“It is no work that kills; but no wok and overwork.” Aldus Manutius
So, the world was left with no other option but to embrace remote working; even the most skeptical of bosses and managers have had to accept the dramatic change brought about by the outbreak of ghastly COVID-19.
We don’t know for how long we’ll have to keep on working within the confinements of our homes, but it’s not going to be over anytime soon, that’s for sure. Even though remote work offers several benefits to both employers and employees, it does have its struggles, which are often ignored or not talked about.
Burnout is a common issue in workplaces in general, and the flexibility of remote work does not guarantee you will be able to avoid suffering from this condition. We’ve been working from homes almost daily for the last couple of months now, and managers are now facing problems with employees who are not used to working remotely.
As a Chief Marketing Officer at ProofHub, I knew very well that most people in my team are not accustomed to working from home daily. I also realized that if they could not adjust to the changes in working style in time, it can take a toll on their emotional and physical well-being.
What Is Burnout and Why It’s Bad For You
Burnout is a state of constant emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged & unresolved stress. Burnout is experienced when an individual feels overwhelmed due to a demanding work schedule, and unable to meet constant demand due to certain reasons.
Burnout can happen to anyone — entrepreneurs, business owners, and freelancers. The survey conducted by Morar Consulting in 2016 found that 40 percent of office workers in the United States and Canada feel burned out citing various reasons.
Disadvantages of Working Overtime
Working over 40 hours a week can easily lead to burnout, which can lead to many ill-effects on the people, such as:
- Excessive stress
- Lack of free time
- Blurred work/life boundaries
- Below-par performance
- Poor productivity
- Can lead to job dissatisfaction
- May lead to mental illness/depression
- Deteriorated physical health
For managers, it’s essential to keep a close eye on every member of their team for any signs of loneliness and burnout. So, I wasted no time in scheduling a virtual meeting and sharing eight useful tips to help them easily adapt to a new role and manage stress.
Here, I am sharing these valuable tips with you, so that you and your colleagues can fully enjoy work and life, without letting burnout take over them and seriously hurt all aspects of their lives. Read on to know more about it.
1. Enjoy Flexibility
Work from home brings a more flexible schedule, and you should enjoy such an advantage. Though you’re expected to follow a work schedule, that doesn’t mean you should become too rigid with it. Once in a while, it’s okay to play with your kids outside, have lunch with friends, go out for a coffee, etc.
The point here is — do not over-pressurize yourself with work. When you work remotely, you have the leverage to set your own schedule and work at your own pace. If taking breaks helps you relax and rejuvenate, go ahead and do it. Occasional fun activities during working hours can help you stay afresh.
2. Take Regular Short Breaks During Working Hours
When working from home, some people tend to work continuously at their desks because they don’t take regular “short” breaks, like they do in the office. You can easily get engrossed in the work that you end up working continuously for hours, which can eventually lead to exhaustion.
Take random tea or coffee breaks, get up from your chair, eat snacks or lunch, stretch when you start to feel cramped, take a walk outside your home. A short 5-minute break every half an hour or so is recommended to help you stay focused over a long period of time, gives your eyes some rest, and improves productivity.
3. Look For Burnout Symptoms
One of the surest ways to avoid burnout is to know if you’re starting to feel it. You can work on and on for days before you realize you’re suffering from burnout. Are you trudging to your desk each morning? Do you feel you’re stuck at your work and have no gas in the tank to perform assignments?
Managers who are busy to prevent burnout within the team should take good care of themselves too as they’re putting in a lot of effort, especially during remote working. If you feel something’s not just right and burnout symptoms are showing up, it’s high time you change the way you work.
4. Set Deadlines And Meet Them
Why should you have to work overtime in the first place? Are you working late at night because you are not being able to meet deadlines? Most probably, you’re slow in your work. Remember, the flexibility of WFH does not mean you can start slacking off.
You need to set deadlines and work in a planned way to meet them. If you’re unable to do this, it’s obvious that you would end up working beyond regular work hours, which will set you up for potential burnout. At the same time, communicate with your manager if you feel you’ve excessive workload that is way more than what you can handle.
“On time project delivery & on-point team accountability with ProofHub. Sign up now!”
5. Communicate Regularly With Colleagues
Sitting in a closed home-office space, without coworkers can make people feel alone and isolated, especially the “extrovert” ones who thrive on social interactions. However, remote work does not mean you stop communicating with your colleagues, managers, and bosses.
Schedule video calls, make a phone call, chat instantly with other team members to stay connected. You can talk about work, indulge in casual conversation, and crack some jokes to ease your stress and avoid burnout when working from home. Reach out using the right communication tools, and you’ll never feel cut-off from your pack.
6. Use The Best Tools For Work
Lack of collaboration and complex project management can add up to the employees’ stress. Using the right tools and equipment is crucial to simplify task management and collaborate effectively with others. Not using the best technology can hamper the work progress, which can end up taking its toll on the people.
Using top-rated project management and collaboration tools like ProofHub, Asana, Basecamp, etc, can make things so much easier for the workforce. Whether it’s time management, task assignment, custom reports, or visualizing workflow, you and your team can achieve more in less time.
“Have ultimate control over teams and projects easier than ever before. Try ProofHub now for free!”
7. Spend Quality Time With Family and Friends
The worst thing that can happen to any remote worker is shutting themselves off from the rest of the outside world. Don’t become a hermit; you’re already missing physical interaction with coworkers in your regular office.
Disconnect from the work at the end of the day and dedicate time to your loved ones. Go out with family in the evening, play with kids in a park, plan a movie with friends, have dinner outside. Don’t let remote work cut into your personal time. Live, laugh, and love, and see how it does wonders for your morale and overall health.
8. Set Up a Dedicated Workspace In Your Home
Working from home doesn’t mean you can work from your bed or couch all day long. It’s so easy to feel lazy and procrastinate things in the lack of direct supervision. Maintain your professional outlook towards work while working from home, and having a dedicated home office can help you do your work minus annoying distractions.
Carving out a dedicated workspace in your home can help you draw a line between your personal and professional life. Additionally, it also makes your family members understand that you have work to do and frequent interruptions can affect your productivity. Don’t carry your work to bed or a drawing room; this is the space where it should all begin and end.
By and Large
Burnout is hard to catch, especially in the case of remote workers. Your organization should be vigilant in checking if all’s well with your WFH employees, or some of them are feeling the heat of a new working style. The fact is that life is not normal now, and there is bound to be stress as an average individual has too many things to be concerned about.
Yet, it’s important to perform well at work. Striking the right balance between work and personal life and staying connected with your colleagues and outside world holds the key to how well you manage to tackle the challenges of remote work.
A Non-Profit Initiative
ProofHub is a responsible business that is committed to serving mankind in the time of distress caused by global pandemic-COVID-19. Keeping in line with its ethical values, ProofHub is now available free of cost to schools for the rest of 2020. Sign up for ProofHub and email to customer support to get started!
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