6 practical ways to stop WFH burnout

As much as some of us might miss the office, it’s definitely time to accept that working from home isn’t going anywhere. After three lockdowns, it’s easy to start feeling burnt out on working from home and dreading the morning ‘commute’ from your bed to your desk.

Man working from home

To help keep things fresh, video conference call provider PowWowNow has shared six practical ways you can stop the burnout and keep your work/life balance in order – even when your work and your life are both stuck inside. 

1. Build little joys into your days

Half the fun of working in an office is the random moments that make your day, like your colleague suggesting a new place for lunch or a funny email typo that’s promptly sent around the entire office. Those spontaneous moments are harder to come by when working from home, so you need to make an effort to intentionally add little joys into your days.

Our tips for doing this: 

  • Order from a local café once a week and support a local business.
  • Invest in a basic cafetiere and milk frother and make yourself a proper coffee in the morning.
  • Challenge your colleagues to a daily ‘funniest thing I saw on the Internet today’ competition.
  • Wake up half an hour earlier and sit in the sunniest spot in your house with a cuppa.
  • Personalise the wall opposite your WHF desk with prints or photos that make you smile.

2. Keep your working and living spaces separate  

Without your morning commute, switching into work mode can be tricky, so having a separate space can make it easier to get into a work-ready headspace.

One of the best things you can do to make working from home easier mentally is to create a proper working environment. You might feel cosier in sweatpants on the sofa but, mentally, you’re not helping yourself to switch into work mode – and you’re definitely not helping your posture.

Instead, if you have room, use a proper desk and chair, or at least work from the dinner table. If you’re working at a desk in your bedroom or living room, create a physical barrier between your workspace and where you relax after work.

Couple relaxing on sofa

Our tip for keeping things separate:

If it’s possible, make sure you’ve got at least two feet of clear space between your desk and bed, or use a folding screen to keep your work area and relaxing space distinct from each other. 

3. Mute notifications when you finish work 

Working from home means bringing your work technology into your personal space – which is why it’s more important than ever to really log off in the evening. With email and team chats more active than ever, it’s tempting to start replying and working even in your personal time.

Keep the hard work to your working hours – mute your notifications, and make the most of your free time for yourself, family, and friends.  

Our tip for switching off: 

Mute notifications, or set up an automated out of office to remind people that your working hours are called working hours for a reason!

4. Get moving

It can be hard to pry yourself away from the screen, but even a little bit of exercise each day will help to make working from home less monotonous. Not only can exercise stimulate endorphins to boost your mood, but it can really help your productivity.

You don’t need to strap on the running shoes every lunchtime – just go for a walk around your street to get the blood flowing and get some much-needed vitamin D. By the time you get back, you might even find that you’re ready to tackle that one task you’ve been putting off. 

Even if the dreary winter weather ruins your plans, there’s plenty you can do indoors even without gym equipment.

Our tip to get moving throughout the day: 

Stick on an episode of your favourite TV show and make up rules – do a jumping jack every time Jim looks at the camera in the Office, or squat every time someone drinks coffee in Friends. 

5. Set a bedtime and stick to it

Everyone knows sleep is important, but it’s so easy to think ‘just one more episode’. But, creating a sleep pattern helps you keep to a routine (yes, that means sticking to it on weekends too). They say it takes 21 days to make a habit stick, so take it a day at a time and before you know it your bedtime routine will be set and sorted. 

Our tip for making a routine:

Start marking when you feel tired each day to find the right bedtime for your body. Everyone’s body clock is different, so take a note of when you feel sleepy and head straight to bed instead of delaying it. 

cat sleeping on bed

6. Stay connected

In our work-from-home bubbles, it’s all too easy to feel isolated, which can lead to a spiral of negative feelings. Human beings need interaction, so it’s important that you stay connected to others. That might mean scheduling a quick video call with a friend in the evening, calling family for a chat on your lunch break, or organising a weekly call with colleagues to have a drink and a laugh. 

Our tip to keep in touch with people:

Invite everyone to an ongoing video call while you’re working to create an office environment and get the work banter going! It might feel odd at first, but even if you’re mostly working in companionable silence you can at least simulate an office environment and feel a little bit more sociable. 

Sarah Fuller, head of marketing at PowWowNow says, “Working from home can feel tiring and monotonous after a while, so it’s important to shake yourself out of the slump and avoid burnout. When you feel isolated, you struggle to focus on work – but, more importantly, you might just end up struggling with your mental health.

“That’s why even little things like conference calls with teammates and planting little joys throughout your day can make all the difference, and help us all get through this together.” 

If you’re finding it difficult to adjust to your new working life or are even considering a career shift, you may find it helpful to work with a career coach. Use our search tool to find a coach who can support you.

PowWowNow is the leading online meeting provider for smaller to medium-sized businesses, supporting millions of UK and EU customers with HD video, crystal clear audio and no software downloads. PowWowNow provides conference and video calling, as well as webinars, to empower people to stay in touch remotely with ease.

PowWowNow offers a 14 day free trial for their video call product to help employees work from home and stay productive during these tricky times.

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Written by Jacqui Beel
Jacqui Beel is a writer for PowWowNow.
Written by Jacqui Beel
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