Great Britain

Six ways to stop burnout as working from home set to become 'new norm' for many

As much as some of us might miss the office, it’s definitely time to accept that working from home isn’t going anywhere.

After three lockdowns, it’s easy to start feeling burnt out with working from home and dreading the morning ‘commute’ from your bed to your desk.

To help keep things fresh, we've come up with six practical ways you can stop the burnout and keep your work/life balance in order – even when your work and your life are both stuck inside.

1. Build little joys into your days

Half the fun of working in an office is the random little moments that make your day, like your colleague suggesting a new place for lunch or a funny email typo that’s promptly emailed around the entire office.

Those spontaneous moments are harder to come by when working from home, so make an effort to add little joys into your days.

Practical tips for little joys:

• Order from a local café once a week and support a local business

• Invest in a basic cafetiere and milk frother and make yourself a proper coffee in the morning

• Challenge your colleagues to a daily ‘funniest thing I saw on the internet today’ competition

• Wake up a half hour earlier and sit in the sunniest spot in your house with a cuppa

• Personalise the wall opposite your WHF desk with prints or photos that make you smile

2. Keep your workspace and your relaxing space separate

Without your morning commute, switching into work mode can be tricky, so having a separate space will make it easier to get into a work-ready headspace.

Try to replicate an office environment at home – work at a proper desk (if you have one) and choose a location without lots of temptations that could drain productivity.

If you’re working out of a bedroom or in your living room, create a physical barrier between your workspace and where you relax after work.

Practical tip for keeping things separate: If it’s possible, make sure you’ve got at least two feet of clear space between your desk and bed, or use a folding screen to keep your work area and relaxing space distinct from each other.

3. Mute notifications

As technology means we can now access work emails and instant messaging apps wherever, whenever, the constant ping of notifications keeps us alert and can prevent us from truly relaxing.

When you’ve clocked off from work, make sure you mute your notifications, and take a bit of time for yourself.

Practical tip for switching off: Mute notifications, or set up an automated out of office to remind people that your working hours are called working hours for a reason!

4. Get moving

Exercise is a fantastic way to take a break from your laptop screen, enhance your mood and boost your productivity.

You don’t need to strap on the running shoes every lunchtime – just go for a walk around your street to get the blood flowing and get some much-needed vitamin D.

Even if the dreary winter weather ruins your plans, there’s plenty you can do indoors even without gym equipment.

Practical tip to get moving throughout the day: Stick on an episode of your favourite TV show and make up rules - do a jumping jack every time Jim looks at the camera in the office, or squat every time someone drinks coffee in Friends.

5. Stick to a bedtime routine

Everyone knows sleep is important, but it’s so easy to just think ‘one more episode’.

But creating a sleep pattern helps you keep to a routine (yes, that means sticking to it on a weekend too) and after all, we’re all creatures of habit.

Practical tip for making a routine: Start marking when you feel tired each day to find the right bedtime for your body.

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit stick, so take it a day at a time and before you know it your bedtime routine will be set and sorted.

6. Stay Connected

Last but certainly not least, stay connected to others. Human beings are social creatures after all. That might mean scheduling a quick video call with a friend or using your time before or after work to catch-up with colleagues about non-related work stuff.

Practical top tip to keep in touch with people: just put chat on while you’re all working to create an office environment and get the work bants going!

These top tips were compiled by video conference call provider PowWowNow

Head of Marketing at PowWowNow Sarah Fuller, said: “Working from home can feel tiring and monotonous after a while, so it’s important to shake yourself out of the slump and avoid burnout.

"When you feel isolated, you struggle to focus on work – but more importantly you might just end up struggling with your mental health.

"That’s why even little things like video and conference calls with teammates and planting little together.”

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