Remote work burnout, professional job stress, and employee emotional exhaustion during the COVID-19 pandemic

Pair people up to have 15-minute online coffee breaks where the only rule is ‘no talking about work’. We have all built up strategies over the years to manage those situations that we find difficult. We have developed our own psychological and emotional scaffolding to support the parts of our personality that lack strength in certain situations. For example, many people who are not very conscientious gravitate to highly structured corporate organisations that help them manage the disorganised and ‘lazy’ aspects of their personality.

It affect anyone, regardless of their job or industry, and can lead to a variety of negative outcomes, such as decreased productivity and overall dissatisfaction with work. Lead by example – It’s not enough for managers and team leads to encourage remote employees to care for their well-being; they should also do remote working fatigue it themselves. Leaders who prioritize self-care are essentially reinforcing the importance of work-life balance, which can help create a more healthy work culture and environment. Research shows that, on average, remote workers tend to work 3 hours more (i.e., about 11 hours per day) than regular office workers.

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Or they might be the sort of person who just needs a lot of structure in their work life. Here are some practical things you can do to minimise stress and the consequent risk of burnout in remote workers. These personality factors have a potent influence on our behaviour, but they don’t determine it entirely. Disagreeable people learn how to compromise, or at least to be more diplomatic in their conversations. More agreeable colleagues learn to be more assertive, even if being assertive makes them feel uncomfortable. This is an important point, because behaving in a manner that doesn’t fit with our core personality make-up is exhausting.

  • If someone’s performance is poor when working at home, talk to them about it.
  • Burnout can play a major role in mental health — know your resources and talk to a trusted friend or colleague if you need to make adjustments at work.
  • Even if you are only able to use three or four days at a time, that extra time away from your duties will help to reduce stress and prevent burnout.
  • Unfortunately, that tendency can lead to overwork and burnout – especially if you find yourself working extra hours to complete tasks that could be left until the next day.
  • This can result in missed deadlines, decreased quality of work, and ultimately, reduced productivity.

Quality of working conditions (Mihalca et al., 2021) and perceived increased workload led to unsatisfactory professional self-esteem, psychological distress, chronic emotional and workplace stress, and high turnover. Remote work-related technostress and psychological ill-health (Hayes et al., 2021; Miguel-Puga et al., 2021; Trinidad, 2021; Singh et al., 2022) reduced productivity, engagement, and job satisfaction during the COVID-19 crisis. Persistent burnout due to increased workload influenced sleep disruption, acute stress, state anxiety, and derealization symptoms, negatively affecting the work–life balance. Technology-facilitated remote working resulted in higher levels of work-related stress and burnout due to COVID-19 restrictions, bringing about low work productivity. Job and financial security issues in a teleworking environment shaped remote worker support and engagement, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and work–life balance across virtually operating organizations.

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This helps lighten the load before it’s internalized as chronic stress or a sense of loneliness. Burnout is more likely to happen when people feel like they’re not working toward the same goal or don’t know what their team members are doing. By contrast, employees who have clarity about roles and priorities are 4.5x as likely to say they’re happy than in companies where they lacked it. When you’re working from home, it can be easier for the lines between your personal and professional life to blur. This means you need to lead by example and build work-life balance into your management style. It’s the same for employee wellbeing in a remote or hybrid workplace.

I look at how to get the best from working from home, and how best to lead and manage a remote-working team. All of this is important knowledge, because not only is remote working here to stay, but it’s likely to grow and become a routine part of working life for many of us. Saying no is hard to do, especially at work, but setting boundaries is essential. For example, you might choose to say no to a new project if you’re already overburdened with work.

As a contractor on RemotePass, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

Gamification is all the craze right now, and for a good reason – it works. By creating a system that rewards you for successfully completing tasks, you can improve your mood, motivate yourself, and maintain high productivity and concentration levels. Celebrating wins can turn a mundane day or negative work experience into a positive, mood-elevating one. And it can help bring you closer to your team by recognizing and rewarding your collective effort. All these can give you a healthy break from any job-related lows you might be experiencing. Visit our website to learn how to facilitate a return to the office, identify a workplace strategy that works best for your people, and more.

remote work burnout