Nonzwakazi Cekete
3 minute read
29 Apr 2021
4:13 pm

Work-from-home fatigue a reality

Nonzwakazi Cekete

In the year that we have been under lockdown, many people have become accustomed to working from home but they say even though it is a dream come true, it has its downfalls

While working from home is attractive, many people are feeling that the hybrid model of alternating between working from home and the office is better because working from home to a certain extent induces fatigue.

Although South Africa is on lockdown level 1 and most people have gone back to working in the office, some companies continue to adopt a hybrid model, allowing workers to alternate between working from home and coming into the office.

At the start of the pandemic, over a year ago, working from home became the new norm and people were besides themselves at the prospect of working from the comfort of their homes without having to worry about taking a shower or being stuck in traffic.

A year later into the lockdown, many are cursing that although working from home has its perks, it is not what it’s cut to be.

They complain that with remote working, you tend to work more than what is required and don’t get to enjoy the perks you did at the office. As much as people may not outright admit it, they are experiencing work-from-home fatigue.

In an interview with CNBC, Zoom CFO Kelly Steckelberg said that although her company is synonymous with videocalling, which took off tremendously as a result of working from home, she’s well aware of the toll working from home can have on employees.

She explains how they prevent burnout among its own staff. “We certainly understand that being on video all day long can be challenging,” Steckelberg said. “We spend a lot of time working with our own internal employees to help them understand how to optimize and take a break during the day.”

ALSO READ: Bosses and juniors find it hardest to work from home

Steckelberg said a way to get a break is to attend a meeting while taking a walk or cutting down on meeting times by simply setting meetings for 25 minutes or 55 minutes instead of 30 minutes or an hour. “That gives you that little break,” Steckelberg said. “I think what we’re all suffering from is that break we used to get just walking from room to room. Now, you jump from meeting to meeting and it takes literally seconds.”

While the working remotely was appealing at first, many people are feeling the pinch of the isolation.  If you are struggling, here are more tips to help you cope:

  • Create a suitable workspace

If you have been working from your lounge while watching TV or on top of the bed and stealing a nap in between, maybe it’s time you stopped mixing business with pleasure. Create a dedicated workspace in your home, which you will associate with being productive.

  • Switch on some music

At the office you were used to working in the company of others and the voices and noise probably energised you. If you miss that background noise, switch on your radio to keep you company or have a playlist that relaxes you and calms your nerves but is also energy boosting.

  • Go out there and get some Vitamin D

You cannot be imprisoned on your desk, all day every day. Get your blood circulating by taking time away from your desk.

Go for a walk in the sun and stretch those legs while taking in the fresh air. By the time you get back to your desk, you will be revatilised, ready to tackle your next task head on.

  • The 20/20/20 rule applies

Working from home means you are glued to digital devices. Practice the 20/20/20 rule when using digital devices: every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet (about 6 metres) away for 20 seconds.

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