The modern workplace is a stress factory. There are endless deadlines to be met, constant learning as you navigate new projects, tons of interpersonal interaction, and new technologies and strategies abound.
With all of this, it’s no wonder workers are feeling overwhelmed. There’s enough work in a single day to keep a mind occupied for a week.
Adding to this, the rise in remote work brings new challenges to the modern worker.
Work from home has many great benefits, cutting down on commute time and removing unnecessary hassle from many people’s workdays.
That said, it also brings with it a steep learning curve. Where once the workday had a definitive end, now work feels omnipresent, always on the horizon, with your laptop sitting on the desk as a reminder that you could be doing work-related tasks.
With the lines blurring between work and home, it’s no wonder that burnout is on the rise.
What is Burnout?
We’ve all had a long day at work or a stressful week, but burnout goes well beyond that.
Burnout is the result of chronic stress. It occurs when your stress levels remain elevated past the point where your body and mind can properly recover.
There are a host of both physical and psychological symptoms associated with burnout.
Chronic insomnia is one indicator that you may be burnt out. The stress hormones and constant anxiety that come with burnout can make it extremely difficult to sleep. You may find that you lay down at night only to feel wired and occupied with thoughts of work.
On the flip side, you may find you’re constantly exhausted. Burnout can make you feel like you’re never well-rested, regardless of how many hours of shut-eye you get.
Another telltale sign of burnout is a sense of dread around your work. You may find yourself desperate to avoid working, even when you’re doing something you used to enjoy.
Late-stage burnout tends to mimic depression. Feelings of hopelessness and despair become all-encompassing, and you may find yourself without the motivation to do anything at all.
Burnout wreaks havoc on your career, your hobbies, and your overall quality of life. Luckily, there’s a simple trick you can use to avoid burnout when working from home.
An Easy Way to Avoid Burnout When Working From Home
The main issue facing remote workers is that they don’t have a set schedule. When you work from an office, you physically leave your workplace at the end of the day.
Working from home can remove that boundary, leading you to work more hours than you would normally.
Even if you manage to shut the laptop down at 5 pm, it’s easy to fall into the trap of associating your living room with work. This can lead to a nagging sense of being “on the clock”, even when you’ve finished work for the day.
The solution is simple: create a dedicated workspace in your home.
Maybe you have access to a home office. If so, that’s fantastic. Dedicate that room to work-related tasks only, and don’t bring your laptop with you to the couch.
This will keep you from subconsciously associating relaxation spaces with work, helping you maintain a better work-life balance and keeping you from creeping into burnout territory.
If you don’t have a home office, worry not. You can still gain the benefits of a dedicated workspace by picking out a spot in a room and dedicating it as your work spot.
This can be as simple as sitting on the right side of the couch when working and the left side when off duty. It doesn’t take much, you just need something to tell your brain you’re off-duty.
If you’re working from home, give this method a try. You’ll be able to bring your best to your work while feeling calmer and more grounded when you’re off the clock.