Helping remote workers avoid loneliness and burnout
Working from home has become the new normal for millions of people but there is a growing fear that the blurred lines between professional and personal lives could cause burnout. When lockdowns were enforced at the start of the pandemic, many businesses shut down their offices and ordered their staff to work remotely, which turned homes into workplaces overnight.
While some workers have started to return to offices, many businesses have already confirmed their offices will remain empty until at least the start of next year.
For some people, remote working has enabled them to save money and reduce stress caused by lengthy commutes, but others have struggled to navigate this new and often lonely digital world. But how exactly can people relieve that stress and avoid mental burnout? Here’s our top five tips to avoid burnout when working from home.
Work from home brings a more flexible schedule, and you should enjoy such an advantage. Though you’re expected to follow a work schedule, that doesn’t mean you should become too rigid with it. Once in a while, it’s okay to play with your kids outside, have lunch with friends, go out for a coffee, etc.
The point here is, do not over-pressurize yourself with work. When you work remotely, you have the leverage to set your own schedule and work at your own pace. If taking breaks helps you relax and rejuvenate, go ahead and do it. Occasional fun activities during working hours can help you stay afresh.
Take regular short breaks during working hours
When working from home, some people tend to work continuously at their desks because they don’t take regular “short” breaks, like they do in the office. You can easily get engrossed in the work that you end up working continuously for hours, which can eventually lead to exhaustion.
Take random tea or coffee breaks, get up from your chair, eat snacks or lunch, stretch when you start to feel cramped, take a walk outside your home. A short 5-minute break every half an hour or so is recommended to help you stay focused over a long period of time, gives your eyes some rest, and improves productivity.
Look for burnout symptoms
One of the surest ways to avoid burnout is to know if you’re starting to feel it. You can work on and on for days before you realize you’re suffering from burnout. Are you trudging to your desk each morning? Do you feel you’re stuck at your work and have no gas in the tank to perform assignments?
Managers who are busy to prevent burnout within the team should take good care of themselves too as they’re putting in a lot of effort, especially during remote working. If you feel something’s not just right and burnout symptoms are showing up, it’s high time you change the way you work.
Home doesn’t always have to mean work, and those other things we love to do in life outside of our work help keep work in one corner of our lives, and let our other interests and hobbies share that same space. If we establish a routine, manage and respect our time, spend time with people outside of work, and take breaks, such as dedicating time to hobbies, remote working can be an extremely fulfilling way to live. Burnout is something we don’t have to let happen if we’re mindful and take care of ourselves.