Avoiding Burnout: Balancing Work and Life in a Home-Working Scenario

If you're experiencing work from home burnout and want to find a solution, this article is for you.

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Are you suffering from work from home burnout?

Have you been feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted during your work from home hours lately? If yes, then you may be suffering from work from home burnout. Also known as remote work burnout, the phenomenon is a result of prolonged remote work. According to a global study done by Deloitte, over 77% of the participants agreed to having experienced burnout at their workplace.

Oftentimes, a remote or work from home burnout can be caused due to a clash between the boundaries of work and personal life. It’s important to understand the reasons behind this and take actionable measures to bring the work-life balance back to normal.

How Is Work From Home Burnout Different From In-Office Burnout?

Burnout is a common occurrence at work. When you overextend your energy at the office or spend too much time worrying about work even after the working hours are over, it’s natural for you to feel tired and overwhelmed.

In-office burnout is often a result of a rigid schedule with a lack of autonomy or control over your time, long commute hours, and office politics or clash of views. Being in a traditional office space with constant face to face interactions, meetings, and interruptions can make you feel overwhelmed.

On the other hand, while a work from home setting may offer you more flexibility and autonomy over your work schedule, it can also cause isolation, and an increased reliance on digital mediums of communication that can make it difficult to truly disconnect from work.

Work From Home Burnout: Symptoms And Causes

As the lines between work and home begin to coincide, you may constantly feel tired, irritable, lack energy, unfocused during work, and feel a strong sense of disconnect from everyone, that may harm your overall productivity and job satisfaction.

Some of the physical symptoms may manifest themselves in the form of muscle tensions, headaches, frustration, short temperedness, lethargy, and body pain. However, these symptoms can also appear in the form of mental stressors such as constant worry, feeling hopeless, and low mood. This can hamper your cognition and lead to mental fatigue.

You may be feeling the brunt of these symptoms due to a lack of boundaries between work and home life, increased screen time, a constant need to be available via digital devices, a sense of isolation, and neglecting self care.

By recognising these symptoms, you can work on addressing the issue and find healthy ways to avoid it in the future.

How To Avoid Work From Home Burnout

Dealing with work from home burnout is all about maintaining the balance between your personal and professional life. You can bring back that balance in your life by following the tips given below:

1. Establish Clear Boundaries

To get out of the burnout rut, it’s important to separate your personal life from your work life. You can begin by setting clear boundaries with your colleagues as well as your family regarding the work hours. Establishing a separate working space, this is extremely important in a remote work setting. Ensure that you’re communicating with your team regarding your work time and responsibilities to avoid overextending your presence and time and overworking yourself.

2. Frequent Breaks Are Important

To keep your productivity high, avoid working for too long in one sitting. Reduce your screen time by taking short breaks in between your working hours. You can take short walks, stretch and move your body, and even take a quick nap to feel refreshed and recharged.

3. Prioritise Self Care Activities

Outside of your work time, proactively engage in activities that help you feel good. These can include physical activities like exercising, dancing, or running, as well as mental activities like reading, playing games, and engaging in other hobbies of your choice. It’s crucial to maintain a life outside of work to stay sane and avoid frequent burnouts.

4. Plan And Organise

To stay organised with your schedule and work timings, it’s important to create a routine for yourself. Make a daily schedule and stay consistent with the time that you decide to devote to work, breaks, and self care activities. Planning and organising your day will help you avoid burnout and finish your work on time.

5. Reach Out To Friends And Family

Take some time to visit your loved ones or call them. You can try to visit your friends and family during the weekend or make plans with them to get outside the house. This will help you foster emotional connections and make your working days feel stress free and relaxing.

6. Learn To Say NO

Being good at your job is great, but overworking yourself to the point of burnout is not only a bad thing to do for yourself but also your productivity. To give your hundred percent to your work, make sure that you don’t overwork yourself. Be cautious about your work time, and finish your daily tasks in the given time limit. If you already have a lot on your plate, then say no to any additional responsibilities and tasks that may come your way.

7. Create A Reward System

The best way to avoid burnout and amp up your productivity is to set realistic goals and reward yourself for achieving them. You can break down your daily tasks into smaller goals and finish each of them, one at a time. You can also use pomodoro technique to finish your tasks quickly and efficiently. To keep yourself motivated to finish your work, try rewarding yourself with something that you like. It could be a quick but healthy snack, a nice walk outside, or even a nap.

8. Drink Plenty Of Water

Water is the elixir of life. Not only does it help your body work smoothly but also has a positive impact on your cognitive functions. To avoid dehydration and feeling lethargic, drink plenty of water, about 8 to 10 glasses at least. It’s easy to forget to do something as simple as drinking water when you’re working. For easier access, keep a bottle of water close to your working space or on your desk.

9. Look For Support

To feel connected with people around you, seek social interactions on a regular basis. You could schedule virtual activities with your colleagues, friends, and family to combat feelings of isolation. This will help you develop a positive outlook on life and avoid feeling burnt out.

10. Take Some Time Off

Sometimes, the monotonous routine can also contribute to feelings of isolation, hopelessness, and burnout. To avoid this, make good use of your PTO and schedule some time off from work. You can choose to travel somewhere, visit your family, or focus on your hobbies and interests during that time. Just make sure that you’re taking some time off to refocus on your work when you come back.

Wrapping Up

While burnout is a part of work, and almost everyone goes through it, there are ways to combat this feeling while working from home. The first step is to understand the symptoms of burnout. If you or anyone you know is suffering from a burnout in a home working scenario, you can make use of the tips given above to actively take care of yourself and stay ahead of the situation.

Author Bio

Jodie is a financial analyst, turned entrepreneur, who advises businesses on using technology to manage teams, upskill staff, and streamline business processes.

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