Working from home can sound like the best of both worlds – you have the ability to work and be successful at your job all while staying in the comfort of your own home. With no commuting or an earlier wake-up time, working from home sounds like the perfect compromise. However, as many of us have transitioned to working from the office to working in our personal space, there may have come a point where you’ve felt overwhelmed or more specifically, burnt out. According to the World Health Organization, the definition of Burn-out is strictly occupational-related and stems from workplace stress that has not been “successfully managed”. It is characterized by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.” (WHO).
As a firm that supports work-life balance and the overall health of our employees, we’d like to provide some tips and advice that can help reduce the feeling of burnout and get you back to a place where you feel energized and productive at work!
What to do during work…
Sometimes when you’re in the zone it can be hard to take a break and move on to something else. Before you know it, a couple of hours have gone by and you haven’t left your desk at all (well, maybe to grab a snack or two). If you find yourself in this situation try to schedule a 5-10-minute stretch break every day to help combat the soreness, fatigue, and negative impact that being sedentary can have on your work. These stretches can help you increase productivity and your overall health at work!
Change your scene and working environment
If you’ve ever seen the movie Groundhog Day, you might feel a similar sensation when you work from home. Sitting in the same chair, the same room and the same environment may leave you feeling uninspired and like one day bleeds into the next. What can help in this situation is diversifying the scene around you. If you work on a laptop, try moving to a different room in your living area or even get some sun working outside. If you’re unable to take your computer with you, consider rearranging your working space or add a few fun additions to your desk to help spruce things up!
Plan a fun meeting
Being removed from the social nature of working in the office can pose some difficulties in connecting with your co-workers. Next time you are planning out your schedule for the week, make sure to schedule a meeting you look forward to that can help break up the monotony of work and help stay connected with co-workers. Instead of an in-person lunch, try eating lunch together virtually. This goes for coffee dates or even an after-work social hour. Having this in your lineup of weekly meetups can help make the week go by even faster!
Set boundaries for yourself
Boundaries can be a difficult thing to implement in both your personal and professional life. However, boundaries help add structure and guidance to help you be your most productive and happy self! It can feel tempting to check your work phone or laptop after hours to see if you’ve gotten any new emails, but this behavior can be counterproductive as you may begin feeling like you never truly stopped working that day. Instead of continuing to check your email after work, consider giving yourself a strict deadline i.e., “I will not check any emails at work before 8 am or after 5 pm.” If you’re looking for more information about implementing boundaries in your professional life, read these suggestions from Forbes.
What to do outside of work…
Take relaxation seriously
It’s easy for some of us to always look for ways to improve ourselves and perfect our work. While there’s nothing wrong with this mentality, keep in mind that in order to bring your best self to work every day, you need to prioritize relaxing and giving yourself permission to recharge. The weekends are a perfect time to practice this tip! Relaxation looks different from one person to the next, but finding what activity you enjoy most can help provide you that extra boost of energy you need when you return to work. Check out this list of affordable ways to relax if you’re in need of some ideas!
Unplug from technology & electronics
In one way or another, technology is ingrained in many aspects of our life. With constant notifications from apps, messages from friends and family members, sometimes you need some time by yourself with no distractions. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with technology, try putting your phone on ‘do not disturb’, delay checking your phone right when you wake up, and put away electronics an hour before you start unwinding before bed.
Whether you stare at a computer screen for most of the day at work or use electronic devices for your personal life, taking a break from technology can benefit you in a multitude of ways.
Cultivate a rich non-work life
Lastly, when you’re not at work, make sure you are taking the time to take part in the things you enjoy most. Maybe this is going to your favorite restaurant or café, planning a fun ‘staycation’, or having a night out with some friends. If you have a hobby you’re passionate about, dedicate some time to this as well!