Not everyone who works is in the office. The Remote Work report revealed that over 40% had been remote 100% of the time, and they’ve been at it for at least five years. Meanwhile, about 19% have not been reporting to the workplace for a year or two.
The coronavirus further drives the numbers up. The World Economic Forum estimates that 24% of knowledge workers can telework. So do 14% of professionals, such as lawyers, engineers, and scientists.
No doubt, work from home or telecommuting comes with benefits—a lot of them. For example, they can spend more time with their family. Some can already afford to send themselves to grad schools. Others can save money since they need not pay for gas or lunches. They can also skip happy hours with colleagues.
However, it can also have a steep price, and that includes burnout. Companies still need to promote their mental health, including conducting an online survey program to help them open up about their conditions.
Where Does the Burnout Come From?
“Work from home” often conjures images of naps in between tasks or lunchtime anytime. Where does the burnout coming from? It depends on many factors:
1. A Lack of Social Interaction
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a person needs to achieve a sense of belonging before they can reach the higher levels, such as self-actualization. Other studies also shared that humans are social creatures. Even introverts crave for them, although they prefer more intimate gatherings or occasions.
Meanwhile, the lack of social interaction might correlate to higher risks of depression and anxiety. They are also more prone to sleeplessness and cognitive decline. All these can impact their stress levels and work performance.
2. Sudden Changes in the Workplace
Only three things are constant on this planet, and one of them is change. Unfortunately, many people cannot quickly adapt to it, especially if it’s sudden or traumatic. Think about divorce, death in the family, or even a pandemic, such as COVID, that forces everyone to embrace the “new normal.”
These changes can cause feelings of uncertainty and doubt. They can lead to questions such as “Is my job stable?” and “Will I still get to report to work and be with my colleagues?”
Changes can also throw them in situations they are less familiar with. For example, moms and dads today are struggling to manage their work and help their kids through online classes.
3. Possibly More Workload
This problem arises when expectations do not match reality. Some companies believe that because their workers are at home, they can do their job anytime. In some situations, such as a national disaster, businesses might have no other option but to lay off and pass the responsibilities to the remaining ones. WFH workers then deal with more work responsibilities on top of their household chores.
How Businesses Can Help
It’s a classic equation: burnout + stress = lower productivity and efficiency. Neither the employee nor the company can benefit. Businesses, though, can do many steps to safeguard the mental health of WFH employees. These include respecting their work schedule and extending social care benefits.
An online survey program can also be helpful since it allows these workers to open up anonymously. Companies can then use the data to plan mental wellness strategies that suit the needs of their WFH employees. Remember, stress and burnout don’t exempt anyone, including those who work at the comforts of their homes.