Working from home offers many benefits, like the flexibility to work from anywhere, the money you save on gas, and avoiding those awkward water cooler conversations. But, with its many benefits, remote work can also have its drawbacks, like the increase in burnout.
In this article, we’ll discuss five ways to help you reduce burnout while working from home so you can get back to enjoying all the benefits remote work offers.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress on the job. Burnout on the job can be caused by things like high levels of pressure with no downtime, a lack of personal control, poor communication, poor leadership, not utilizing paid time off, and insufficient compensation to name a few.
According to a survey conducted by monster.com, 69% of employees experience burnout while working from home. That’s a large number, especially because Upwork predicted that one in every four employees would work from home in 2021. Burnout is not inevitable; there are ways to stop it before it even hits your door.
How to reduce burnout while working from home
You can do many things to help improve your work-from-home experience if you’ve been feeling burnt out. Let’s take a look at a few of them below.
1. Create a routine and stick to it
Creating a daily schedule can help you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed by your workload. When you have no limit to your work schedule, you can easily find yourself burning the midnight oil and overcommitting yourself to your job.
If you have a flexible work schedule, you can create set hours to work each day, which helps you set solid boundaries, so you have a hard stop at the end of each day. You can even schedule an alarm on your phone to go off as a reminder that it’s time to close your laptop and live your life.
Make sure to include time for breaks throughout the day to step away from your desk to stretch your legs and enjoy your lunch break.
2. Move your body
Staying physically active is one of the most important things we can do to help reduce the physical and mental symptoms of burnout. It helps to reduce stress, increase energy, and improve your overall well-being. It can also help to improve sleep, increase concentration, and reduce fatigue.
Here are some ways to move your body more frequently throughout the workweek to help you reduce signs of burnout:
- Go for a walk during your lunch break
- Take your dog on a walk
- Go on a bike ride
- Try a YouTube workout
- Use a walking pad while you work
- Sign up for group exercise classes
Schedule time for exercise a few times a week, whether it’s a complete workout or just 10 minutes of stretching. It’s a great way to start your workday or end it to decompress.
3. Take time for yourself
Working from home can sometimes feel stressful and overwhelming. Be intentional about setting a time each day to do something that’s just for you. This could be reading a book, taking a bubble bath, or spending much-needed time with your family.
It’s also important to take time off from work when you can. You don’t have to have an elaborate plan for how you’ll spend your time. You can spend the day catching up on your favorite Netflix show or go to brunch with some friends. Whatever you do, make sure it’s worth it so you can return to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle another day “at the office.”
4. Connect with friends and family
When you work in an office, you’re around people all day long, from the people you cross paths with at the gas station or coffee shop on your morning commute to your coworkers in the office. On the other hand, being a remote worker can easily make you feel isolated and alone because you’re by yourself all day.
Make an effort to reach out to your friends and family to stay in touch. Schedule a lunch date or see a movie after your shift to break things up a bit. Spending time with actual people will help you feel less isolated and reduce burnout.
5. Communicate with management
Even if you do everything you can at home to avoid burnout, the real change may have to come from a more significant source; your job. 48% of employees say that they lack emotional support at work. If you feel like your workload has been heavier lately or you’ve been bogged down in meetings all day, it may be best to speak with your manager to let them know how you’ve been feeling so you can come to a resolution.
You can’t perform at your best when you don’t have support, and finding another job isn’t always a solution for everyone. Be open and honest when you communicate your needs. Ask if there are any additional resources you can take advantage of, like extending deadlines or getting extra help on bigger projects.
The Bottom Line
Working from home can be a great way to increase your productivity and create a better work-life balance. However, it can also lead to burnout if you’re not careful. Following these tips can reduce burnout and make the most of your work-from-home lifestyle.