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Avoid Burnout Whilst WFH

by Samantha Scott 11 months ago in workflow
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Burnout is one thing, but the long term impact is even worse. You’ll be disengaged, and even resent your work.

Avoid Burnout Whilst WFH
Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

Many of us had to quickly transition to remote working due to COVID-19.

As time has passed, and this new reality has kicked in, it’s become more apparent that we must protect our time if we’re to avoid burnout. If you were not working remotely pre-covid, you may find yourself working more hours than you would in an office (in an attempt to ‘prove’ to you’re working), or you’re struggling to switch off from work because there’s nowhere else for you to be.

You may be missing the office environment and feel that’s the one thing that helped you stay on track and motivated, others are loving working from home but can’t seem to stop working!

If you’re feeling drowned in work, don’t panic. I’m here to help!

Burnout is one thing, but the long term impact is even worse. You’ll be disengaged, and even resent your work.

So, what can you do to avoid all that?

Manage Expectations

Let your team know your working hours and stick to them — especially if you’re in a different timezone from others in your team. Need to redefine these expectations? Fine, but let your team know. Communication is key here, sharing this with your team will allow you to switch off your laptop at a reasonable time and not feel the need to reply to “just one more” email.

Give yourself more time

I know I know there is only so much time in one day…but this hack has changed my life recently. Back to back calls can be intense. The trick is to cushion these calls with at least 5–10 mins either side. It gives you time to digest the meeting and take a break. Make a coffee and step away from your screen before jumping on the next call. This will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the next one. I had been suffering from Zoom fatigue for some time and now I feel a lot better after giving myself that space.

Stick to your routine

Just because things are different this year, doesn’t mean you should give up your old routines and the habits you’d created. Admittedly there may be some adjustments but find a routine that works for you and stick to it. This will increase your mental attention and focus.

Find something you enjoy

I’ve written about this before, but closing your laptop for the day and having something to look forward to is a motivation to stop working. For some this can be binge-watching your favourite show, working out, going for a walk, calling a friend or anything else that may be enjoyable to you. For me, it’s cooking. Getting creative in the kitchen allows me to switch off from work in the evenings.

Find structure in your workday

It’s likely you’ve got more distractions than ever, especially if you’re working at home with family or kids nearby. Set ‘work boundaries’ so you can avoid being interrupted by the kids or distracted by the washing you need to do. Whilst you’re working, try to clear your physical and mental space from any home chores or other concerns you’ve got — I know it’s easier said than done but removing yourself physically away from the mess, really does help. If there are a million things going on in your head, write them down. Having structure will help you to separate work and life, and avoid the overwhelming feeling of ‘too much to do, too little time’.

Dedicated workspace

Now you’ve got your office boundaries set-up, or at least know where you’re working from — make it comfy! Not having the right office set-up can lead to stress and distractions. Limited space? Try redesigning an area of your home where you can set-up an office. Avoid working from your bed, it’s really bad for your posture and it’ll be harder to enjoy your downtime. You’ll want to keep your bed clear from working activities so you can switch off later on in the day.


Although many of us are isolating and perhaps lack social interaction (know that you’re not alone here) connecting with your colleagues is so important. Jump on a video call, catch up with them over a virtual coffee and find that connection you’re craving with your coworkers. Connecting with your loved ones is just as important, allowing you to take a break from work.

Is burnout a concern for you?

Give yourself time to settle into remote working.

Dedicate some of that time to practice a few of these tips. If you implement one change today, you’ll be on your way to improving your work-life balance in no time.

Take a look at your workstation and ask yourself…” Do I have the right set-up to get the best out of myself today?” If you answered no, change it.

You can thank me later.


About the author

Samantha Scott

Remote work advocate | Slowed since 2018 | Actionable tips for remote workers, nomads & those who slow travel

IG: @allthingsremote 📸

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