much as I can, which is hard now that we are on lockdown. But I try to spend a few minutes on the porch just to get a little sun exposure. Or I sometimes workout outside. Sun exposure is one of the important factors that affects our sleep and wake cycle as it releases serotonin. I just wish I can get them while bathing at the beach, or playing at the park anytime soon.

            I listened to the audiobook and the first 10 mins got me hooked. I will surely listen to this tonight. Thanks for sharing!
            Last edited by Kamille; 09-17-2020, 12:30 PM.
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