Before we go any further, let’s get one thing out of the way: it’s completely valid to feel burnt out from work. Even people who enjoy their job and aren’t experiencing stress in other aspects of their lives sometimes feel exhausted from working.
Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit. Apart from this being a threat to your health, it has also caused a significant disruption in your life. One of these disruptions is the need to work from home all the time. This sudden change in your working environment, coupled with other stressors, can take a toll on your mental and emotional wellbeing, causing you to feel helpless and disillusioned—in short, burnt out.
It’s not easy dealing with burnout because it can affect all aspects of your life. You might feel demotivated to work even from the comfort of your home, which can affect your productivity. Since your home is also currently your office, it might feel like there’s nowhere to retreat to.
So, what can you do to combat work from home burnout? We have a few suggestions below.
1. Set office hours—and stick to them
The concept of working from home was introduced so employees can have more freedom over their schedules. Ironically, remote work has made work hours longer than your average in-office workday, according to data from NordVPN. This is why it’s crucial to set office hours and stick to them. Clock in and clock out when it’s time and completely disconnect when it’s not working hours. This way, you can place a boundary between your work life and your personal one.
2. Create a dedicated space to work in
Time may seem like an arbitrary boundary for some, so why not create a physical boundary? Having a dedicated workspace not only means you can get rid of distractions, but also that you can physically remove and distance yourself from your work.
3. Establish workday “rituals”
“Rituals” are symbolic actions you can take to help you maintain habits. They can help you prevent burnout by allowing rituals to guide your day. For example, your morning ritual might include showering and making a cup of coffee. This signals the start of work. At the end of the workday, your ritual may be putting your phone on silent and preparing dinner. These act as signals or indicators of the start or end of a task.
4. Tell your team
Keeping your feelings of exhaustion and burnout may only make them worse. This is why you must inform your manager about it. Effective leaders undergo impact management training, allowing them to be compassionate toward their employees. So, when you tell your manager, they can help you through it and be more understanding of what you need to do to cope.
5. Give yourself a break
If you’re burnt out and you ignore it by trying to push through every day, you might end up even more physically and mentally drained. Burnout won’t go away if you ignore it. Instead, you need to give yourself a break now and then. Take a few days or a week off to allow your mind to recalibrate without dreading about having to go to work the next day.
Burnout is a normal occurrence, but this doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it. Follow the techniques above to breathe life into your job and combat burnout.