As workplaces around the world continue to transition to remote work infrastructure, concerns have consistently been raised about how this may impact overall productivity. Managers are justifiably worried that household distractions will negatively impact their teams’ output. Long-term studies remain to be seen, but odds are that overperformance is the bigger threat to workers’ mental health and productivity. As the pressure to perform consistently despite new circumstances rises, workers are faced with the choice between overexerting or falling behind. In this post, we offer some pointers to keep your head above water without jeopardizing your work or your personal life when the dreaded WFH burnout starts encroaching on you.
According to NordVPN’s data early in the pandemic, US workers were clocking a 2-hour increase to their average workday. This is an issue for everyone: those who push themselves are prone to long-term adverse effects to their mental health and general career outlook. On the opposite end of the spectrum, others’ burnout may manifest as procrastination, negatively impacting their team in a similar fashion. So, how do you prevent burnout?
Set your Office Hours and Boundaries
Structure is important. And being at home with less separation between your work and your personal life can easily throw this out the window. A great way to establish a structure and stick to it is to work with your colleagues to create a more rigid schedule. Designate certain times of day as your office hours and break times. That way, no matter where you are or what you’re working on, you know when to get cracking and when to take time to relax. Furthermore, your colleagues will know when they are able to get a hold of you. Establish a firm start and end to your workday – just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can or should be working 24/7.
Be Open with your Team
If you’re experiencing burnout, tell someone. Letting your manager and colleagues know could help them to redistribute the workload or update the team’s reporting habits to make sure everyone is feeling confident. You never know how many of your teammates may be feeling the same way.
Get Some Exercise
When working from home, it can be easy to sit at your computer for eight hours straight and disregard the negative effects this can have on your body and mind. Ideally, you can use one of your breaks to take a walk. Try to leave your phone at home and get outside for a little while. If that doesn’t work for you, make sure you at least try to stand up and stretch a little every so often. It’ll help; we promise!
Reclaim your Commute
If you were formerly working in an office, you most likely had a chunk of your day reserved for travel time. If your schedule permits, try to use this time before and after your workday to clear your mind by listening to music, calling family/friends, or just plain sitting and doing nothing. Your brain was used to having this idle time to decompress each day, so don’t let your new routine take that away.
Get help if you need it!
If nothing is helping and you continue to feel overwhelmed or maybe just apathetic, there are many options for you. The WHO defines burnout as an occupational phenomenon. You’re not even close to alone in feeling this way and there are a variety of teletherapy options that can help to set you on the right track. You can use resources such as this one to book an easy online appointment.
PS – Need more help? Check out our suite of free eLearning courses on remote work for more tips and tricks!