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How To Combat Work From Home Burnout

This month marks one year from when the pandemic transformed every facet of our work and home lives. Many of you have now been working from home for 12 months with no end in sight. It’s very likely you’re experiencing “work from home burnout.” Being cooped up in one building for all of your personal and work time can start to wear on you. Symptoms of burnout include lack of energy or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s career, and reduced professional efficacy. Sound familiar? If so, here are three ways you can combat work from home burnout and get back on track!

Take A Day (Or Two) Off

Even if you have nowhere to go, use up those vacation days! Plan a fun day away from your laptop and zoom meetings, whether you escape to an Airbnb or just a different room of your house. Just because vacations are looking a bit different these days doesn’t mean they aren’t good for our mental health!

Get Outside

Now that it’s March, we’re getting subtle hints of good weather. There’s no better time to make a commitment to yourself to get outside at least once a day. We recommend even going as far as blocking time off on your calendar to ensure you stick to this one. Take 10 minutes to walk around the block, clean up the yard, or start work on a garden. Engaging in physical activity and soaking up some vitamin D will do wonders for your productivity and attitude!

Block Off Time For “Passion Projects”

We all have day-to-day tasks that are mundane and uninspiring. Instead of letting these responsibilities drive your workday, schedule some time for your “passion projects.” We love to kick off the day with these motivating ventures, so block off an hour first thing in the morning. This will get you excited to start each day, and you’ll feel productive right off the bat.

Overall, the best thing you can do to avoid work from home burnout is to listen to your intuition. Take breaks when you need them, make time for things that excite you, and communicate with your supervisor and peers. And don’t just stop here; for more workplace advice, check out our blog!

3 Signs You’re on The Verge of A WFH Burnout

Show of hands: how many of you remote workers thought you would still be working from home in November? Yeah, neither did I. It has been a long eight+ months for most of us, and what seemed like a nice treat might be the bane of your existence. Working from home can be fantastic, but millions of remote workers are on the edge of a burnout. However, with a few tweaks in your day and good habits, you can combat this feeling and keep productivity rolling strong. Here are three signs you are on the verge of a WFH burnout (and how to avoid them).

You haven’t established WFH boundaries

Not everyone has the luxury of a quiet, at-home office to work from. In reality, you are probably working on your dining room table or the couch. And while your temporary setup might have been nice in the beginning, the lack of boundaries is starting to diminish your productivity. However, you may not have that leisure if you are also trying to facilitate your children’s distant learning or keep your dog entertained.

No matter what your work setup is, you have to set boundaries for yourself. Establish working hours (if possible) and create a space where all you do is work. If your entire home and day consist of working, you will quickly start to feel burnt out. Create healthy boundaries for yourself to improve your mental health, productivity, and job satisfaction.

You feel the need to respond instantly

While working from home, it is easy to feel the guilt of not responding to an IM or an email right away, even if it’s after your “working hours.” I get it; it’s hard to resist the urge to reply to a co-worker when you are off work but just a few feet away from your laptop. This is where you need to exercise self-control. It’s okay to read the message, but that doesn’t mean you have to respond right away. Of course, if it’s a work emergency, go ahead and reply. However, if it’s just a normal message, it can probably wait until tomorrow.

So many remote workers are on the verge of a burn out by always being available. It’s easy to do so or just think to yourself, “it will only take a few minutes. I can respond to that now.” But after eight months, that mentality starts to take a toll on you. Just like when working in the office, you are not always available, and that is okay. We must realize that we don’t need to instantly respond to every message to prove that we are working. If you struggle with this, put your email on do not disturb, or set quiet hours so that you don’t even see the messages come through at a time you set for yourself.

You don’t take any time off

It can be challenging to take time off right now. Let’s be frank; there isn’t a whole lot to do as far as vacations go. Regardless of our current circumstances, it is essential for your mental health and productivity to take time off. We earn vacation and PTO days for a reason; don’t be afraid to use those days to take a step away from all the chaos and relax. Even if you are just hanging out at home, taking a day off here and there is so rewarding. It makes you feel refreshed when you return to work and will help avoid WFH burnout.

And this doesn’t have to be a week-long vacation. This can be taking a Friday off to make a long weekend or taking a half-day to go enjoy some nice weather. So, if you have the time off, don’t be afraid to use it. The longer you put off carving out time for yourself, the closer you will be to a WFH burnout.