As COVID-19 has caused many employees to shift to a work from home environment, feelings of being overworked and burnt out are beginning to take hold. Switching to a work from home model enabled many companies to keep business moving forward, but not without cost. In this new remote setup, many employees are finding themselves unable to unplug, working unthinkably longer hours, and struggling to find a balance between work and personal time. While managing it all may seem difficult at this time, we’re sharing five helpful tips to help you avoid burnout while working remotely.
Maintain a Sense of “Professional You”
With a majority of corporate workplaces transitioning to a remote set up, workers no longer have to do things like commute to the office or dress up for the day. While not having to sit in traffic or wake up an extra hour early to get ready may feel like valuable time retained, forgoing your normal routine can be a big disruption. Essentially all barriers between work life and personal life have been removed, accelerating the path to burn out. It’s almost too easy to wake up and “turn on” for the day. However, our talent recruitment team recommends doing the following: rather than staying in your sweatpants all day, wake up and ready yourself for your workday. Going for a walk around the block, having a cup of coffee while catching up on news, or changing from pajamas to comfortable WFH attire will help you structure your day to include some time for “you”. Your mental health and work-life balance are more important than ever while working from home.
Set Your Hours & Maintain Them
Feel like you are putting in more hours than normal? You aren’t alone. The average workday has far exceeded the typical 9-5 for many. Regardless of industry, employees are finding themselves working longer hours, with the inability to disconnect or shut off when your once personal living room, bedroom, or kitchen space now doubles as a home office. If you cannot define your workspace from your personal space, you will not only keep working longer hours but you will not be able to unplug. Rather than letting work take over every aspect of life, set hours for yourself. Whether this be 9-5 or 8-6, allowing time to regain your evenings is key to avoiding prolonged burnout. If possible, 24 Seven recommends designating a certain area of your home to be your “home office” and using that area only for work. Setting physical boundaries between work life and personal life is a great way to help yourself unplug.
Enhance Your To-Do List
Making a to-do list for yourself is a great way to stay organized and gauge what you need to accomplish so you can plan accordingly. We know to-do lists can become overwhelming quickly, especially when you dump every single task on them, so rather than having a running list, we recommend creating a daily to-do list with tasks ordered in level of importance. If you’ve got to submit a report by 5pm, make sure it’s top of mind and top of list to ensure you stay on task and meet your deadline. Additionally, we recommend setting aside time for those tedious tasks that continually make it to the bottom of the list, so you don’t feel like you’re constantly behind. We have also tried to practice this in our digital marketing jobs every day, give it a go!
As we mentioned above, “turning off” may feel impossible during this time, but it’s necessary to fend off feelings of burnout. When your home is your office, it’s important to set boundaries with technology so you’re not replying to emails until midnight. Often times when we seek inspiration on any given topic, we immediately turn to the internet to find our spark. Yet, while our phones and computers provide valuable resources, they also open the flood gates for getting sucked into work. Allow yourself time to exist “device free,” whether you read a book, cook a meal for yourself, or organize your closet. It’s important to have activities that are free of potential work distractions.
Stay in Touch with Your Colleagues
While you work from home, feelings of isolation and loneliness can start to creep in. The lack of casual office banter with colleagues or scheduled face-to-face meetings with a manager, can leave us struggling to communicate what’s top of mind. To avoid feeling insecure and lost, our digital marketing team recommends having a scheduled weekly or bi-weekly touch base with your manager to discuss things like workload, mental health, and career goals. In addition, setting aside time to speak to your manager, team member, or fellow co-worker about non work-related topics is equally as important. Having regular check-ins will help you feel more connected and provide a sense of normality when you need it most.
Keep Time Set Aside for Yourself
Lastly, don’t forget to leave time for yourself. While work plays a major role in our daily lives, leaving time to separate yourself from the work you do is key. Use weekends, early mornings, and evenings to recharge, regroup, and refocus as you navigate through this new “normal”. We know that these times are difficult, but these tips can help prevent burnout while staying productive. For further assistance with digital marketing jobs and creative recruitment, never hesitate to reach out to our talent recruitment team. We’re here to assist in your job search in any way we can!