Work from home burnout is real and with millions of employees around the world having had to make a silent shift to remote work amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s important to know how to avoid it.
Employee burnout is a phenomenon that many organizations and workers are concerned about. It’s a substantial and long-term risk as the lines between work and nonwork are blurring in unusual ways. Many employees who are new at working remotely find it difficult to maintain healthy boundaries between their personal and professional lives.
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Research has shown that drawing lines between our personal and professional lives is crucial for mental health. This might be a bit difficult for people who work from home, so here are the top five tips to combat work from home burnout.
1. Maintain social and physical boundaries
When you work outside the home, putting on your work clothes and commuting our physical and social indicators that act as a delimitation between your professional and personal life.
It important to try and maintain these boundaries when you work remotely. Even though not having to catch an early train or being able to spend all your day in pyjamas can be a welcome change in the beginning, try to put on your work clothes every morning and figure out a work routine that’s similar to the one you had in your office.
By creating a routine that works for you and sticking to it, you can easily make time for all your daily tasks, avoid burnout, and maintain your mental health intact.
2. Do your best to maintain a social connection
Work from home professionals would maintain their social connections before the pandemic by actually leaving the house. From meeting with friends for coffee and a quick lunch or networking with other professionals, there were lots of ways to maintain your social network even though you didn’t work in office.
This may be more difficult in the wake of the pandemic, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your best to mundane social connection. This is extremely important to avoid burn out, so try to make a conscious effort to stay in touch with your loved ones and virtual team members as well.
You can host a net exclusion party, join a virtual book club, or take part in networking events via Zoom. Depending on where you live, you can also join small outdoors related gathering with members of your social bubble.
3. Prioritize your self-care
You’ve probably heard a lot about how self-care should be a priority this year, but have you ever stopped to think about what it means exactly? Self-care varies from person to person, because some feel well when engaging in positive activities with other people, whereas others prefer to check out all the negative noise and spend time with themselves.
No matter what type of self-care you are attracted to, make sure to prioritize it and engage in activities that bring you happiness and peace. From reading a good book or watching a funny movie cooking or working out, there are lots of ways to avoid work from home burnout by taking really good care of yourself.
4. Communicate with your support system
Lack of communication is one of the biggest stress factors when you work from home. Staying in touch not just with your colleagues but also with your family can alleviate the feeling of isolation that arises when working remotely.
Leaning on your support system is more important than ever, but it can sometimes be difficult to assess when is the right time to communicate even with people who are close to you. Everybody has busy schedules these days, so you may want to consider creating a shared calendar to make sure you are communicating enough to avoid isolation and burnout while also not bothering the ones around you.
5. Try to focus on your most important work
When you try to do too many things in the same day, you might feel the burnout becoming more and more real. When you work from home, you typically feel compelled to be productive all the time, which means that you may not be as focused as you should on the tasks that are truly important.
Studies have shown that the average worker is only truly productive three hours every day, so you should make sure that these hours are focused on the work that really needs to get done. Find the hours in the day at which you are most productive, so you can be free of interruptions and multitasking.
Learn how to prioritise tasks so you always meet your deadlines while not getting caught up in nonessential activities that waste your time and eventually lead to burnout when you’re rushing to complete the tasks that you were supposed to instead.
Working from home means that your professional and family boundaries are likely to have been removed, so your time has never been more divided.
As such, it’s important to make sure you don’t feel “on” all the time, because you would be at a higher risk of burnout. Instead, try to find new ways to carve out mental space and nonwork time. Don’t feel like you have to respond to emails over the weekend or during nap time. If you sit down to watch a movie in the evening, don’t pause it to check your emails.
In the end, there are no anti-burnout solutions that work for everybody. Take your time to prioritise your well-being so you can perform well professionally while also taking care of your mental health and personal relationships.
Search Remotely is the leading online recruitment platform for remote first companies. We take burnout very seriously amongst our team to ensure that we have optimum work productivity and minimal stress.