Working from home can have its perks, such as no commute and time added back to your morning. However, as more workers are working remotely, many may be realizing that the perks also come with a few challenges, such as feeling like you never leave the office, lapses in communication with coworkers, loneliness and burnout.
Burnout is an issue that is widely recognized in the modern workplace. It can have a profound impact on remote workers, especially those who are still acclimating to being away from their peers and leaders. For example, a 2019 survey found that 82% of remote tech workers felt a sense of burnout, as they felt they had to contribute more (40%) and work longer hours (52%).
This sentiment is compounded by the fact that many of us are adjusting to new working norms while simultaneously taking on more family-related responsibilities. Trying to strike a balance can be stressful, which over time, can further contribute to burnout.
A 2019 survey found that 82% of remote tech workers felt a sense of burnout.
However, there are a few proactive steps that can help minimize the risk of burnout when working remotely. Here are three to consider.
Take back your commute time
While we may not be traveling to the office right now, it doesn’t mean that we can’t create new morning routines that help us organize our day and have us feeling fulfilled. Allocate some of your previous commute time towards something you enjoy like a morning workout, drinking coffee on your front porch stopping by a local coffee shop, or taking a walk while listening to a favorite podcast. This can help reduce stress and add a more positive mindset to your day.
Connect with others
Another important aspect to reducing work-related burnout is to stay in contact with your colleagues and friends at work. Aim to reach out to your coworkers at least a couple of times a week in order to catch up on work-related projects but also to chat about non work-related interests as well. To stay connected with work friends, think about starting up a lunch time video chat where colleagues can join, have lunch and catch up with one another. It might also be fun to introduce a game-related “happy hour” where colleagues can play trivia or another game on an instant message platform like Microsoft Teams.
Transition from work
When working from home, the lines between work and home life can become somewhat blurred. As mentioned above, many remote employees feel a need to work longer hours, which can take away from much needed personal time or family obligations and contribute to burnout. Consider setting a specific time each day to start winding down from the workday. This can include creating a list of to-dos to tackle the next morning, logging off to cook dinner with family, or to set a cutoff time for checking email at night. By allowing yourself a few hours in the evening to decompress from your day, you have a chance to recharge. Also consider pursuing an activity that distracts you from thinking about work, like putting a puzzle together with your kids, or taking up a hobby like running or gardening.
Working from home can have its advantages, such as a more flexible schedule and fewer office distractions, but it’s not without a few drawbacks. As more of us adjust to working from home, taking on a few new tactics to reduce burnout can help us get through each day with less stress and make working remotely a positive experience.