• Career & Money

How to Deal with Burnout When Working Remotely

4 min

Working from home, like anything else in life, has advantages and disadvantages. Although not having to commute (hello rush hour!) and sit in an office might sound like a dream, working from home can have its disadvantages too, especially when considering burnout. 

Burnout is defined as having little energy left at the end of the day to perform the things that genuinely help you relax after a long day of work. It causes exhaustion, lack of motivation, irritability, anxiety, and a decrease in work effectiveness – a grouping of symptoms rather than a diagnosis. It can even result in headaches, stomach problems, and sleep troubles. A work-life balance can be hard, especially when work is at home. Here are a few simple tips on how to avoid burnout when working from home! 

You’re human, not a robot 



The Covid-19 pandemic hasn't resulted in increased vacation or ‘off’ time – in fact, according to NordVPN Teams research, remote employees are working 2.5 hours more per day than they were before. Because there is no separation it can be hard to stop your workday when your time at work technically doesn’t ever have to end. That’s why it’s important to take time for yourself, and when you do, make the most of your downtime! A break from work could include reading a book or listening to music to refuel and refocus, but what’s even better is getting up, walking around, and changing environments. Remember, you’re still considered a hard worker and a good employee if you take multiple breaks throughout the day – even if you end early.  

Your body is your temple, and so is your mind 



Maintaining a healthy diet when you work from home can be challenging. Unlike the office, you have 24/7 access to snacks, drinks and everything in between. Say you're on a conference call and you’ve ended up in the kitchen for the 10th time that day, each time you're eating dry cereal, chips, and crackers. Or, maybe you got so caught up in a project that you didn't eat at all that day, instead you’re powered with “just a handful of chips”. Either way, these kinds of long-term habits can not only negatively affect your health, but your quality of work as well. Ever eat too much and become instantly sleepy so you’re basically unable to do any work? Yeah, us too. 

Your mental wellbeing is also just as vital as your physical health, especially while working from home. Sometimes you could be working from your desk and other times it might be in your pajamas in bed because you might be having a rough day. Work and mental health are strongly intertwined. Work can both cause and worsen mental health problems, but it can also serve as a support system. Flexible work schedules have much to offer in terms of promoting mental health at work and in life. 

Moreover, the impact of working from home is so significant that 97% say having a more flexible job would have a "big" or "good" impact on their quality of life. This is based to a FlexJobs survey of over 3,000 professionals conducted in 2018. Remember to always take time to relax and de-stress, like with a meditation or yoga which might help you regain equilibrium in your life.  


Having a routine is essential 



A structured day begins with the right workspace. Choose a work environment in your home that will help you focus and prevent distractions. Make sure it has everything you need for your daily tasks but try and maintain a clutter-free desk, so you’ll have less distractions. 

Without a manager or coworkers to discuss initiatives, you may find yourself wasting hours on one task when you should be focusing on others. Making a daily to-do list and connecting with your colleagues to establish priorities can definitely help. While you may be able to define your own start and end times which can differ day to day, making sure you schedule some regular working hours is important too. It's difficult to develop a rhythm when your schedule changes every day, both physically and mentally. Some people enjoy having a consistent daily routine, while others cringe at the thought of having a set schedule. Maintaining structure and routine, on the other hand, might help you feel more organized and in control during times of stress. 

A routine can be beneficial at any time, especially when trying to create good habits, but these patterns are especially useful when areas of your life are uncertain. 

Sure, working from home means never leaving your PJs! You can, but you shouldn't. Setting up a morning routine that includes waking up and preparing for the day, almost as if you were going to work has been shown to increase productivity 

Bottom Line

The ideal morning routine will improve your overall wellness and set you up for success throughout the day. There are numerous measures you can take to develop a morning routine that works for you, ranging from avoiding social media to sipping water and listening to a podcast. Whether you're a morning person or not, developing a wellness routine is essential to staying productive and boosting efficiency.  

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