5 Tips for Preventing Burnout in Remote Work

By Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder
Published: Mar 27, 2024
Working from home has become more common nowadays, but it can lead to burnout without the right balance and self-care. In this article we'll share some tips on how to spot it and prevent it before is too late.
A woman lies on the floor with her work equipment, appearing overwhelmed or exhausted, symbolizing job burnout.

Working from home has become more common, but it can lead to burnout without the right balance and self-care. Here‘s how to prevent it:

  • Establish a Balanced Routine: Set work hours, take regular breaks, and keep work separate from personal time.
  • Set Up Your Own Work Spot: Choose a quiet area, minimize distractions, and invest in ergonomic furniture.
  • Prioritize Regular Breaks and Physical Activity: Schedule short breaks, incorporate exercise, and try active meeting options.
  • Foster Social Connections and Support Networks: Engage in virtual socializing, join interest groups, and maintain regular communication with colleagues.
  • Practice Mindfulness and Stress-Relief Techniques: Include meditation, deep breathing, hobbies, and outdoor activities in your routine.

These strategies help maintain a healthy work-life balance, enhance productivity, and ensure mental well-being while working remotely.

Establish a Balanced Routine for Preventing Burnout

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Having a regular daily plan is super important for preventing burnout. It’s all about making sure there’s a clear line between when you’re working and when you’re not.

Set Consistent Working Hours
  • Pick work hours that suit you best, like 9 AM to 5 PM, and let your team know.
  • Make sure to stop working when your workday is supposed to end. Don’t let work sneak into your free time.
  • Don’t start work before your set time. Enjoy your personal time in the morning.
  • Keeping the same schedule every day helps avoid burnout. Stick to your hours.
Schedule Breaks
  • Remember to take short breaks every hour or two. Just 5-10 minutes can really help.
  • Use this time to stretch, have a snack, or say hi to a friend.
  • Plan a longer break for lunch, about 30-60 minutes. Try to get outside for a bit.
Separate Work and Life
  • Try not to check work stuff when you’re off the clock. Be all in, whether you’re with family or relaxing.
  • Have a spot at home just for work. When you leave it, work’s over for the day.
  • Find ways to switch from work to personal time. Changing clothes after work can help.
  • If you share your space, tell others about your work schedule. A “do not disturb” sign can help when you need to focus.

Having a set routine helps keep work and personal life balanced. It makes sure you don’t work too much, which keeps you happy and engaged with your job. Being disciplined and setting boundaries are key.

Designate a Dedicated Workspace

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When you work from home, it’s really helpful to have a special spot just for work. This helps you know when you’re “at work” and when you’re not. Here’s how to set up a good work area at home:

Choose a Quiet, Private Area

If you can, use a separate room for your office. If not, find a quiet spot in your home away from where everyone walks around and talks. You might use a screen or curtain to make your own little office space. Being in a quiet spot helps you focus and not get distracted.

Ensure Proper Lighting and Ventilation

Make sure your work area is well-lit, either by sunlight or lamps. Also, make sure there’s fresh air coming in. Good light and air keep you awake and feeling good.

Invest in Ergonomic Furniture

Sitting at your desk a lot means you should have a comfy chair and desk that are just right for your height. Remember to get up now and then to stretch. Having the right furniture helps you stay comfy and work better. You might also want to get things like a stand for your monitor or a special keyboard.

Minimize Clutter and Distractions

Keep only what you need for work in your work area. Put other stuff somewhere else. Turn off app notifications and put your phone on silent to avoid getting sidetracked. Close the door and use curtains to block out distractions from outside. Keeping your space tidy helps you stay focused on work.

Establish Boundaries with Household Members

Let the people you live with know about your work area and when you shouldn’t be bothered. You can put up a sign that says when you’re working. Teaching the people at home to respect your work time and space helps make sure you don’t get interrupted.

By following these tips, you can make a great work area at home that helps you do your best work. Putting in a little effort to set up your space can really help with getting your work done well.

Prioritize Regular Breaks and Physical Activity for Preventing Burnout

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Taking breaks and moving around are super important to keep your energy up and stay focused when you’re working from home. Here’s what you can do:

Schedule Short Breaks Throughout the Day

  • Set alarms to remind you to take a quick 5-10 minute break every hour or so. This helps you reset and recharge.
  • Get up, stretch, walk around, grab a healthy snack, or chat with someone. It’s good to move after sitting for a while.
  • Make sure to take a real lunch break for 30-60 minutes. Move away from your desk to eat. If you can, step outside.

Incorporate Exercise and Movement

  • Plan to exercise for 30-60 minutes each day. This could be walking, yoga, or lifting weights.
  • Choose to make phone calls instead of sending emails when you can, so you can walk and talk. Use a headset if it helps.
  • Set reminders to stand up every 30 minutes. Do some stretches or just stand for a bit. If you have a standing desk, use it.
  • Try doing simple exercises like squats or pushups during your short breaks. Even 2-3 minutes can make a difference.

Try Active Meeting Options

  • For some meetings, suggest walking while you talk. This is a good way to get moving.
  • For quick catch-ups, try standing or walking around instead of sitting.

Be Mindful of Ergonomics and Changing Positions

  • Make sure your work area is set up right, with equipment that helps you stay comfortable. If you’re not sure, ask an expert for advice.
  • Switch between sitting and standing throughout the day. Change your position often.
  • If you start feeling stiff or uncomfortable, move around or switch how you’re sitting.

By taking breaks, moving around, and being smart about how you sit and stand, you can avoid feeling burned out. Keeping your body and mind active is key to doing well and feeling good when you’re working remotely. Make it a point to move a bit every day.

Foster Social Connections and Support Networks

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Working from home can sometimes make you feel like you’re on your own. It’s really important for companies to help their remote workers feel connected and supported. Here’s how they can do it:

Encourage Informal Virtual Socializing
  • Set up regular video chats where employees can just hang out and talk. These chats don’t need to be about work, but more about catching up and having fun.
  • Make online groups for hobbies like reading, gaming, or cooking. This lets employees share what they love with others who feel the same way.
  • Send small surprise gifts to employees’ homes. It’s a nice way to show them you’re thinking about them.
Host Virtual Events and Activities
  • Have online game nights, art classes, cooking sessions, or exercise classes. It’s a great way to bring everyone together.
  • Plan yearly meet-ups if possible, so everyone can get to know each other better. These face-to-face times can really strengthen team bonds.
  • Celebrate when someone does a great job or hits a milestone with online cards or video shout-outs. It shows everyone that their hard work is noticed.
Provide Mentorship and Buddy Programs
  • Match new employees with more experienced ones for guidance and support.
  • Start a buddy system so everyone has someone they can turn to for help or just to talk.
  • Managers should check in with their team members one-on-one regularly to see how they’re doing.
Leverage Digital Tools to Stay Connected
  • Use online tools to share updates, celebrate wins, and give shout-outs.
  • Make sure employees know to keep their online statuses updated, so the team knows when they’re available.
  • Regularly ask employees how they’re feeling to keep an eye on their mental health and see if anyone’s feeling overwhelmed.

Making sure remote employees feel part of the team takes some effort, but it’s worth it. When employees feel like they belong and are supported, they’re happier, work better, and are more likely to stick around.

Practice Mindfulness and Stress-Relief Techniques for Preventing Burnout

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When you work from home, it can sometimes get pretty stressful. It’s really important to try and keep your stress down and take good care of your mental health. Adding some calm and relaxation to your day can help stop you from feeling too overwhelmed.

Take Time for Meditation and Deep Breathing
  • Every day, try to spend 5-10 minutes sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing. Apps like Headspace or Calm can guide you.
  • If you start feeling stressed, stop what you’re doing and take deep breaths for a few minutes. Breathe in slowly, then breathe out slowly, and try to think only about your breathing.
Try Beginner Yoga and Stretching
  • Search for easy yoga videos online and follow along for about 10-15 minutes each day. Yoga can help your body relax.
  • Don’t forget to stretch now and then, especially if you’ve been sitting for a while. Stretching helps your muscles feel less tight.
Engage in Hobbies and Creative Activities
  • Set aside time for things you enjoy doing, like reading, doing puzzles, taking photos, or making things. These activities can make you feel happier.
  • Try cooking something new, starting a project at home, or learning to play an instrument. Doing creative stuff can help lower stress.
Spend Time Outdoors
  • If you can, go outside for a bit. Take a walk, eat outside, or just sit and enjoy being in nature. Being outside can help you feel more relaxed.
Practice Gratitude and Positivity
  • Every day, write down some things you’re thankful for. Thinking about the good stuff can help you feel more positive.
  • Keep a journal where you write down happy moments or things that made you smile. This can help improve your mood over time.
Set Healthy Boundaries
  • It’s okay to say no to extra work sometimes. Make sure you have days when you can just relax.
  • Try not to check your work emails or messages after hours. This helps you unwind and recharge.

Adding these simple things to your daily routine can help you feel less anxious and stop burnout from happening. Remember to be nice to yourself and make time for calm moments. Keeping your mental health in check is really important.

Conclusion

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It’s really important for companies with people working from home to help stop burnout. Without a good balance between work and free time, and taking care of yourself, you can get too tired, not do your best work, and not be happy with your job. But, if you use the tips we talked about, both the people running the companies and the workers can make sure everyone feels good and enjoys their work from home.

Recap of Key Strategies

Here’s a quick look again at the main ways to avoid getting burned out:

  • Set up a regular routine: Make sure you have set work hours and take breaks often. Keep work and free time separate.
  • Make a good work space at home: Find a quiet spot without distractions and use comfy furniture.
  • Move around: Remember to stand up and move, have meetings while walking, and exercise every day.
  • Stay connected with others: Do fun online activities and set up programs where people can help each other.
  • Take care of yourself: Spend time doing things like meditating, yoga, hobbies, and being outside to relax.

The Benefits of Prevention

When you work on stopping burnout, it’s good for both the company and the workers:

  • You’ll do better work: If you’re not too tired and have a good balance, you’ll be more focused and come up with great ideas.
  • You’ll feel better: Less stress means you’re happier and more into your work.
  • You’ll want to stay with your job: If you feel like your company cares and you’re connected to your coworkers, you’re less likely to leave.
  • It saves money: Stopping burnout means less time off, fewer people leaving, and more work getting done.

Companies should help make a work environment that stops burnout, and workers should also do their part to stay healthy.

Working from home doesn’t have to mean feeling alone or burned out. If everyone works together, you can have a good balance and keep doing well at your job.

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Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder

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