Karen Gately the leadership and people-management specialist joins Dave on Weekend wondering to talk Avoiding Burn Out when Working from Home.
Current lockdown measures mean many of us are working from home, but the danger is that we’re now more reliant on technology – and more available to our bosses – than ever. We’re hooked on the apps providing the latest COVID news, scheduling countless Zoom meetings for work and with our mates, and checking work emails all hours to ‘stay on top’.
People Management specialist and founder of Corporate Dojo, Karen Gately, says that unless we make considered decisions to disconnect, the risk of burnout is very high, where common symptoms include unrelenting fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, loss of appetite and irritability. It’s really not a great place to get to and the road to recovery can be a difficult one. Karen says that there are 6 key ways we can learn to look after ourselves and avoid burnout:
- Make your health matter. Recognise that like any other human being, you are fallible. Your body and mind need rest and time to recover. Place priority on your health and take deliberate steps to manage the impact technology and over working.
- Notice your behaviour. Don’t be a mindless slave to technology. Recognise when you are struggling to switch off and disconnect. Awareness is the essential first step toward changing any behaviour and ultimately taking back control of your life. Notice when you mindlessly drift back to technology or obsessively check in with your on-line world.
- Manage interruptions. While technology improves accessibility and efficiency, unless carefully managed it also increases interruptions and unpredictability. For many people the constant flow of information makes the task of putting some sense of order and structure around their day extremely difficult and in turn stressful.
- Put technology away. Keeping your phone or tablet at arm’s length can go some way toward helping you to stay off them. For many of us the thought of being separated from our smart phone can be anxiety inducing. Trust that the world will not come to an end and leave technology switched off until you actually need to use it.
- Be present. While multi-tasking is an admirable skill, stop, focus and be present in each moment you are in. If you are talking to your child stop looking at your phone. If you’re participating in a discussion stop checking your emails.
- Work for good people. Getting ahead in our careers unquestionably takes dedication and hard work. However, recognise when you are working for someone who lacks decency and respect for your wellbeing.
Karen says it’s good to ask what role is technology really playing in your life? To what extent are you connected 24/7 and how is that impacting your mental, emotional and physical health and vitality? Perhaps it’s time to switch off and recharge.