ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — At the start of the pandemic, many employees packed up their laptops, cleaned out their desks, and started working from the safety of their own homes.

Almost a year later, the excitement has worn off and burnout has set in. A local therapist tells us about the mental toll of working from home.

“Fear and Panic are huge right now,” said Jennifer Froemel, a therapist and the owner of Innovative Counseling Partners.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most of us to change how we go about our day-to-day lives. As a result, many companies have allowed employees to work from home. Froemel says that after a year of dealing with COVID, many are feeling burnt out and stressed.

“It starts to–not just have you feel stuck because you’re physically in this one place most of the time–but then when you add to it, going out in public and the strains of COVID, it aids and abets that so it creates for many people, kind of like this internal state of panic,” said Froemel.

A recent Flexjobs and Mental Health America survey found 75% of Americans have experienced burnout at work. 40% specifically blamed COVID-19.

Mark Schuller is a sociology professor at NIU. He believes that working at home isn’t the only reason people are burnt out.

“Human beings are to be social and we are community-oriented in nature–that’s how we evolve. I think the isolation that people feel, compounded by the fact that we had 45 million people out of a job last year. It’s the fact that it compounded the social issues that the pandemic brought about,” explained Professor Schuller.

Froemel believes some people aren’t getting the same mental rewards from work.

“Anytime any of us are feeling dissatisfaction in our place of employment specifically, I think it’s easy for people to look at that, you start feeling like you’re stuck [and] you can’t get out,” she added.