Extended Hours Causing Work-From-Home Burnout For Many Americans

(CBSMiami) – The coronavirus pandemic has taught Americans how to work from home, and many say they’re happy to keep doing it forever. Others find they’re burning out from the stress and long hours, and the results can be severe.
As the mother of two young children, Jeanne Stafford thought working from home would be a nice change.
“I was thinking I was getting some extra time with them. I would set up upstairs. It would be great,” she said.
But after two weeks of working remotely for a Massachusetts publishing house while juggling her family’s needs, she started to feel the strain.
“A few days I would be fine and working fine, and everything would be fine,” she said, “and then on, say like a Friday, I would feel like I couldn’t even deal. Couldn’t get up that day. Couldn’t, you know, get dressed. Couldn’t put a smile on.”
Stafford said she was burnt out, a condition doctors are seeing more than ever among people working from home.
“They feel a sense of hopelessness and they feel a sense of pessimism. It’s almost like this idea, like, it doesn’t matter. Whatever I do, no one’s going to appreciate it,” said Psychiatrist Dr. Sue Varma of those feeling burnt out.
Without a commute to separate home life from the office, it can feel like the workday never ends. Many employees are working harder with longer hours to prove their productivity
“So I think it’s really important to check yourself to say, ‘If I’m writing that extra memo if I’m going the extra mile, did somebody actually ask me to do that? Or is that something I’ve invested in my own head that I need to do that?'” Dr. Varma said.
She recommends setting boundaries, like defined work hours, clarifying your boss’ expectations, and turning off devices for a break.
In a recent survey from Monster.com, 51% said they’re experiencing burnout while working from home during the pandemic. Health experts are concerned the condition can lead to depression.
Dr. Varma said, “when that starts to bleed over into other aspects of your life, where you stop experiencing pleasure or joy, I want you to start thinking about depression.”
To prevent that, Stafford is trying to put less pressure on herself as both a worker and a mom and to take life’s challenges one day at a time.
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