5 Warning Signs Of COVID WFH Burnout & Preventative Measures

COVID-19 Diaries (Part 18): Work From Home Burnout & How To Deal With It

covid work from home
Contributed by: Rachana Arya


The abrupt transition from working in an office to working from home has contributed to the pandemic’s emotional toll. Burnout has greatly increased as a result of the stress of balancing work obligations with family life. More and more employees are experiencing burnout symptoms as a result of working from home, and this is affecting both company success and employee wellbeing.

 The good news is that there are several options available to deal with it. 

Here are 5 common warning signs of burnout and preventative measures to stop burnout in its tracks.  


Red Flag #1: Avoiding Work

Despite your anxiety to reach the deadline, you may find yourself in a pattern of procrastination, having trouble beginning a job. As a consequence, you risk missing deadlines for project deliverables. This is one of the most common symptoms of work from home burnout.

Burnout Buster

  • The simplest way to address it is to begin focusing on simpler tasks. This will give you the courage to take on more challenging tasks.


Red Flag #2: Feeling Exhausted All The Time

One of the most common burnout symptoms is physical, mental, and emotional fatigue. There’s no denying that work can be exhausting, so if you’re constantly tired, it’s possible that you’re suffering from WFH burnout. It’s also possible that you’ll have recurring feelings of exhaustion or low energy levels. 

Burnout Buster

  • Taking brief breaks during the workday is one way to combat this form of fatigue. 
  • Schedule more difficult tasks for earlier in the day, when your energy levels are higher, and simpler tasks for later in the day, when your energy levels are lower.


Red Flag #3: Never Clocking Out

When you work from home, the line between personal and professional spaces blurs. This translates to means more hours logged at work. This change in setting and rise in work hours is causing some serious social and personal issues.

Burnout Buster

  • Dressing up for work each morning is an easy way to strengthen the boundaries between your personal and professional lives. 
  • You should also set specific work hours and refrain from checking work emails during your free time. 
  • Activate an out-of-office response outside of certain time blocks.


Red Flag #4: Headaches And Gastrointestinal Problems

The high stress levels associated with burnout have an effect on your physical health as well as your mental and emotional health. Occupational stress often raises the risk and incidence of gastrointestinal issues. Also, the fight-or-flight response is triggered by stress. This tenses the muscles in preparation for action because if you’re stressed all the time, these muscles will stay contracted. Tension headache occurs when the muscles in your neck and scalp stay contracted for an extended period of time. 

Burnout Buster:  

  • Take brief breaks in between activities to perform mindful breathing exercises, which can help to reduce stress and improve your mood.
  • Maintain a healthy level of physical activity because exercise activates endorphins, or “good hormones,” which alleviate stress and improve mood.


Red Flag #5: Decline in Performance

You can’t focus on work deadlines and that gets you anxious and you feel like you’re working around the clock. You are unable to sleep at night because you are unable to turn off the overactive brain. It’s a vicious cycle: the less you sleep, the more your attention is scattered, and the more you worry. Burnout fatigue will significantly reduce your work performance and productivity, as our brains are constantly in a state of stress, which switches them into “survival mode,” causing us to slip in our responsibility.

Burnout Buster

  • Make sleep a priority and give your body and mind the time needed to relax and heal from the pressures of the day. 
  • Schedule screen-free downtime to reconnect with yourself and your loved ones on a regular basis.


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