During the early COVID-19 days, most Singaporean employees were forced to spend their working hours at home. Months later, most of us are still finding ourselves spending a lot of our time working from home still. This should sound like a blissful dream for most of us working Singaporeans. However, there are many amongst us, struggling with burnout.
The transition to remote work has resulted in a number of positives. As the lines with daily work and life continue to blur. This can lead to a bunch of overworked and exhausted employees. It gets tougher for employees who have little to no experience with remote work.
Let’s not forget that remote work can be a struggle for certain types of employees. Working mothers and employees with families might find it a struggle to spend a full working day in front of the computer. Which inevitably leads to more work, later in the day, so that employees can keep up with their KPIs. It’s no surprise that studies show that women are more likely to feel stressed when working from home. A recent survey conducted by the National University Health System’s Mind Centre reported that 61% of Singaporeans working from home felt more stressed compared to 53% of frontline workers.
Whether you’re an employer or an employee, keep in mind that Singaporean employees are already some of the most overworked people in the world. According to the Singapore Business Review, we spend 23% more time working compared to the rest of the world. Leaving us right behind Japan. There are many consequences to burnout. In the article, How to Avoid the Dreaded Job Burnout by BGC Group, we’ve talked about how burnout can lead to physical and mental exhaustion. In addition, job burnouts can also lead to reduced work efficiency and in some extreme cases, job termination.
However, despite the debilitating consequences. There are ways to get around and conquer remote work burnout. As a manpower outsourcing company in Singapore, we understand that job burnout is a real and growing problem. Below are some ways for employees working from home to recognize remote work burnout. As well as tips to get over it!
Symptoms of Remote Work Burnout
Truthfully, there’s little difference in symptoms when comparing remote work burnout to standard job burnout. The warning signs of remote work burnout can include:
Feeling exhausted and drained: No, it is not normal to feel like you’ve just ran a marathon at the end of a work day. Overwork and over committing yourself to completing a range of tasks can lead to total energy depletion. Are you sleeping less at night because you’re staying up working? Or are you taking your meals at your desk so that you’ll have more time to finish your tasks? These are some indicators that you are overworking.
You don’t connect with your job anymore: If you’ve been procrastinating a lot more or find yourself skipping out on your daily work. This could be a sign of remote work burnout.
You’re not keeping up: Ironically, overwork leads to job burnout. But oftentimes, job burnout leads to less rates of productivity. Employees suffering from burnout are struggling to keep up with their daily workload. This can be a very difficult problem to navigate in an era of remote work, where employers are more distrustful of their employees.
Everyone is different when it comes to work. Some of us are staunch workaholics who find it hard to separate themselves from their work. Others amongst us are natural gifted with multi-tasking and compartmentalising, who have no problem taking time out of the day to focus on their own personal lives.
Dealing with Remote Work Burnout
A. Speak with Your Supervisors
It might seem daunting to speak to your supervisors about how stressed you are. But letting them know how difficult it is for you to keep up with certain tasks might actually bring relief. Good employers and leaders are aware of how stressful it can be to work during the pandemic.
If you find talking about your problems with your managers and/or supervisors a tough task to accomplish. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to a Qualtrics study, Singaporean employees are some of the most disengaged employees in the world. One way to improve this engagement is having clear cut communication at the workplace. So, speak up!
B. Go on Vacation
With the closed borders and hotel staycation prices in Singapore skyrocketing. You might be thinking to yourself, “how exactly can I go on a vacation?” Well, taking a day off from work to attend to your mental health, catch up on missed sleep, or to hang out with your family and friends are good ways to spend time away from work.
If you’re craving for an exotic day of adventure. There are endless opportunities for that available here in Singapore. From the local zoo to Gardens by the Bay, why not take a page out of your travel book and explore the city like a tourist would on your day off?
P.S: Speaking of Gardens by the Bay, you might want to check out our previous article on what it’s like to be a Gardens by the Bay ambassador. It might just rekindle your love of being a tourist in your own country.
C. Indulge in Self-Care
There’s more to self-care than just shopping and paying for beauty services. One way to practice self-care during the work day is by taking frequent breaks, away from your remote workstation. Taking the time to prepare a healthy and energising lunch meal instead of buying or indulging in instant food are also good ways to practice self-care during the working day.
If you find yourself burnout and exhausted due to overwork. Understand that it is not your fault! As natural workaholics, some of us feel guilty when we take a break from work. The first thing we have to keep in mind is that we’re human beings and not robots. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a break from work and step away from the desk. Trust us when we say that this will lead to a renewed sense of trust and love for your job!
What are some of the ways that you find helpful in combating remote work burnout? Share them with us in the comments section below!