While a fair bit of us have gone back to working in an office, there are still those who continue working from home. And the burnout is real.

As we’re slowly easing out of a partial lockdown and businesses are slowly re-opening, there’s no denying that a lot has changed over the past few months.

Working from home still remains a reality for many (if not for the full week, at least for a portion of the week). And though we’ve mastered the art of conference call makeup and appropriate #WFH outfits, there’s no denying that even working from home can cause a new kind of burnout.

With household duties and children needing your attention, it may be impossible to focus on work and your productivity levels may have severely dipped. On the flip side, others may find themselves working longer hours than usual as the lines between personal life and work-life have blurred. Read the following red flags to find if you’re on the brink of a burnout.

Image credit: Unsplash/ Michael Parzuchowski

The symptoms

You’re procrastinating
You’re avoiding emails, putting off meetings, and missing deadlines. While you’re conscious of doing this, you find yourself lagging behind, inefficient, and unable to break out of the rut.

You’re experiencing frequent bouts of negativity
All that pent-up stress might lead to mood swings of rage and irritation — you’re flying off the handle easily, and feeling hopeless, demotivated, and apathetic.

You’re exhausted
We don’t just mean physically. You feel drained thinking about work before the day has even begun. Your body feels lethargic and fatigued; migraines and sleep disorders are also other symptoms to look out for.

Image credit: Unsplash/ Stacey Gabrielle Koenitz

Possible cures

Respect boundaries
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t have a work-life balance. Set those boundaries. Stick to a schedule like the one you have at work with fixed times for meetings, calls, lunch, and your day-to-day duties.

As for employers, recognise that employees working from home doesn’t mean that they should be working long past the workday. Schedule calls and meetings appropriately.

Prioritise work
This is easier said than done, particularly for those with children. Adhering to a list of daily tasks helps to boost productivity, ensuring that your work hours aren’t unnecessarily dragged out.

Take time off
Spending days on end cooped up at home isn’t healthy for anyone. Schedule regular time outside your home, whether it’s for picking up coffee, grabbing lunch, or going for a slow jog. Taking an off day from work might also give you the reset you need.

Image credit: Unsplash/ Freestocks

Limit news and access to social media
It’s important to keep up with the news, especially with everything that’s going on in the world today. But with protests, business closures, and COVID-related stories battling for headlines, it can take a toll on your mental health and give you anxiety that lasts through the day and impacts your workflow. Schedule time to read the news and place a time limit spent on social media.

Keep it fresh
Every day feels the same, so shake things up by incorporating newness into your routine. Challenge yourself to a new recipe every week, or work on your own goals outside of work like learning a language or completing a workout plan.

This article first appeared on Prestige Online Singapore.

Nafeesa Saini