Feature by Simran Bharadwaj
Image by Freepik
When we first started working from home, it was a necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a transition that was difficult for everyone. Adjusting space in the house for multiple working individuals and children at virtual school. It was chaos. After two years it became a way of life. However, due to this major change in lifestyle there comes the challenge of managing working from home without burning out.
Some of the main questions to ask yourself are:
Do you find it difficult to concentrate?
Have your sleep habits changed?
Do you lack energy at home?
If you realize that burnout is a significant concern, there may be changes you can make to your daily routine to balance out work stress and relaxation at home.
1. Creating a Home Office
This space doesn’t necessarily have to be a whole room. Setting aside space in your apartment for office related activities, and nothing else, will help with separating the work and home environment. Rather than taking your laptop to the sofa or bed, stick to one space to do work, like you would if you had to go in person.
Mindfulness doesn’t always mean meditation. It can also mean paying attention to what your body needs. When we are focused on work we can forget to take breaks, eat food, drink water, or just get up and stretch. Working at home can lead to too many breaks or too few. Listening to what your body needs is important to avoid burnout.
3. Sticking to the Routine
Waking up every morning, taking a shower, eating breakfast, essentially sticking to the routine that you would normally have if you were going into the office. Understandably these morning activities might be slightly altered considering a change in responsibilities with being at home, however sticking closely to a routine you are used to can help with managing time during the work day and not think about work after logging off.
4. Stay Active and Schedule Breaks
Working from home can often lead us to extending our work hours due to distractions during the day or just knowing we can always log on later and finish up some extra work. Creating a calendar and sticking to a schedule can help with finishing tasks during the designated work day. However, if you find yourself working past the end of the work day anyways, I would suggest taking breaks throughout the day to stretch, walk around the apartment or even outside. Staying active will keep the blood flowing, which will help avoid staring at a screen for over 8 hours per day.
Although many of us have been working from home for over two years now, the change hasn’t been easy. It can be difficult to stay focused all day while being at home. These tips are just a few that have helped me in the last couple years to prevent burnout and limit over working just because I can log on outside of the workplace.