What Is WFH Burnout and 3 Tips to Avoid It

By Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder
Published: Mar 27, 2024
Feeling overwhelmed by working from home? You're not alone. Many of us face WFH burnout, feeling fatigued, unfocused, and stressed. In this article we'll dive into the most common symptoms and the best ways to avoid getting burned out.
A burnt-out matchstick stands out among a group of untouched matchsticks against a plain pink background.

Feeling overwhelmed by working from home? You’re not alone. Many of us face WFH burnout, feeling fatigued, unfocused, and stressed. But don’t worry, there are ways to avoid this.

  • Understand the signs: Fatigue, lack of focus, feeling detached, and physical stress.
  • Know the triggers: Unclear boundaries, unrealistic expectations, loneliness, and high-pressure deadlines.

To combat these, here are 3 simple tips:

  • Maintain Physical and Social Boundaries: Dress for work, have a dedicated workspace, and take short walks.
  • Maintain Temporal Boundaries: Stick to a work schedule, use chat/email settings to show when you’re working, and communicate your availability.
  • Focus on Your Most Important Work: Prioritize tasks, block off uninterrupted work time, and minimize distractions.

Implementing these strategies can help you maintain your well-being and productivity while enjoying the benefits of working from home.

Symptoms

When you’re burned out from working at home, you might notice a few signs:

  • Fatigue – You feel tired all the time, even if you’ve had enough sleep.
  • Lack of focus – It’s hard to concentrate or remember things.
  • Feeling detached – You start to care less about your job.
  • Physical stress – You might have headaches, tight muscles, or stomach problems.

These signs mean you’re not as productive or involved in your work as you could be. You might see one or all of these symptoms if the stress of remote work gets too much.

Triggers

A few main things can make work from home burnout worse:

  • Unclear boundaries – If you don’t separate work time from personal time, you might work too much without enough breaks. This mix-up is a big reason why people get burned out at home.
  • Unrealistic expectations – Feeling pressured to do more than is possible from home can stress you out.
  • Lack of social connections – Working alone and not seeing people face to face can make you feel lonely and tired over time.
  • High-pressure deadlines – Having to meet too many tight deadlines can push you too hard.

Knowing what causes burnout can help you figure out how to feel better or avoid it. It’s important to take care of yourself, set goals you can actually reach, stay connected with people, and manage your time well when you’re working from home.

3 Tips to Avoid WFH Burnout

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1. Maintain Physical and Social Boundaries

When you’re working from home, it’s key to keep your work life and home life separate. Here’s how:

  • Dress like you’re going to the office. Don’t stay in your sleep clothes all day.
  • Pick a spot in your home that’s just for work. Avoid working from your bed or sofa.
  • Go for short walks now and then to break up your day, like you’re commuting.

Setting these boundaries can really help you not feel burned out from working at home.

2. Maintain Temporal Boundaries

It’s just as important to set boundaries for your time:

  • Have a regular work schedule and try not to work late.
  • Use your chat or email settings to show when you’re working or not.
  • Tell your team when you’re available, especially if it changes.

Having a clear work schedule and letting others know when you’re available keeps you from feeling like you have to work all the time, which can lead to burnout.

3. Focus on Your Most Important Work

When you’re at home:

  • Each day, pick the 1-3 tasks that are most important.
  • Block off time to work on these tasks without being interrupted.
  • Turn off notifications and close things you don’t need to avoid distractions.

Focusing on the big tasks helps you avoid getting stuck in less important work and keeps you moving forward on what really matters. This keeps you engaged and helps avoid burnout.

Implementing Tips for Marketing Professionals to Avid WFH Burnout

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Working from home can be great for marketing folks because it gives them the freedom to manage their time. However, it’s also easy to get burned out if we’re not careful. The advice we’ve talked about is really useful for anyone in marketing to keep up their good work, stay creative, and feel connected.

The Importance of Boundaries

It’s super important to have a clear line between work and personal life when you’re working from home. In marketing, you’re always coming up with new ideas, making content, and working with others. If you don’t set boundaries, you might find yourself working too much, getting tired, and losing interest.

Having a specific place to work, sticking to a work schedule, and letting your team know when you’re available can help stop burnout. These steps also make working together and creating content easier. By keeping work and home life separate, marketers can keep their energy up and do their best work.

Reducing Context Switching

Being able to focus is really important for coming up with new marketing ideas. But when you’re at home, there are a lot of distractions that can make you switch between tasks a lot. This makes it harder to concentrate and can wear you out over time.

Choosing the most important tasks to focus on each day can help you stay on track. Turning off notifications and not trying to do too many things at once can also help you concentrate better. When you can focus, you’ll come up with better ideas and feel more motivated because you’re making progress.

Fostering Connections and Communication

Marketing is all about working closely with others, sharing ideas, and getting feedback. When you’re not in the same place as your team, it can be harder to feel connected and stay on the same page. This can lead to confusion and extra stress.

It’s really important to keep talking and building relationships, even when you’re not in the same place. Having online social events, chatting, and sharing updates through videos can help everyone feel more connected. By keeping in touch, marketers can work better together, be more productive, and avoid feeling burned out.

In short, setting clear boundaries, focusing on your work, and staying connected with your team are key ways to avoid burnout. This lets you enjoy the benefits of working from home while still doing great marketing work.

Conclusion

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Working from home has its ups and downs. Knowing about WFH burnout and how to dodge it can make a big difference.

The three tips we talked about – keeping work and life separate, managing your time well, and focusing on what’s really important – are key to avoiding burnout.

Here’s what to remember:

  • WFH burnout can make you feel tired, distracted, less connected to your job, and even cause headaches or other physical issues.
  • Burnout often comes from not having clear work/life lines, expecting too much from yourself, feeling lonely, and dealing with too many urgent tasks.
  • To keep work and life separate, dress for work even at home, have a spot just for work, and let your team know when you’re working.
  • To manage your time, pick the most important things to do each day, avoid interruptions, and set aside time to focus.
  • Using these simple strategies for working from home can also make your overall life better – you’ll be healthier, have better relationships, a good balance in life, and feel more at peace.

The sudden shift to working from home because of COVID-19 caught a lot of us off guard. But with a bit of planning, knowing yourself, and some straightforward tips, working from home can be rewarding and keep you motivated for the long run. These tips for avoiding burnout help you stay happy and successful while working remotely.

Related Questions

What is WFH burnout?

Work burnout is when job stress makes you feel totally spent, hopeless about work, and like you’ve lost your sense of purpose. It’s not officially a medical condition but comes from not dealing with work stress properly. Managing your workload and stress better can help you avoid feeling this way.

How do I stop WFH burnout?

To fight off the stress of working from home:

  • Do something active like a quick walk, some stretching, or meditation during your work day. Moving and taking a moment to relax can help battle stress.
  • Plan short breaks throughout your day for some exercise, meditation, or just to get some fresh air.

Taking these small breaks can help keep burnout at bay.

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Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder

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