Silicon Valley is exhausted from working at home

Shawn Knight

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In a nutshell: In a survey of more than 3,000 employees at some of the country’s biggest tech firms including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook, a full 68 percent said they feel more burned out working from home than they did while working in an office. Only 18 percent said they feel less burned out while working from home, with the remaining 14 percent conceding that they feel the same level of burnout at home as in the office.

The freedom to work from home is feeling like anything but for the majority of tech workers recently surveyed by workplace chat app Blind. Burnout was highest at PayPal, Walmart and Facebook at 90 percent, 82 percent and 81 percent at each company, respectively.

In another survey of 2,758 participants, 3 out of 5 said they are working more hours from home compared to what they put in while at the office.

And in what can be perceived as a silver lining, around half of those polled said they felt their managers / employers understood their mental health needs during work from home.

Has the work from home movement impacted your routine? Are you feeling more burned out working from home versus at the office, or are things great without having to get dressed each day? Feel free to discuss in the comments section below.

Image credit: Kaspars Grinvalds, Alessandro Mancuso C

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I personally prefer working from the office. It was a lot easier for me to collaborate, communicate, and focus on work. I am having some burnout but has nothing to do with working from home. It is because my boss left and some of those burdens have fallen on to my shoulders.

One positive I have enjoyed is not having to drive to the office, but that's about it.
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Posts: 333   +401
Before I used to work from home 1/5 days a week. Now I'm working from home full time but in terms of productivity I feel like it's just 1/5 days a week.
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In 1999 I went into business for myself (in the DSL era). It only took about two months to realize I had to designate a work only area (even in an apartment). Then I had clients in different time zones. The only way to deal with it was frequent walks or I was going to get cabin fever. Need to make a serious/significant decision... go out for a walk first.

Times have changed with smart phones and video conferencing, but getting out is even more important.


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I can do probably 85% of my job from home, and that 15% of the job happens 5% of the time at best, but despite being willing to commute direct for that last chunk as needed, the option was never given to me.


Posts: 100   +130
Poor babies, try life on a ship
I've tried. It sucked. So? Just because working on a ship (or oil rig, for that matter) sucks more, it doesn't mean that some of the working population can't feel bad about being confined to their homes. It's clearly not an issue for you. Great. Good for you. No reason to talk down on those who feel bad aout it, is it?
(and I consider myself lucky, as I don't feel like depressed at all, but for instance the missus somewhat does, and yet I don't think any less of her because of that)
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Posts: 8   +3
When I really have to dive deeply into some serious theoretical problem solving for hours it does not hurt not to get disturbed so working from home helps but I did this before the pandemic already. On the other hand it's sometimes not productive enough where direct and frequent communication with colleagues is far better suited for some tasks. Also most of my lab equip is in the office building so when the home is the only place where you must work it really sucks.
It was easier to go to the office and work there out of a habit like everyday like you are used to, having the proper working atmosphere (and lab tools, and a big f**king office room). Not seeing the colleagues around you, feeling more left alone with some tasks is also not helping, probably causing more stress.
For some the change of their working methods and the adaption to work differently while still maintaining the same level might have a play in burnout.
Also I wouldn't let myself get burnout anyway be it when working from office or from home. With my pay-grade it's not worth it :D


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It was fun for a while, but things can quickly spiral out of control when working from home. Communication is hard and deadlines are even harder to respect. I indeed feel like I was working more hours from home, worse yet I was getting up from my chair fewer times per day..


Posts: 326   +101
Working from home was marvellous, in fact I did it for around 12 years - I worked for 3 very distinct departments within my firm (and they all let me continue WFH when I moved into them) - no idea what the fuss over a few months is about.


Posts: 326   +101
People just do not have the experience of working from home, which requires a different mindset, so they end up ill-organized, and then burnt out.
Very true - (over 12 years of WFH) I found it best to stick to a set work pattern and avoid any temptation to work through lunchbreaks and/or work on, of course having a dog(s) helped get me away from my desk.
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There are pros and cons to working remotely, but I think the biggest surprise for many, perhaps, is that they miss the camaraderie of being around other people, even those they loathe (or just don't like). We are human beings; social creatures that need contact with and connection to others.

Working from home is convenient, and for some desirable, but once one realizes that it isn't the panacea to workplace monotony-or that it doesn't always translate into savings for the company-we desire to return to the office with all of its warts and endless meetings (ok, maybe not the meetings part).


Posts: 100   +130
Working from home was marvellous, in fact I did it for around 12 years - I worked for 3 very distinct departments within my firm (and they all let me continue WFH when I moved into them) - no idea what the fuss over a few months is about.
Agreed,, and I have no problems, but I can also see first hand on the missus that she is not all happiness. Personality really IS a factor here, and no amount of training and "smart practices" will eradicate that (nor should they, btw!).

Some people just enjoy the interaction available in the office, while some always have been using their headphones to lock themselves away. Why don't we just accept that while WFH is brilliant to some (or many?), some people don't enjoy it all that much, or would prefer a mixed model? Don't need to b*tch about it of course, but are allowed to feel unhappy, aren't they? :)