Are you suffering from e-presenteeism?
You've heard of absentee
ism, but have you heard of presenteeism? This is when employees feel pressure to report to work despite not feeling well or dealing with some other personal matter. When you report to work on those days, you are lacking motivation and focus and your productivity will suffer.
Since the rise of remote work 2020, e-presenteeism has been growing. In this case, you may feel even more pressure to log-on for the work day when sick or distracted because you are at home. After all, working from home was supposed to make lives easier, right? Not always!
E-Presenteeism is essentially the feeling of being "always on." For many people, working remotely makes separating work and personal life extremely challenging. You likely feel obligated to answer messages at any time. Worse yet, you may find yourself opening your laptop back up in the evening instead of relaxing or spending time on personal matters. This feeling of constantly needing to work is leading to high levels of burnout in the workplace.
It's important for employers to set policies and create an environment where employees feel comfortable truly ending their work day and taking a day off when needed. However, there are things you can do as an employee to avoid burnout:
Create to-do lists and schedule both your personal and work tasks. The simple act of physically checking things off a list can provide satisfaction to many people. You'll feel productive and motivated.
If possible, create a work space in your home that is separate from your living space (and if possible, in a room where you can shut the door). By not looking at your work supplies all evening or weekend, you won't be tempted to log on.
Have a conversation with your boss and create boundaries that are acceptable to you. For example, explain that you are unable to check emails each night after a certain time. If you feel comfortable, or your field of work requires this, you may say they can call/text for emergencies (up to a certain time!)
Don't be afraid to use your PTO - it's there for a reason! You earned it and you deserve the break. Be sure to wrap things up nicely the day before you take off and leave an "out of office" plan to a co-worker or your boss - this will help you feel comfortable truly disconnecting for a while.