Simple Tricks to Avoid Burnout While Working from Home
Everyone who’s ever worked from home knows that this type of working arrangement has many benefits, but also its flaws. One especially dangerous thing to watch out for is burnout which can affect new and long-time remote workers. And COVID-19 made battling burnout even harder since we can’t engage in regular activities that prevent it.
So what can an average employee do to prevent burnout caused by working from home? Well, today we must be a little more creative. Of course, there are some tried and true tips to follow but some activities are more accessible than others. Here are a few simple, easy and safe tricks that can keep all remote workers safe from burnout.
Set clear boundaries
First things first, you need to set boundaries. According to research, employees who work from home usually work longer hours than those working from the office, especially during the COVID pandemic. On average, remote workers have prolonged their work day from 50 minutes to 2 hours since the start of the pandemic.
However, a clear separation between work and life hours can greatly help. This will ensure that your personal time with family or alone won’t be interrupted by phone calls, meetings, emails and unfinished projects. In order to prevent telecommunication from taking over your free time, you need to establish strict boundaries between work and home time. Create a good work day, take breaks and try to leave your work at the home office when your day is over.
Take a break
Do you suffer from irritability resulting from all that time spent at home? Well, you might be experiencing cabin fever, something many remote workers are familiar with. To avoid this condition that can lead to burnout, it’s important to go out regularly and take plenty of breaks. It’s safe and healthy to go on a lunchtime walk with your kid or pet or spend a few minutes checking out your garden. No matter what you choose to do, fresh air can really help when trying to keep your mental health in check.
Feed your body and mind
When you feel like your mind is hazy and you can’t concentrate, it’s great to give your body a boost with a little snack. A healthy diet will provide your body and mind with all the nutrients they need to function properly, but a quick snack can also help with mood swings. Have some nuts, dark chocolate and berries at hand and follow it up with a refreshing nootropic drink full of vitamins, nutrients and caffeine that will boost your mental energy and abilities. Enjoy your snack and your smart drink, rest your mind and resume work stronger and more focused than ever.
Create a healthy work environment
Trying to recreate the office environment in your home can also go a long way when it comes to preventing burnout in remote workers. If we dive into psychology, it’s easy to see how differentiating between work and home life can provide comfort and relaxation, but this can only be done if you create a healthy office environment.
To do this successfully, set up your desk in an area that is not usually associated with relaxation and leisure (so no bedrooms or dining rooms). Splurge on a good desk, chair and desk lamp, or any other work accessories that you need, and follow a set work routine. If you have too many distractions at home, you can invest in blackout curtains or noise-canceling headphones to keep house noises and outdoor traffic at a minimum.
Dedicate time for hobbies and socializing
No matter how much you like your job, it can often stress you out, so make sure to indulge in things that make you happy and relaxed. When you dedicate time to things you love, burnout can be reduced or even avoided. For instance, you can spend time with your family and friends, practice your hobbies or just make popcorn and watch a good movie.
Having a support network from your colleagues is also crucial. Working from home can make you feel lonely thus making your burnout worse. However, you can reach out to your colleagues during your lunch break or strengthen relationships with them by doing something outside of work.
And finally, you need to learn to be more flexible. These are uncertain times so don’t pressure yourself to maintain a ‘normal work routine’. As long as the pandemic is going strong, your normal should be what suits you the best. Sometimes you might need to arrange meetings at a different time to pick up your kids or need to work later to do chores at home. No matter what your circumstances are, don’t worry too much about sticking to an office routine that can only put additional stress on your shoulders and trigger burnout.
Hopefully, the pandemic will be over soon and you’ll be able to return to the office, but in case you need to stay at home a little longer, practice these tips and you will successfully avoid burnout.