5 Tips to Avoid Work From Home Burnout

by Jess Mannering

If we learned anything in the past year, it’s that things can change at the drop of the hat and we’re forced to adjust. COVID-19 took the entire world by surprise, especially businesses. All across the world, businesses were closing for the unforeseeable future. For many, this meant being laid off from their jobs.

However, there were those select few companies that continued operating under different circumstances, most of which meant transitioning from the traditional “in office” life to a work from home scenario. As the year went on, more companies hopped on the “work from home” train. 

Working from home, in general, holds a multitude of different benefits and challenges. But for most that are navigating through this new normal during a global pandemic, that’s a different story. Long-term remote workers have had more time to become accustomed to the work/life balance.

On the other hand, new remote workers are just beginning to learn the ropes of avoiding work from home burnout. Without further ado, here are five work from home tips to handle burnout.

1. Create Boundaries

One of the biggest ways to avoid work from home burnout is to create concrete boundaries. Studies show that those who work remotely tend to work longer hours than those in traditional office settings. With that being said, it can sometimes be difficult to separate yourself from work, especially when you’re constantly living in your work setting. This is where the importance of boundaries comes in.

It is imperative to establish a clear separation between your work and personal life hours. Essentially, this means that your work hours shouldn’t flow over into your personal time. A good place to start setting these boundaries is by establishing a concrete start and end time to your workday. This allows coworkers to know when they can contact you based upon your availability.

2. Take Breaks When Needed

Having a home office with no commute sounds great, right? It definitely can be! However, all this extra time in your workday can force you to feel like you have to push yourself to be even more productive. This is one of the quickest ways to shove yourself into work from home burnout.

Keeping that thought in mind, try not to add unnecessary pressure to yourself.

Show up, do your best, be kind to yourself, and set manageable expectations for your day. When things start to get overwhelming, take a breather for a few moments. Take your dog for a walk, put on some of your favorite music, or even step away from your computer for a short break. Giving yourself a few minutes to regroup now and then will save you from work from home burnout in the long run.

3. Maintain Social Connections

Before the pandemic, many people relied on getting out of the house to maintain their social connections. However, in this new state of “normal”, maintaining these connections tends to look a bit different. More now than ever, people are beginning to rely on alternate ways to “connect” as opposed to face-to-face interactions. This can include both virtual and outdoor meetings (as long as you are still abiding by the CDC guidelines).

To avoid work from home burnout, maintaining these connections is imperative. This entails making a conscious effort to keep open communication lines among family, friends, coworkers, industry professionals, and more. Some ways to continue these connections include planning Zoom parties with friends/family, attending virtual networking events, and scheduling movie watch parties. With a little bit of innovation and imagination, the possibilities are endless.

4. Prioritize Self Care

Self-care has become increasingly more popular, especially over the past year. But what exactly does it entail? Well, that varies upon the person.

Everyone views their own personal self-care differently. For some, self-care entails some much-needed quiet time away from the world. For others, it involves getting out and doing a fun activity.

Some examples of self-care activities include:

  • Reading a book
  • Getting a massage
  • Spending quality time with friends/family
  • Watching a good movie
  • Getting a manicure/pedicure
  • Working out
  • Taking a much-needed nap
  • Dancing around to your favorite songs
  • Cuddling up with your pet
  • Learning a new skill
  • Meditate

5. Ask for Help When You Need It

Circumstances have changed drastically over the past year. Living through a global pandemic is something none of us ever anticipated. This pandemic caused heightened stress for a lot of people, which has especially been prevalent for those working through it.

Now more than ever, it is critical to ask for help when you are struggling. If you are feeling overwhelmed in any way, whether that be in your personal or professional life, talk to someone about it. If it’s more personal, talk to a mental health professional. If it’s work-related, reach out to your boss to discuss any ongoing or upcoming projects that are overwhelming you.

Work from home burnout is very real and can most often occur when you are neglecting your mental health. So, make sure you’re making your own mental health and wellbeing a priority.