Member Article

Dealing with Remote Working Burnout.

This article is written by Peter Boolkah who is the founder of Marketing Agency Visibility SEO and a business coach of over 20 years. During that time he has helped businesses globally to grow and scale.

Working from home has gained popularity since COVID lockdowns and whilst many predicted we would never go back into the office again, that hasn’t happened. June 2023 ONS figures show that only 10% of the UK population work from home all the time and 29% work from home some of the time. The WFH figures are slowly falling year on year with a 4% decline from 2022. However when you pit them against 1981 figures where just 1.5% of people worked from home then it does show the change to the working landscape. With the advent of technology and the cost of living it certainly feels like the WFH statistics may remain static for a while.

However, a 2022 ONS survey found these WFH disadvantages: 48% of people find it harder to work with others, 26% say more distractions, 19% cite reduced well-being as a disadvantage and 9% say they have a reduced life balance. The flip side of this is that 78% of people said that WFH improved their work-life balance. It is essentially horses for courses. However, what is clear is that remote work burnout is a thing that must be carefully considered by both employees and employers.

Some people find the lines between work and home are blurred and they work more than ever before. This is leading to remote work burnout in some cases. Remote work burnout can lead to depression, anxiety, a lack of motivation and a lack of productivity. As an employer, it is important to create a remote work culture. If you have staff who are suffering from remote work burnout they won’t be productive or effective. Many companies were thrust into remote working during covid. The ones that succeeded had a remote working system and structure in place or quickly collated one. Have a remote work document which communicates your company’s remote work infrastructure to your team.

Defining your workspace is important. What does that workspace look like? Separate your workspace from your living space. Even if you have a small space ensure that it is separate from where you eat and socialise. Leave that space regularly during the day and ensure you have screen breaks. Take a walk around the garden, or walk to a cafe down the road. You will then return to your workspace feeling refreshed. Mental health is paramount. Employees and leaders should ensure that they have tools in place to check in with remote teams and their mental well-being. Find out why your employees enjoy homeworking and help them build on those things. As an employee ensure that you are building time into your life for eating, sleeping, doing exercise and socialising. Create good habits and be disciplined. There are various apps around which help you to do this. If you create strong habits then it will help you stay disciplined and hit your targets as well as clear your to-do list. Focus on the things you can control. Put boundaries in place. Remember to celebrate the little wins when working remotely.

Understanding boundaries and managing relationships with your family can be tough. For many people, remote working means their commute has ceased and they can spend more time with their family. However, this can sometimes work the other way and cause stress within the family environment. With unclear boundaries often family members may interrupt a person’s workflow. We all remember the young daughter and toddler son wandering into the room while their father was being interviewed via Zoom on national TV during COVID-19 on a serious matter. Whilst it entertained us and gave us a release from the seriousness of what we were dealing with at the time, for that to happen regularly when you are in a meeting could be problematic. It is important to consider your personal relationships and how to manage them. Communicate with any family members or housemates and explain what you are doing and when you will be free to participate in family activities.

Remote working is not for everyone. As a remote company employer recruiting staff who want to work that way and are productive with a proven track record is key. As an employee sometimes you may need to move on if remote working isn’t for you. If the circumstances change and you have no control perhaps a different work environment is needed. Employers and leaders need to understand that too. It is important to help and understand your employees and put things in place to help them with this change but ultimately It is OK to move on.

Overall build habits which help you focus your mind and if you are a leader ensure you help your team to build those habits.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lucy Hood .

Our Partners