With the arrival of the pandemic, working from home seemed to be a great opportunity to be able to ‘work more comfortably’, and perhaps this could have seemed particularly beneficial at first. The home environment, which initially offered us a small oasis of peace, has now become too cramped: of course, we love our children, our partner, our parents, our housemates but… isn’t it exhausting to work and spend all day with them?
How can we focus on work and still be able to disconnect at the same time?
After two years of working from home perhaps we are beginning to feel overwhelmed, listless, lacking in initiative and unmotivated?
Well, research shows just that… and there’s even a name for this stressful situation: burnout.
It literally means ‘to be burnt out’ and is in fact a syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion, detachment, apathy, and frustration. Certainly these symptoms alone cannot be attributed to burnout, but can be considered as warning signs leading to this condition.
According to studies collected in this New York Times article, the physical symptoms can include chronic fatigue, increased heart rates and elevated cortisol levels.
Moreover, it is not enough to identify the physical and psychological symptoms but it is a syndrome that develops in stages:
- The first phase starts with an idealistic enthusiasm for work that leads the person to the extent of sacrificing personal life, family and other interests.
- In the second phase, the subject continues to work but realizes that his/her needs are not fully satisfied by work, and a gradual sense of disappointment sets in.
- The third phase is characterized by a sense of frustration and uselessness with regard to the work done.
- The fourth phase takes the form of both practical and emotional disengagement: rejection of work and apathy.
It should be noted that the diagnosis of burnout must be recognised by professionals, as it is a form of work-related stress.
The question is: how can one avoid burnout?
To prevent remote work burnout, there are several activities and good habits we can undertake which are explained in this Forbes article and in this post of United Nations:
- Reduce stress: completing relaxation and awareness exercises, respecting one’s own needs, exercising self-awareness;
- Promoting work-life balance: establishing boundaries between work and private life, managing one’s time properly;
- Communicating the state of mind with colleagues and superiors looking for their support;
- Adopting a healthy lifestyle: disconnect from electronic devices; spending time in the open air; keep motivated through creative stimulation.
- Increasing flexibility and autonomy in the workplace
So not only has the home environment become oppressive, but too many hours in front of screens and cell phones can cause a sense of loneliness and sadness.
How can one cope with all these negative emotions?
Surely the first thing to do is to socialize, not only outside of work, but also in the work space. And what could be the right place to combine work and socialization? Definitely a coworking office.
The picture below shows one of our actions at BCNewt coworking to promote socialisation and sharing in the working environment.
Coworking spaces, in fact, offer excellent opportunities for networking, sharing ideas, and even making new friends. In addition, the benefits that can be gained from the exchange of knowledge can increase creativity and productivity levels.
Since these spaces are usually very flexible in terms of hours and rates, they offer an excellent alternative to working at home and a better work-life balance.
The advantage of choosing coworking not only improves the individual worker emotionally and productively but can also provide a certain economic benefit to companies… how?
Imagine a work team in a new environment, with new inputs, new interactions, exchanging knowledge and services. How many new skills could that work team develop?
Quite a lot. And all of us know, as also reported by the LinkedIn 2021 Workplace Learning Report, how important it is today to embrace a vision of long-life learning.
Not convinced? Take a look at this data…
If we assume that 94% of the workforce stays longer if a company invests in professional development (LinkedIn Workplace Report) and that 74% of employees say that remote work options would make them less likely to leave their company (Glassdoor), the idea of entrusting a work team to a coworking office that offers growth and development seems quite appealing.
Additionally, considering that 70% of companies’ lost employees can cost on average 6-9 months of his or her salary, from this perspective, the economic benefit for the company is clear: increased employee retention and decreased turnover.
This is exactly what we have been working on at BCNewt coworking for the last few years: how to help companies retain talent.
With our community and networking skills, we can support your work team in developing soft skills, and our coworker data shows a growth rate of 80% through activities, events, and workshops where we encourage work-life balance; lastly, through performance feedback mechanisms and mutual recognition systems, a 70% exchange of services between coworkers is ensured.
This is how we guarantee a two-year employee retention in our coworking space.
In conclusion, working remotely is challenging. But, it might be less stressful in a coworking space where you can manage your own time and socialize when you feel overwhelmed from pandemics and working-from-home burnout!