While remote working isn't a novel concept, the COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed its adoption worldwide. In the past few months, we've seen companies in the San Francisco Bay Area implement work from home setups to curb the spread of the disease.
Remote working has many employee benefits, such as better flexibility and productivity, improved well-being, and more time with loved ones. However, after a few months, employees may feel burned out and detached from their work, and eventually find work-life balance hard to achieve.
What is remote work burnout?
Remote work burnout happens when a person can no longer separate their personal and professional lives, often because they use the same space for working and doing personal activities.
For instance, an employee may feel compelled to answer emails received after their shift, which leads to work fatigue. A stressful incident at home can also affect the way they work and interact with their colleagues.
How to achieve work-life balance while remote working?
Achieving a healthy work-life balance is more important than ever as many people start to feel the stress of working from home. Here are some tips you can try:
1. Set a fixed working schedule
Maximize your productivity by setting a structured work schedule every day. This limits distractions, keeps you focused on your tasks, and lets your team know when exactly they can reach you.
A structured schedule also enables you to plan personal activities outside of work and get the proper amount of sleep, improving your physical and mental health.
2. Create a to-do list
You can also create to-do lists to ensure that you accomplish what needs to be done for the day. List down all your tasks on a piece of paper or a digital to-do list, and work on each one according to urgency. When you’re done with a task, cross it off your list. This can help you be more productive and give you a sense of accomplishment
3. Set boundaries
Create a dedicated workspace to help you focus better at work. Choose a place where you can work distraction-free, like a spare/guest room. If you live with other people, inform them of your work schedules, time restraints, and other needs ahead of time so they can adjust accordingly and avoid disturbing you. This helps separate your professional and personal lives.
4. Take breaks
Your home environment isn’t as conducive to work as the office, so you may feel tired often. This is why it’s important to take breaks and allow yourself to breathe, relax, and decompress.
Doing so helps you refresh your mind and make you more productive. So don’t be afraid to grab a snack, stretch those muscles, take a quick walk around your yard, or play a game.
Dedicate your lunch hour to self-care activities like eating something healthy, calling a close friend, or doing guided breathing exercises. So by the time you return to work, you’ll feel more refreshed and ready to take on your tasks.
5. Know when to stop working
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean that you should be available 24/7. Working long hours stresses out your mind and body, which results in lack of energy, poor sleep, bad concentration, and weight gain, among others.
Know when to stop working. If you started work at 9:00 AM, make sure to finish all work-related activities by 5:00 PM. Stick to this habit as much as possible. If you feel tempted to work beyond your shift, remember that your personal life is just as important than your professional life. What’s more, maintaining a good work-life balance can improve your career in the long run.
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