How to Avoid Burnout When You're Working From Home (and Can't Leave)

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  • Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion that is typically caused by excessive and prolonged stress.
  • Burnout is characterized by three main dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism (or less identification with your job functions) and feelings of reduced professional ability.
  • To avoid work burnout, you should set boundaries, change up your work environment, and take time for yourself.

Everyone has stressful days at work where they feel overwhelmed and exhausted by their tasks. But when this feeling becomes chronic or unavoidable no matter what you do, you may be experiencing job burnout. Burnout can cause people to feel constantly stressed, exhausted, and unable to cope with the demands of a job and life.

Because much of the country is currently under quarantine, thousands of workers have made the shift to remote work. This is adding significant stress in many ways: Employees have had to figure out how to make their jobs work remotely, balance working with round-the-clock child care, and deal with the general stresses of a crisis, such as whether their job will survive the economic downturn and if their loved ones will be healthy throughout the pandemic. All of these added stresses can contribute heavily to employee burnout.

Here’s how to spot burnout and what you can do to avoid it.