The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly turned everyone’s lives around, ushering in what has now been dubbed as the “Work From Home” (WFH) era. However, just a year and a half into the outbreak, people on WFH work status are starting to feel exhausted. In fact, as early as July 2020, CNBC reported that 69 percent of WFH employees are already experiencing symptoms of burnout.
Are you among those feeling the exhaustion of WFH? Let’s take a look at how you can beat WFH fatigue.
The Causes of WFH Fatigue
If you are to beat WFH fatigue, you need to know what causes it. Here are the common causes of WFH fatigue. See which one may be affecting you the most:
It is a fact that most WFH workers are fatigued due to overwork. Because the daily commute has been eliminated, it is estimated that workers are clocking in an extra 3.13 hours daily.
Those who are more productive work 4.64 extra hours each day. It certainly is no wonder that people feel drained and exhausted.
2) Poor habits
People who are WFH tend to develop the bad habits that are related to a sedentary lifestyle, especially now that they are homebound. Among these bad habits that can contribute to WFH fatigue are eating junk foods, sleeping late, and the lack of exercise.
However, it’s not only fatigue that you have to worry about. You may end up having a depressed immune system, which can lead to illness.
3) Poor working environment
Let’s face it. The home is meant for rest and relaxation, and not for working. Most people don’t even have suitable work spaces, much more work equipment in their homes.
If you are living in a small space, like an apartment, with your family, with time, things seem to be pretty crowded so that you are unable to focus on work.
The lack of ergonomic furnishings can also lead to exhaustion and pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. The result is fatigue and lower productivity.
People WFH end up observing a delicate juggling act trying to deal with both work and family responsibilities. Even those who are single and don’t have kids find it difficult to achieve the work life balance they once had while working in the office.
It certainly is no wonder that multitasking has been draining people of much needed energy.
5) Lack of socialization
Humans are social beings by nature. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the isolation and the lack of face-to-face interaction can lead to increased stress, feelings of loneliness, and fatigue.
6) Stress due to the challenges and uncertainties brought about by COVID-19
Even freelancers who have been WFH for years are experiencing unprecedented stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is the uncertainty over the security of their jobs, the fear of loss of income, not to mention the fear of catching the disease itself.
All these worries only overwhelm a person’s ability to cope with stress, causing fatigue and illness.
8 Ways To Beat WFH Fatigue
Now that you know the common causes of WFH fatigue, let us now look at the eight ways by which you can beat it:
1) Determine your body’s energy rhythm and plan your day around it
It is important to determine your energy rhythm so that you are able to schedule work and other tasks when you are at your peak. Thankfully, the flexible schedule of WFH can allow you to determine the best times for work, focus, and concentration.
For example, most people can work best early in the day. However, there are some who prefer the graveyard shift because of the peace and quiet and lack of distraction that it provides.
Whatever time is best for you, it is important that you plan your day around it so that you can accomplish much without depleting your energies.
2) Develop good habits
WFH should actually enable you to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Stop ordering takeout. Instead, learn to cook healthier meals and snacks. Make exercise a morning or evening routine for you. Of course, make it a point to get six to eight hours of sleep every night.
3) Add variety to your routine
Don’t do the same things day in and day out as it may cause you to feel lazy and lethargic. Instead, try breaking the monotony by switching tasks. For example, instead of holding Zoom meetings in the morning, you can ask to switch them to afternoons.
If you love taking walks, you can do so during lunch break one day, then in the evening after working the following day.
4) Change your work area
Another way by which you can break the monotony is by switching work places. If you are working with your laptop in your room, you can try moving to the living room, your kitchen, or even the garden.
5) Leave your house for a change of scenery
Even with the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, you still need fresh air. Go out for walks around the neighborhood. You can even choose to exercise in your backyard. Just don’t forget to wear a face mask.
6) Take regular breaks
If you can’t take periodic breaks in the office because your boss is breathing down your neck, you can now do so while WFH. You can apply the Pomodoro technique for breaks. Work for 25 to 30 minutes.
Then, take a short break of 3 to 5 minutes to get up and stretch your legs. During these short breaks, actually step away from your laptop and go outside for a bit to breath in some fresh air. These short breaks are helpful in replenishing your energies.
7) Stop multitasking
Never do two or more tasks at the same time as it can deplete your energies much faster. Instead, focus all your energies in completing a single task at a time.
Consider making a priority “To Do” list at the start of each working day. You can adjust this list accordingly for rush assignments. To avoid getting distracted by other tasks, close all extra browsers and shut off your phone.
8) Maintain a boundary between your work and your personal time
Don’t allow your personal time to intrude into your work time and vice versa. During your work hours, you should solely concentrate on work. You should not watch Netflix, scroll through your social media, or answer personal phone calls.
On the other hand, inform your bosses and colleagues not to email or call you outside of your work hours.
By observing our eight tips above, you can beat WFH fatigue and continue to be energized throughout your work day.
If you’re looking for other resources on working from home, be sure to check out our Complete Guide To Working From Home to get you started!