Work from Home Burnout is Real

You get to be in comfy clothes all day. Your commute is now down to the time it takes to walk to your home office. You are saving money on all those lunches made at home instead of eating out. Not to mention the flexibility of being able to sneak in a few house chores while on a conference call.

Working from home can have tremendous benefits. But this short-term solution is turning into a long-term reality for many. Sixty-two percent of the employed US adults are working part or full time from home. At the same time, three in five workers who have been working from home during the pandemic would prefer to continue to work remotely as much as possible as officials lift public health restrictions.

At the same time, work from home burnout is also rising; more than two-thirds of employees experience burnout symptoms. While we’ve discussed how it’s pretty normal to feel stressed right now, burnout can lead to a lack of productivity and affects your health.

Work from home stress happens when you can’t separate home life and work life. When you face elevated stress levels over a long period, it can affect both your mental and physical health.

Some burnout signs:

  • Inability to focus
  • Missing deadlines
  • Mood changes like irritability, sadness, or anger
  • Experiencing symptoms of depression, like hopelessness, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, or fatigue
  • Feeling discouraged or apathetic about work
  • Getting poor sleep, experiencing insomnia, or having trouble falling asleep.

Here are some work from home burnout contributors:

  • Missing co-workers
  • Feel the need to always be on
  • Have back to back meetings
  • ‘Zoom’ fatigue

Ways to avoid burnout:

  • Pay attention to how your body feels
  • Change your working conditions – take scheduled breaks
  • Focus on what you can control – what you eat, how much you exercise, and getting enough sleep
  • Check-in with your boss and co-workers.

Overcoming burnout may require more than a long weekend, but be kind to yourself and talk about what you are going through with friends and co-workers; chances are you’ll find that you’re not alone.

How to Leave your IT Job Gracefully

High-five, the salary negotiations are over, and you’ve formally accepted a new job offer. Now there’s only one thing standing in the way of your new gig: your old one.

Here’s how to exit your IT job on a positive and professional note.

Give Adequate Notice

Once the ink has dried on your new contract, set a meeting with your boss to give your official notice. Two weeks’ notice is standard, but it’s a considerate gesture to provide more time, depending on your contract.

If the company is known to show employees the exit once they give their resignation, don’t give more notice than two weeks. In this case, it’s best to prepare yourself well in advance by tying up loose ends, downloading the files you need before making your formal announcement.

Conduct Exit Interviews

One of the techniques we recommend clients do is conduct a series of informal exit interviews with peers, supervisors, and people you’ve supported in your IT role.

Ask for actionable feedback, positive or negative. Remember to keep your cool if you receive negative feedback, don’t argue, offer explanations, or get defensive.

Tie Up Loose Ends 

Try to complete the projects that you’re currently working on. Even if finishing requires more hours than you would like to spend on your current job, it’s your responsibility not to leave any loose ends (or, if it really can’t be wrapped up in two weeks, leave detailed instructions). It’s not only for the sake of the person who will be replacing you, but it’s essential to your professional reputation to leave a job on a high and positive note. Nothing shows gratitude and accountability like a job done well—and finished.

Offer to Train your Replacement

IT is such a rapidly advancing career field; there’s a good chance your paths will cross again with your coworkers. By offering to train your full stack developer replacement, for example, then you’re earning gold stars all around. Offer to help screen resumes, sit in on interviews, work with the new hire, or create a manual for your position. It will go a long way to leaving him or her with a lasting impression.

The overall goal is to exit your IT job gracefully and under the best possible conditions. Think about how you can leave your team and supervisor in an excellent place to continue the work without facing significant challenges you could have prevented. Reestablish good working relationships with your peers and supervisors to foster the most positive career conditions you can.

It may sound simple, but it is: default to doing the right thing in any particular situation. By doing so, you’ll reap the long-term benefits that can follow you for decades in your IT career beyond your current position. Showing gratitude and professionalism will make sure they’ll remember you fondly (whether or not you can say the same for them).

If you are looking to make a move from your current IT role, contact INNOVA people today.


The Best Career Advice from Ruth Bader Ginsberg

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the demure firebrand who in her 80s became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, and known for her influential dissenting opinions, could also offer powerful career advice.

Four years ago, Ginsburg wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in which she offered her advice for living:

Another often-asked question when I speak in public: “Do you have some good advice you might share with us?” Yes, I do. It comes from my savvy mother-in-law, advice she gave me on my wedding day. “In every good marriage,” she counseled, “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.” I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through 56 years of a marital partnership nonpareil. I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.

Ginsburg later returns to the same theme when describing her work on the Supreme Court:

Despite our strong disagreements on cardinal issues — think, for example, of controls on political campaign spending, affirmative action, access to abortion — we genuinely respect one another, even enjoy one another’s company.

Collegiality is crucial to the success of our mission. We could not do the job the Constitution assigns to us if we didn’t — to use one of Justice Antonin Scalia’s favorite expressions — “get over it!”

Whether you want tremendous success or more happiness, whether you work from home or in an office, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s timeless and elegantly simple words can be applied, “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.”

Anyone who pursues big or audacious goals (like being the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court) is going to hear some thoughtless or unkind words.

Here’s one way to help yourself tune out and implement Ginsburg’s advice. Whenever someone casts some unkind words in your direction, ask yourself, “What are the facts here?” Set aside the other person’s emotions (e.g., anger, resentment, accusations, jealousy, etc.) and listen only for the facts.

The easy option can be to react — fire off a scathing Slack message, email, or lose your cool during the meeting in the heat of the moment. The Supreme Court justice’s words are a gentle reminder that there is always another option: Don’t say anything at all, stick with the facts, remember the shared mission, and get on with your day.





September 2020 Jobs Report: What do Job Seekers Need to Know?

The U.S. economy added 661,000 jobs in September, sending the unemployment rate down for the fifth straight month as the labor market continues to regain its footing after the Covid-19 disruption. 

The unemployment rate fell to 7.9%. According to the latest federal jobs report, that’s down half a percentage point from the previous month but still up 4.4% from February before COVID-19 shutdowns began.

The U.S. has replaced 11.4 million of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April, at the beginning of the pandemic. Job growth, though, is cooling, and last month marked the first time since April that net hiring was below one million.

Employers in leisure and hospitality, retail, healthcare, and professional and business services expanded payroll last month, adding 592,000 jobs.

  • Leisure and hospitality: 318,000 jobs added
  • Retail trade: 142,400 jobs added
  • Health care and social assistance: 107,000 jobs added
  • Professional and business services: 89,000 jobs added

Large gains in ambulatory care settings drove healthcare job growth, which added 52,800 jobs in September. The healthcare unemployment rate in September was 4.5%, with 2.0% unemployment in hospital settings.  

September saw continued growth in physicians (+18,000), home health care services (+16,000), and other health practitioners’ offices, BLS said. 

4 Simple Motivation Life Hacks to Start Using Today

One minute you’re killing it like a boss, and the next, you’re ready to wave a white flag on the day before lunch. Try these simple motivation life hacks to give yourself a boost when you’re not on your A-game.

Strike a power pose

Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and professor at the Harvard School of Business, gave a TED Talk on the significance of body language. Her premise is that non-verbal communication (i.e. body language) may be just as important as verbal communication. And one of the ways that you can communicate non-verbally is with a “power pose.”

Power posing is a controversial self-improvement technique or “life hack” in which people stand in a posture (picture Wonder Woman in a wide legged stance with her hands on her hips) that they mentally associate with being powerful, in the hope of feeling and behaving more assertive.

Cuddy’s research found that by standing in a power pose for as little as two minutes can increase your testosterone levels, which are associated with confidence, and decreases your cortisol levels, which are associated with stress. Try it it only takes 2 minutes!

Write a letter from your future self

Try reverse engineering your goals, instead of jotting down what you’re going to do. Try writing a letter from “the future” describing your accomplishments in the past tense. This can be a powerful way to stay motivated.

For example, instead of, “I want to be the <insert top career goal> in three years,” you would write a note dated in 2023 and say, “I’m the <insert career goal> and it’s everything I worked for, and it feels fantastic!”

Use your passwords as a motivational tool  

The next time prompted to change your passwords, use it to keep your mojo. While still using acceptable password practices— including numbers, uppercase, and lowercase letters and symbols—tweak your combinations to reflect what you’re working towards. Bonus: this habit makes them easier to remember and way more fun!

For instance, if this is your year for cultivating more self-love, your password could be: 2020+IAM+Love or if your goal this year is to save more money: 20$Save.

When you make these into passwords you regularly use, such as logging onto your laptop, it’s a subtle goal reminder several times a day. That’s better than typing in something meaningless like, 82>jhZ42.

Share Your Goals with Others 

If other individuals know what you are working towards achieving a particular goal, you are more likely to push through and succeed. However, if you immediately fail to achieve your goal, it can seem a bit tragic to realize that so many people know your destination. This is why it’s smart to share, but not boast on your new goal intention.

Try out some of these motivation hacks and let us know how they work!


The Pacific Northwest Lands as The Best States for Nurses in 2020

There’s a deeper appreciation for nurses as they risk their lives every day, during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the occupation’s risk and stress, the industry forecast is to grow at more than double the average occupation rate through 2028.

The best part of the country to work as a nurse, according to a recent  WalletHub report, is in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon and Washington come in at the number one and number two spots for best states in the country for nurses.

For the report, researchers assessed all 50 states on 22 weighted metrics related to the nursing-job opportunities and competition and the work environment in each market:

  • Overall nursing school quality;
  • The monthly average starting salary for nurses in a state (adjusted for cost of living);
  • The number of nursing-job openings per capita and
  • The number of nurses per 1,000 residents;
  • Any mandatory overtime restrictions;
  • The quality of a state’s public hospital system;
  • The ratio of nurses to hospital beds in a state; and
  • Whether a state has a nursing licensure compact law.

Overall the five best states for nurses in 2020 are:

  1. Oregon;
  2. Washington;
  3. New Mexico;
  4. Minnesota; and
  5. Nevada.

Oregon ranked as the top state for nurses in 2019.

Meanwhile, the five worst states for nurses in 2020, according to the report, are:

  1. New York;
  2. Louisiana;
  3. Hawaii;
  4. Alabama; and
  5. Oklahoma.

You can explore the full list of rankings and learn more about the methodology here. Contact INNOVA People today for our nursing opportunities.