WFH....burnout?

wvjules

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 7, 2001
I've been working from home since March 16, 2020. I love working at home. I love not having a commute. But now I'm finding myself kinda burnt out. A few weeks ago I realized how miss I DO miss the feeling of coming home from work. Right now I wake-up, work, close laptop for day...and the scenery doesn't change. (We don't have a home office - just a desk in guest room that DBF mainly uses.) I want to get that "I'm done work" feeling back. Any suggestions? What helps you?
 

BadPinkTink

Republic of Ireland is not part of UK
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
I've been working from home since March 16, 2020. I love working at home. I love not having a commute. But now I'm finding myself kinda burnt out. A few weeks ago I realized how miss I DO miss the feeling of coming home from work. Right now I wake-up, work, close laptop for day...and the scenery doesn't change. (We don't have a home office - just a desk in guest room that DBF mainly uses.) I want to get that "I'm done work" feeling back. Any suggestions? What helps you?
I'm the same, in fact I could have written this :)

I created a home office space and I only sit in that area for work. Once I log out for the day I get up, and move my laptop, phone etc to the sofa.

I make sure that I have an after work routine, for example I have my main meal after work. During the day I keep the same routine as I would at the office. I start work at the same time I would in the office, I take breaks at the same time as I would in the office, I eat the same type of food and at the same time as I would if I was in the office.

Yes I am working at home but I don't do anything during breaks that I wouldnt do in the office. I don't do laundry at lunch time, I do it after work, same as I would if I was still commuting.
 

GAN

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
I worked from home for the better part of a year, then went back to the office about 5-months ago. I get what your saying -I found that working from home I actually did more work, worked longer hours, and did more after-hours work. At the end of the day I would either take a walk around the neighborhood, go to the store, or just take an hour to decompress before even thinking about dinner. That being said, I'm actually looking into going back to remote ...I'm getting close to retirement and I like the option of working from where I want -so the scenery isn't the same(and the weather not so cold).
 

BrianL

Doom Buggy Driver
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Man, I was there last year. I've never liked working from home, but without being able to travel, I didn't even take time off. I figured if I was home anyway, I'd rather work and keep all of the inboxes clean. I didn't take a shred of PTO from late Novemebr 2019 until May 2021, not one day. I got close to losing my mind a couple of times. I am glad to be back in the office regularly, though hardly anyone else is here.
 

tvguy

Question anything the facts don't support.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
I worked from home for over a year and went back in the building for about 5 weeks before I retired July 16th. It was the opposite for me. While retirement was pretty much set before I went back in the building, the hassle of commuting, and the distraction of co-workers kind of put the final nail in the coffin of my career. I was doing so much more work and better work from home with less stress. And I didn't have managers looking over my shoulder. And not commuting saved me about an hour a day to do things I wanted to do
 

OhDannyBoy

DISdad #850
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Working from home is why I now own a larger home.

Seriously, being in a town house with my wife, 2 kids, and my dog prompted us to start looking for a bigger space with an office.

I loved working from home. I got a lot done both for work and stuff that needed done at home. When I was finished, no drive. Heck i didn't even have to put on pants!!

My actual go to work office is 45 minutes from home, so if i ever have to work from home again and feel nostalgic for the drive, I can always sit in my truck in the driveway for 45 minutes and yell and honk at random passersby.
 

Christine

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 31, 1999
I have my days of mindnumbing boredom because, besides teleworking 100%, I've also tried to curb my "going out" in order to reduce my risk of catching COVID. There are days that I'm just bored out of my mind and I get depressed. Yet...I still do not miss the grueling commute and early work hours to try to beat the commute. I've not forgotten about my chronic stress and fatigue from that. So whenever I start longing for a change of pace, I remember that. Maybe it's not so bad for people who live close to work. But my commute is 30 miles of pure torture in each direction.

Just found out that we will be having to go back in next month and I'm trying to logistically see if I can afford to quit. But it's a lot of $$ to give up. But I'm miserable over it.
 
  • Lumpy1106

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2010
    In a word, yes. My DW was sent to WFH weeks before I was and her company still doesn't have a return date. She's itching to go back and, she got our actual office that we had set up since she was WFH first. It took me a while to settle in and I tried several rooms, but settled on a spare room in the garage we were setting up as a COVID home gym. It's darn-near perfect. It's a much better space than the "open office" space my employer had recently converted to (HATE that). I have two problems with WFH though;
    1. I do really like my co-workers and miss shooting the breeze or collaborating on-the-fly. Remote Teams is not the same and we really are pretty good at setting up true, "shoot the breeze" sessions. It's helped but it's not the same and never will be.
    2. The line between work and home gets really fuzzy, especially when a deadline approaches. Start early? No problem. Take an extended break and come back (well, OK, that's nice), done. Come back and work until the wee hours over and over? Sure, why not? Work weekends? I can't see why not - the office is right there. As much as I hate commuting, 50-60 hour weeks become all-too-common, and I sometimes feel like I never clock out. I do like the solid, clean break that commute creates between work and home.
    So...
    As much as I hate my "open office" work space, I have been going back in 2-3 days a week. I do like that WFH has given me true flexibility to coach my kids soccer teams and take off to take care of other family matters. I'm never giving that up again.
     

    Karin1984

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2012
    The best you can do is to make sure home is home and office is office. These two should mix as little as possible. If you have space, definitely keep one room as office and nothing else or as little else as possible.

    Don't go walking through the living room if you are on the phone, for example.

    If you only have the kitchen table, don't leave your laptop on your table when you are done. Really put it away.

    Have you thought about working from a nearby coffee shop or library?
     

    kdonnel

    DVC-BCV
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2001
    There are lots of shared work spaces. Even though it would probably be at your cost, it might be worth looking into them as they would definitely give you the work / life separation you are missing.

    There are some shared workspace places near me that go for as little as $50 a month.
     
  • Stratman50th

    Loving all things Fort Wilderness!
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2019
    I've been working remote for over 7 years now. Mostly from home but sometimes in our RV, less so from a hotel. I enjoy no commute both time and money saved. I've already retired from one career and I'm winding down on the second.
     

    ScubaCat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 12, 2008
    I started this in January 2014 when I had to move out of state and my employer wanted to keep me on. I echo the suggestion of creating a dedicated workspace and only being in there when you're working. Also, be sure to get out of the house after work if possible, even just to take a walk or go to a store or something. The drawbacks are more than offset by the amount of time in your life you save from not having to get ready, commute to/from an office, and be forced into a shared workspace with people you may or may not want to be around.

    Since covid, I've only had a total of three business trips outside my house, so I've actually taken a couple of solo trips to Disney just so I can get out of the house for a while and also so the wife and I get a break from each other. This was actually her suggestion, so who am I to argue? :earsboy: She doesn't like to travel alone and she provides the majority of the care for all our rescue cats and her DD son, so it makes sense logistically. (It was also helpful since Illinois was basically closed last year and Disney was not, so it quite literally was "something to do".)
     

    RangerPooh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2005
    After 16 months of working from home I returned to the office. While it's nice to be around others again, I would prefer to work from home. I do not enjoy the commute, the lack of ability to run errands during my lunch hour, and having to wear work clothes again. My work-life balance is now out of whack once again. My office will begin working remote up to twice a week beginning next month and I'm excited.

    While working from home I kept my same start/end times, lunch hour, general routine. My lunches were basically the same as when in the office. I worked from our spare bedroom and hung out in the living room during my lunch hour so that I could disconnect. I also made attempts to check in with colleagues outside of meetings to create a sense of connection that had been missing since moving remote.
     

    CaptainAmerica

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 12, 2018
    I hate it so much and I've hated it from the beginning. I work on a collaborative team and I don't care what anyone says, all the technology in the world is not enough to recreate the ability to sit in a room with a box of pizza and a case of Diet Coke and brainstorm together on a white board.

    I have a large house with two offices, and my wife doesn't work, so there's plenty of space and I'm not juggling the kids. It's just not my workspace. I didn't come up with this idea but I like it... it doesn't feel like I'm working from home, it feels like I'm living at work.

    FWIW, I don't work in a major city. My "commute" would normally be a 10 minute drive through a scenic small town.

    After 16 months of working from home I returned to the office. While it's nice to be around others again, I would prefer to work from home. I do not enjoy the commute, the lack of ability to run errands during my lunch hour, and having to wear work clothes again. My work-life balance is now out of whack once again. My office will begin working remote up to twice a week beginning next month and I'm excited.

    While working from home I kept my same start/end times, lunch hour, general routine. My lunches were basically the same as when in the office. I worked from our spare bedroom and hung out in the living room during my lunch hour so that I could disconnect. I also made attempts to check in with colleagues outside of meetings to create a sense of connection that had been missing since moving remote.
    Why do you not have the ability to run errands during your lunch hour when you're in the office?
     

    Christine

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 1999
    Why do you not have the ability to run errands during your lunch hour when you're in the office?
    I know you didn't ask this question of me, but I'm in the same position as that other poster. I work 30 miles from my home on a large complex that takes at least 10 minutes to walk off of it. There is no parking outside this complex. There is no grocery store, drug store, dry cleaners, etc. Sure I can go walk out and about at lunch, but I can't get anything done. At home, I can use my lunch hour to run up to my local grocery store and pick up things, walk my dog, clean a small bathroom, etc. I am kind of in a prison at work--prison being a huge exaggeration, but I can't do anything there.
     

    GAN

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2005
    It may make a difference, but my commute is under 10 minutes with generally light traffic. I'm sure those of you with more difficult commutes do prefer working from home.
    I had an hour commute(one-way), then got a transfer much closer to home(5-min drive) ...and covid hit. I like being in the office -mostly for the social aspect, but still like the flexibility of WFH.
     

    GreatLakes

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2015
    I like the flexibility of working from home when I want and in my office when I want so that is what I do. I'm about 20 minutes on back roads between home and the office so some days I may split it up and work the morning in one place and afternoon in the other.

    I've got to say having remote meetings didn't take anything away from my team. We can do a Teams meeting just as easily as in person and don't lose any productivity. My direct reports all have multiple monitors and good bandwidth so throwing up our screens as needed is no big deal.

    The burn out came when we were working from home and our son's daycare had closed so we had to also keep a then 3 year old entertained. He's been back in school since August 2020 and in day care over the summer so that source of stress is gone.
     

    wvjules

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2001
    I know you didn't ask this question of me, but I'm in the same position as that other poster. I work 30 miles from my home on a large complex that takes at least 10 minutes to walk off of it. There is no parking outside this complex. There is no grocery store, drug store, dry cleaners, etc. Sure I can go walk out and about at lunch, but I can't get anything done. At home, I can use my lunch hour to run up to my local grocery store and pick up things, walk my dog, clean a small bathroom, etc. I am kind of in a prison at work--prison being a huge exaggeration, but I can't do anything there.
    Same when I work at my client site (a military base).

    ETA: I think I will do as another poster suggested and go run an errand, or go for a walk, go to the gym etc. after work before starting dinner. That will be what was normally my commute time...a time to unwind from work. I do put my work phone and computer away at the end of the day so that helps some too.

    My office is open if I choose to go in, but I don't want to for a couple of reasons...it's at least an hour long commute, I do enjoy working from home, it costs $20 to park, and we have to give our cat subcutaneous fluids twice a day and we aren't good enough at only one of us doing it alone yet.

    This has been very helpful! Thanks all!
     
    Last edited:


    Connect

    TODAY'S HEADLINES


















    Top