People who work in offices burn out because they’ve got to deal with stressful commutes, navigate exhausting office politics, spend 8-9 hours working in the office then repeat the commute in reverse – to put it simply.
People who work from home burn out because their work and home life boundaries are suddenly blurred, they’re making their own schedule and are juggling domestic responsibilities (kids, partner, pets interrupting zoom calls, general distractions) and many feel isolated or alone in their working environment – all things that only scratch the surface of burnout causes.
Currently, as millions find themselves working remotely due to COVID-19 pandemic, many workers are left struggling to set healthy boundaries. For many, they find themselves under the unspoken pressure to work longer hours to emphasise their commitment to employers who may be concerned about employees’ productivity in their new work surroundings.
And to those juggling back-to-school or caring responsibilities while keeping their business afloat – we see you.
To all of us juggling the limbo of pandemic life, let’s give ourselves a little grace right now.
Keep these tips in mind if you’re feeling the pull of WFH burnout.
Feel that fresh air on your skin. Stretch those legs.
Remember the lockdown days where we were granted one walk/outside activity per day? I know, I know, let’s not let our minds wander back to those dark days. Instead, remember how good that venture into nature or even just to the bottom of your street felt. It helped lighten the load for a moment, loosen our worries, wake up our bodies and minds from the lockdown stupor and all in all, kept us from going completely insane. We learned to appreciate nature and explored local areas in ways we never would have otherwise. And, when we stepped back inside our front doors, life didn’t seem quite as overwhelming as when we stepped out.
Let’s carry that habit over to our long-term WFH routines. Taking walks, even if only 10 minutes at the start of your day, gets your body moving and clears your mind for the day ahead. Walking helps alleviate stress and focus on what motivates you most.
Schedule time off
In the current world where we can’t travel too far or as freely as normal, taking annual leave can feel kind of…pointless. However, taking time off is crucial for avoiding burnout, even while working from the comfort of our own home.
Although you may not be able to take a two-week trip abroad, taking a long weekend might just do the trick to help reset and rejuvenate your energy levels. Plus, when there’s a trip or break on the horizon, it lifts your spirits in the lead-up.
Working from your home environment can really amplify temptations to procrastinate (hello, burnout red flag) so shift your perspective with a rewards system and break your to-do list into a more manageable format. By adopting the ‘If I (insert work-related task you’re avoiding), then I get to (insert reward/thing you’d rather be doing)’, your mind focuses on the positive emotions associated with the reward, increasing your motivation and productivity levels to complete work tasks.
Using a constant rewards system, taking time for yourself and going out for a walk helps avoid burnout and introduce positivity to your WFH environment.