Avoiding WFH Burnout
Feel like your life is an endless loop of Zoom calls, cups of coffee, walks in the park and Netflix?
You’re far from alone. Many people are finding working from home during the pandemic somewhat stressful. Although recent research by Microsoft suggests we are largely happier from home (that’s a huge 87% of us), many employees feel stretched in what they need to deliver.
More than 69% of us report feeling burnt out or exhausted from managing our workload at home during the pandemic.
Studies also show that if you’re a parent, it can be even more challenging.
An ITV poll found that 45% of WFH parents feel burnt out, 26% feel like bad parents and 30% often feel lonely.
So, how do you combat those feelings of work from home burnout?
Tip 1: Set Clear Boundaries
Don’t blur the lines of home and work. Working all hours of the day and night is a recipe for burnout. Shut your ‘bedroom office’ door at 5pm, switch off your work phone at weekends, and turn off any email notifications after 7pm.
Forbes suggests: “When someone tries to push back and schedule a late-night meeting, don’t be afraid to stand in your values: “I am unavailable during this time. How does [insert alternative date(s) and time(s)] work for you?” There is no need to explain yourself and dive into the details.”
Tip 2: Use a Timer for Work
When working from home, it’s easy to get caught up in bad habits, leading to back and neck problems. This can add to feelings of burnout or emotional stress.
Why not try a work timer? Many remote workers have had success by using the Pomodoro technique. This means you work in sprints of 25 minutes, separated by short breaks which can help keep your energy levels high.
Tip 3: Spend More Time In Nature
Studies show that being in greenery can lower our levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
Since COVID-19 hit, many employers are looking into biophilic workplace design — the concept of using more plants in the workplace to help us feel happier, and more relaxed. Surround your home office with plenty of natural light and plants.
Tip 4: Embrace The Unexpected
When in a confining situation, it’s important to get creative.
Make a list of local places you’ve never been to before- a quick scout on Google Maps can offer some inspiration. Even taking a walk down different streets will activate new pathways in your brain, helping with neuroplasticity and cognitive flexibility.
You’ll feel better if you manage to insert some novelty into your working day on a regular basis.
Tip 5: Don’t Forget To Laugh
The pandemic has been a heavy topic for us all. But finding the funny side of life can be like a soothing balm when we’re feeling frazzled.
Seek out funny videos or some comedy to watch at the end of the working day.
Humour can make us more resilient, resourceful and creative — much needed resources in these testing times.