Our top tips to avoid burnout out whilst working from home

There is no doubt that people’s anxiety has increased recently. Not only as a result of the recent pandemic impacting people’s health and the moral panic of food running out in the supermarkets but also working from home. We are currently facing the reality that many workers will be being plunged into home working for the first time (or again!) As a result, this can lead to potential isolation.

A report from the World Economic Forum in 2019 cited a 2017 United Nations report which found that 41% of remote workers reported high-stress levels, compared to just 25% of office workers. The World Economic Forum believed that this increased stress was a result of the attitude, “out of sight, out of mind”. Furthermore, the tendency for managers to become increasingly task-focused and attempt to micromanage more than before was partly to blame.

However, this isn’t always the case. Conversely, Charalampous et al. (2018) found that remote working was associated with higher workplace wellbeing with the benefit of flexibility and autonomy. But, this could be the result of a good work-life balance, that some people find it difficult to establish. 

How can I find the right balance for my mental health while working from home?

But in recent times, more workers are having to work from home. Some of these workers may already have experience of a day or week of working from their home, few of them will have worked full time from home. But, even fewer of their managers will have managed large teams in such a situation either. Therefore, it is safe to say that this is a new experience for many people.

So, to help those working from home, we have compiled our top tips to prevent a burnout while working from home.

Our top tips for promoting wellbeing while working from home

Maintain Your Work Routine

The initial idea of working from home can sound very appealing. You can spend all day working in your pyjamas and eat snacks whenever you feel like it. But, by now, the novelty may have worn off. Remote working is now in full swing, so it’s crucial to maintain work and social boundaries as possible.

Studies show that psychologically, your brain needs to recognise the transition from your “non-work self” to “working self”. Therefore, by staying in your pyjamas all day, you will only confuse your brain. Ultimately making it more difficult for you to relax, and stay engaged with your work.

Therefore, try and recreate the routine you had when working in the office. Get up at your usual time, get dressed ready for work, take a lunch hour. Even take a short walk to replicate your work commute time before the start of the day.

With these little changes, you will be amazed that a small change can make a significant difference.

Recreate The Office Environment

As we have already mentioned, recreating the office environment can make a huge difference. But most importantly, help prevent a burnout. After all, the more relaxed you feel at home, the more productive you’ll be.

Creating a differentiation between work and leisure is vital. However, this can only be possible when you put the time and effort into creating an office like atmosphere to work in.

To do this, try to set up your desk in an area of your home you don’t normally associate with comfort. Invest in a decent chair, desk lamp and any other work-related accessories you might need. Then encourage yourself to follow a set working routine.

Take Regular Breaks & Walks

To avoid “cabin-“fever”, make sure to avoid spending too long inside. By doing so, you will avoid becoming irritable and become more productive.

Whether you go on a long lunchtime walk with your dog or spend a few minutes pacing around your garden, getting some fresh air will help when it comes to trying to getting a refresher from work and keeping your mental wellbeing in check.

But, what most people will do is take their phone. Avoid this. Instead, leave your phone behind during your walks. If you do take, you’ll more than likely go onto your phone and not appreciate the fresh air. Try to escape another screen for a short period.

Set Boundaries

There will inevitably be distractions at home. The main one being your family. Consequently, it can be challenging to find the perfect work-life balance. So, it is essential to set boundaries.

Although it may be hard, try to put all home-based concerns at the back of your mind while you work. Forget about the laundry, what is for dinner and cleaning the bathroom. These tasks can be done on your breaks! Or even after the working day is done.

But, from a family perspective, make sure to inform your loved ones when you are free, and when you cannot be interpreted. For example, if you have an important virtual meeting, it’s better to be transparent with your family. Otherwise, you could end up becoming stressed as a result of trying to balance work and home life.

Don’t Get Hung Up On “Normal”

Due to living in a very uncertain time, there is no “normal”. As a result of the pandemic, normal is now defined on an individual basis.

For example, one colleague may now need to arrange meetings at a different time of day due to having young children. Contrastingly, another may need to work later on in the evening to pick their children up during the day.

Consequently, don’t worry about sticking to a normal. Your boss and colleagues are all in the same situation and are – at the end of the day -human too.

Avoid adding extra stress on your shoulders by putting work first and home life second. You will only end up resenting work and feeling like you always have to catch up with yourself.

Take A Step Back & Review Your Current Situation

Overall, home-related burnout is a serious concern for several employees that are now working from home. The most important thing to remember is that it’s ok to give yourself a break!

Life has already changed so much for everyone in the past few months, and it’s now more important than ever to take the time to look after yourself.