You have probably heard about the ‘burnout’ syndrome more than once. The World Health Organization defines it as a syndrome resulting from chronic stress in the workplace; it is characterized by exhaustion, lack of concentration, irritability, or insomnia, among other symptoms. It can show up even while working from home! Yet, it is important to prevent it from affecting our motivation and efficiency. Here are 5 tips to avoid burnout while working remotely:
1. Prioritize and set schedules.
Remote work has positive aspects, such as the possibility of spending more time with the family, the flexibility of hours, and saving time/money related to commuting. However, remote work is not — or at least it should not be — a synonym for having 24/7 availability.
This situation of lengthening working hours day by day for a long period of time generates mental and physical wear on anyone. Therefore, it is essential to stick to schedules, establish priorities and optimize our time. Likewise, it is important to know how to differentiate between “urgent” and “important.” There are many important tasks that can come up last minute, but are they really urgent?
2. Set breaks.
The reality is that our minds and body need breaks to maintain productivity. To achieve this balance and for our productivity to not diminish, if necessary, we must set alarms to take breaks during the working day. This way, we clear our minds during moments and take time to separate our eyes from the screen.
Every hour, spend a minute stretching your muscles and walk to the bathroom or to the kitchen to grab a glass of water. Also, your eyes have to rest too. Apply the 20-20-20 rule to prevent eye strain. For every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, you should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. In addition, of course, we must respect lunch breaks and maintain a healthy diet since, as stated by the International Labor Organization (ILO), eating improperly can reduce labor productivity by up to 30%.
3. Find time to workout.
Speaking of maintaining a healthy diet, complement that with exercising at least 4 times per week. There are plenty of workouts you can do from home, you don’t have to pay for a membership in a gym. You can find videos on YouTube and IGTV. Exercising can help you clear your mind and relax, plus many other benefits. And according to an Insider article, “research from Yale and Oxford suggests exercise is actually more important for your mental health than your economic status”. In conclusion, working out makes you happier than money!
During the home office, people may feel questioned by their superiors or feel the need to show that they are being productive from home. For this reason, sometimes, they choose to take on more tasks than they can cover and, consequently, work more hours than those established. This work overload, together with the feeling of ‘not being able to do everything,’ causes stress that can lead the worker to feel ‘burnout’.
This exhaustion may perhaps be more common among managers and senior executives due to their level of responsibility within companies, but this syndrome can affect any worker. In this sense, it is essential that there is a solid foundation of trust between the worker and the company and even more between the worker and their leader. In this way, workers will have the security they need to delegate tasks and raise their hands if they are ever in need of help.
5. Use your vacation time and take sick leave days.
Even though you are not going anywhere, don’t forget you have the right to take your vacation days. Your mind and body need to rest, they will thank you for it. Statistics show that when people work from home, they take fewer sick leave days. However, if you are sick, please rest! It will be worse if your health gets bad because you decided to work while being sick.
Don’t forget that we are human beings, not human doings.
We sincerely hope that these 5 tips to avoid burnout while working remotely are useful for you and your career. And, if you want to work from home, have a fixed schedule, get sick leave and paid vacation days,… consider applying for Job Duck HERE.