Are you showing signs of work from home burnout?
Before COVID, the thought of work from home (WFH) sounded like a dream; Lounging in sweatpants, hanging out with our pets, sleeping in, and saving hours by not commuting.
But for a lot of people, work from home has become too much of a good thing, and WFH burnout is on the rise. In a monster.com survey of people working from home, 63% of the respondents had experienced consequent burnout. And if you’ve been working from home, these results probably don’t surprise you. Most of us remote workers have realized that:
. Working from home is lonely. We miss the energy of being around other people.
. Remote work can be monotonous, particularly if you don’t leave the house.
. Remote work blurs the work-life divide. You could be ‘always on’, or fighting procrastination.
Are you starting to experience work from home burnout? The Knack team has always been remote, so we’re excited to share some of our strategies for avoiding WFH burnout.
Break up the monotony by getting out of the house
Working from home can make it too easy to never leave the house, which in turn can make days blur together, and motivation dwindle. No matter how cozy your home office is, you need a change of scenery from time to time.
Luckily, work from home doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to always work at home. With some COVID restrictions lifted, there are more and more work locations for remote workers to spend their time.
. Go to a local coffee shop or library, even to just knock out a few emails.
. Join a coworking space - most even offer day passes if you want to give it a test run. Or, check out Deskpass to sample all of the coworking spaces in your city.
. Work at a friend or family’s house. In all likelihood, you know somebody else who’d like a work buddy.
If your situation allows it, you can actually turn work from home into work from anywhere. AirBnb offers long-term rentals all over the world, and the prices are way lower than when you book by the day or week. Make a booking in another state or country, because nothing beats burnout quite like experiencing a new way of living.
Create a work / life divide
The blurred lines between work and home can be emotionally draining. Without a commute, it’s hard for your brain to know when to turn off ‘work mode.” And equally challenging is fighting the distractions at home. Honestly, a lot of mental energy goes into fighting the urge to take a mid-morning nap.
Luckily, there are some easy ways to switch your brain into work-mode, and then into chill-mode.
. Get dressed for work, and save the pajama pants for 5pm.
. Build a dedicated workspace. Don’t work on the bed or couch, as tempting as it is. Read this post for some tips how to build an awesome home office.
. Try time blocking. Block out time in your schedule to do only one activity at a time. And make sure to block out time for breaks.
Build a community
Do you miss small talk by the watercooler? Those seemingly trivial conversations were actually really important - they helped us build a community and gave our minds something to think about besides work.
But it is possible to connect with your coworkers, even when you’re not together in the office every day.
. Meet up in real life. Chances are, your coworkers are also suffering from remote work fatigue, and could use a companion.
. Connect on social media. Even if you don’t live near each other, social media can get you involved in each other's less-professional lives.
. Talk about things besides work. Start a group chat on SMS or Slack for totally non-work-related topics.
Don’t be afraid to meet new people. It’s actually really easy.
. Join a meetup. Meetup.com has groups for virtually every interest and hobby you can imagine. It’s a great opportunity to connect with like minded people.
. Join a volunteer organization. Make friends and make the world a better place at the same time.
Give yourself a break
Spending all of your time on a screen can compound job stress, and sometimes you often just need to turn off the computer and step away. If you’re feeling drained, it’s okay to take a break and try to reset and recharge.
. Ask for a mental health day. Time to rest, recuperate, and recharge will make you more productive in the long run.
. Do a digital detox. Take a weekend getaway into nature (and take your Knack with you - it’s the perfect weekend getaway bag).
A break can be great for your mental health, and you can stay motivated by planning breaks - and other treats - to look forward to. Keep your calendar populated with vacations, self-care staycations, events, and gatherings with friends and family.
What do you do to stay happy and motivated when working from home? Let us know!