Danger of Work From Home Burnout
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Posted on 01 April 2022

​Are you enjoying WFH? Some people are struggling.

We all probably remember too well that day in March 2020 when we were asked to take our laptop home to “work from home for the next week,”. Well, that one week has turned to months, and with almost 2 years’ in, how are we coping so far?WFH Burnout 

A survey by Blind found that 73% professionals are experiencing burnout during the Covid-19 pandemic, mostly people who are working in the sales and marketing industry. With the current business climate, most employees are focused on delivering results and answering to managers despite the odd hours.

Work-life boundaries are now blurred. The lack of face-to-face meetings lessen employee’s visibility in front of their managers, which forces them to work harder to be ‘seen’ more since to be seen as someone unproductive may put them at risk to be laid off, should the company decide to do so.

Based on the Google Trends search in Indonesia, the search term ‘Stress WFH’ reached its highest in January 2021, and again in July 2021 when the number of Covid-19 cases spiked due to the new variants.

WFH is no longer a perk

Given the ability to work from home used to be a sweet little perk when applying for jobs. However, the quarantine and social distancing has turned working-from-home into living-at-work for 24/7. Workers are confined in their own house with rare opportunities to go outside to meet friends, or to even have light chats with colleagues during breaks.

Jessica Khairunnisa, a 24-year-old employee in Jakarta, said in a news article that since she started working from home, things were expected to move faster and the absence of a traditional workplace affected her daily schedule at home. “I can’t sleep peacefully. It’s almost like [I’m attached] to my laptop,” Jessica said.

Andrew Hairs, Select Headhunter’s CEO said, he himself has seen many cases of professionals at senior level positions who are burnt out at work since the WFH arrangements were implemented. “The expectation is now to send email or messages at anytime of the day or night, and expect instant action,”

People Are Quitting

The higher the role, the more responsibilities -- these people are ‘losing’ themselves at home to their work, leading to severe burnout where they quit their jobs with or without new opportunities ahead. 

“I have seen cases where people have reached breaking point and are just walking away from their job and taking a few months break before looking for a new job,” Andrew Hairs added.

It seems now that, despite the decreased number of Covid-19 cases and more people being vaccinated, WFH is here to stay. Hence, managers and companies should also help employees handle stress by checking on them from time to time, make sure workers are taking regular breaks, or encourage employees to exercise daily and take time to spend with their friends and family. 

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