Pandemic one year: Work from home fatigue

If you’ve experienced working from home fatigue or depression, you’re not alone.
Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 5:48 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -One full year, working from home, a milestone no one could have predicted.

Around this time last year, hundreds of thousands of workers across the country went from working in an office, to working at their kitchen tables.

And while social distancing guidelines have reduced the spread of COVID-19, Mayo Clinic Health System researchers say the isolation has taken a toll on our social relationships.

The study published recently in the journal Social Science & Medicine compared nearly 2,000 results from February of 2018 and May 2020, showing disproportionate negative effects among women.

Terri Hoepner and Melissa Hogstad, two of WEAU’s sales team who are also mothers, say they’ve experienced their fair share of work from home fatigue.

Hoepner was a new hire, last January.

“It was a great start to things and then have it kind of get cut off, that was a little tough of a transition, I think for me, because I was still getting to know everybody and really build those relationships,” says Hoepner. “I miss the conversations in the office.”

“Setting that boundary of not stepping into my work when I don’t need to be, I can get to it tomorrow and it’ll be okay,” says Hogstad.

Juggling being a working mom, wife and newly part-time teacher, Hogstad says has been a learning curve.

“House work and stuff too that I’m not generally doing that during the day, obviously I’m working and here and there on my lunch, throwing in a load of laundry or something, but that’s also the last thing I want to do at the end of the day too,” says Hogstad. “Because I’ve been working all day at home and all I want to do is relax,” Hogstad laughs.

“We all are tired every one of us is tired,” exclaims Dr. Pravesh Sharma.

Co-author of the Mayo study, Dr. Sharma says the major responsibility now is for providers to address declining socialization habits.

“Psychiatrists, mental health experts, pediatricians, family medicine doctors should screen people, where they were one year ago and where they are now, compare that, if they need mental health related help, they should be given help as early as possible,” says Sharma.

Grateful for the ability to work remotely, Hoepner finds the key to balancing stress is adaptability.

“Now I’m in a spot that is all me, I have the ability to do calls and not have to go into a different room because family and kids are around,” says Hoepner. “Your work is also part of your family too; it’s just a different family.”

Psychiatrists say the best way to cope with work from home fatigue is making a conscious effort for meaningful social connections with friends and family.

For a full list of mental health support in the Chippewa Valley, click here.

Emergency / Crisis Support Hotlines

  • Suicide Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255
  • National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text TALK to 741741
  • Great Rivers 211 provides free, confidential community information, referrals, and crisis line services. Call 211 or (800) 362-8255 to Crisis and Information 24/7.
  • Hopeline provides text-based emotional support services. Text HOPELINE to 741741.
  • Northwest Connections is a 24-hour mental health crisis intervention available for Eau Claire, Chippewa, and Dunn counties. (715) 235-4245

Inpatient Mental Health Services

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire admits children ages 12 and up and adults struggling with mental illness into a facility for treatment. (715) 717-4272

Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire admits adults struggling with mental illness into a facility for treatment. (715) 838-3274

Eau Claire Academy in Eau Claire is a co-ed campus that provides therapeutic treatment for children between the ages of 10 and 17 who experience emotional disorders, educational difficulties, impaired social relationships, dual diagnosis with drug or alcohol use disorders, behavioral disturbances, and/or psychiatric disorders. (715) 834-6681

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