A health and wellbeing psychologist has revealed the common warning signs that signal burn out while working from home.
Dr Marny Lishman told Australian recruitment company Seek stress is the number one factor that can cause several negative lifestyle changes if not detected early on.
She said stress often causes a change in diet or sleeping pattern, which can lead to exhaustion, insomnia and feeling rundown or unproductive.
If undetected early, the individual may experience further mental and physical impacts and the quality of work will likely decline.
To manage stress levels, Dr Lishman recommends only taking on as much work as you can handle, getting enough sleep each night, eating the right food and speaking to your manager if needed.
Dr Marny Lishman told Australian recruitment company Seek stress is the number one factor that can cause an avalanche of negative lifestyle changes if not detected early on
Stress is the number one factor that can lead to burnout while working from home, and so it’s important to manage stress levels as much as possible.
‘Burnout is a result of continuous and often unmanaged stress levels related to someone’s work,’ Dr Lishman said.
While working from home, the individual may feel isolated from co-workers and a lack of support which could lead to feeling additional stress.
Some employees may also feel anxious while working around their children at home, or might place more pressure on themselves to get tasks done faster.
To combat this, Dr Lishman recommends taking a break or holiday leave from work when feeling overwhelmed.
‘Being away from your work environment will give you a chance to switch off, recharge and relax – even a few days or a long weekend can be enough,’ she said.
Being less productive
If the stress goes unnoticed for a long period of time, this can cause the individual to be less productive and the quality of standard of work is at risk of dropping.
Dr Lishman said being less productive while working from home is one physical sign of burnout, which can also lead to exhaustion and illness, such as headaches or colds.
To avoid this, it’s important for the individual to be in check with themselves and call their manager to talk it out if required.
‘Just talking about your stresses can make you feel better,’ Dr Lishman said, adding: ‘A friend, family member or professional can offer advice and an objective opinion which may help you manage your work and emotions better.’
To manage stress, it’s important for the individual to be in check with themselves and call their manager to talk it out if required
How to beat the burnout while working from home
Stay active and take regular breaks from sitting at your desk
Take a day off if feeling overwhelmed
Discuss your stress levels with your manager
Get enough sleep each night
Fuel your body with nutritious food
Set work boundaries – only work a set number of hours and only take on as much as you can handle
Change in diet or sleeping pattern
As a result of feeling stressed, many individuals turn to eating and drinking higher quantities of food with the hope to ease stress levels – despite this being an unhealthy choice.
‘When people are feeling burnt out, they often adopt unhelpful coping mechanisms, such as drinking alcohol and eating unhealthy foods, but this only exacerbates their stress,’ Dr Lishman said.
Others may experience a change in sleeping pattern by going to bed later than expected, which could lead to insomnia or exhaustion.
But Lishman highly recommends controlling these two lifestyle habits and fuelling your body with the right food and getting enough sleep each night to maintain wellbeing.
As a result of feeling stressed, many individuals turn to eating and drinking higher quantities of food with the hope to ease stress levels
Beat the burnout
Dr Lishman said there are a number of strategies employees can implement to improve wellbeing and avoid burnout.
She highly recommends moving as much as possible, taking a day off if needed, getting enough sleep at night, eating the right food, limiting alcohol consumption and setting boundaries to ensure the stress doesn’t increase further.
Over time, the intense stress will slowly decline and the individual can continue working from home happily.