Many people think that working from home is all rainbows and unicorns after. What they do not know is that such a setup has its perils. One of which is getting bored staying in the same environment for hours.
If neglected, this can lead to burnout. That said, we have listed seven actionable tips you can follow to prevent work-from-home fatigue.
Set limits and boundaries
When working from home, a common phenomenon that you may experience would be working outside of supposed work hours.
The blurred lines between your work life and home life make it harder to set boundaries. This can lead to the degradation of the quality of your work life and home life.
The lack of boundary between your work life and home life won't only manifest itself in unhealthy work habits. Another way that a lack of limits can show up is when you get easily distracted because of people in your house.
For your own sake, you must prevent burnout and fatigue by knowing how to set limits and boundaries. Communicate to the critical people at work when you are available for work. Have a plan in place when they try to contact you when you're unavailable.
You should also set a boundary with your family members, indicating when you will be unavailable for a chat because of work. Don't make yourself readily available for anyone.
Carve out a dedicated workspace
Speaking of setting a boundary, one of the best and easiest ways to set up a limit would be having a dedicated workspace. If you have a spare room and are lucky enough to use it for whatever purposes you want, you can use that as your home office.
Of course, you don't need to have a separate room altogether to get a home office. All you need is a relatively quiet corner of a space that you can lock, a comfortable chair, and a table.
With just these alone, you can have a dedicated workspace that isn't open to anyone walking around in the house to focus on your work easily.
Reclaim your commute
You undeniably have more free time now that you've cut off the commute period to your office. However, there is no need to eliminate your commute time to start your day off.
That buffer time between home life and your work life is a smooth transition that can get you to focus on your job more smoothly.
Based on your commute, use that time to do things you probably were doing during the commute. For example, if, during the commute, you listen to a podcast, then listen to that podcast for as long as your commute used to be.
It's a great routine so that you aren't clocking in and out of work while living a life not centered around work.
Try working at a ratio of 90:20
You shouldn't beat yourself up if you're unable to focus for more than two hours at a time. You have to find the work style that does best for you instead of trying to fit yourself into whatever work style everyone else does.
With that said, if you're looking for work styles to try out, consider trying the 90/20 work style. The 90/20 work style is about dedicating an hour and a half (90 minutes) to work followed by a 20-minute break.
Your 20-minute break should be as unbroken as your 90-minute work. That means not using social media or answering emails during that 20-minute break.
Stay in touch with your colleagues
One thing that you might miss out on when working from home would be the camaraderie between you and your colleagues. Even if you're close to only one coworker, having that connection can help you improve your mood and attitude towards work.
If you feel like staying in touch with a colleague increases your sense of accountability, why not schedule a weekly call with them? You can catch up with each other's tasks, provide and receive help when needed, and give and receive feedback to improve your work.
It doesn't have to be a very long session. It can be a 30-minute scrum meeting, as long as it can make a difference in your work quality.
It would help if you also maximize the time you have when you're not working. One way you can avoid burnout and fatigue is by practicing self-care whenever you can.
Self-care doesn't have to be an at-home spa day if it's not something you think will relax you. Of course, that doesn't mean that a self-care day is about overindulging in things because sometimes that can also make you feel fatigued.
You have to be thoughtful and careful with what you do during your self-care sessions but proactively take self-care.
Take some time off
Make the most out of the dedicated vacation days that your company gives you. Even though you're unable to travel, there are still plenty of things that you can do to help your body and mind rest and recuperate.
Some time off can help you reconnect with family and friends, which will also help motivate you once you come back to work.
The key to avoiding work-from-home burnout is to be proactive about it. And building one of the healthy habits listed above can be an excellent way to start. So, please don't wait until you're experiencing exhaustion and burnout symptoms before you do something about it.
About the Author:
Raymond Chiu is the Director of Operations for Maid Sailors, a trusted NYC office cleaning service provider. Maid Sailors offers its customers unrivaled office cleaning services that can address even the toughest cleaning needs. Matched with affordable prices, Maid Sailors is your best partner in helping you turn your office into a work-friendly workplace.