While working from home may seem like a dream; you get to stay in cozy clothes, brew at-home fresh coffee, hang out with your pets, and just be in your own space, it can become easier to experience burn out.
According to Megan Brenun, with Gallup News, 62% of employed Americans said they were working from home from the end of March to the beginning of April, an increase of 39% from just a few short weeks before. That is a lot more people adjusting to a new way of working in such a short period and what used to be a benefit has now become survival.
Working from home means our normal 9-5 routines are now shifted and we are mixing in house chores with job tasks leading to confusion between personal time and work time. Because of this, more of those that are working from home are taking fewer days off and not planning time to be away from work. And while not having to commute and being able to wear sweatpants all day seems like a dream, taking a break from your emails and your computer is just as important.
So how do you stay on task with so many things going on around you? Schedule and Prioritize. Even though you’re home and it’s easy to wake up late and just roll out of bed onto your computer or phone, it’s good to keep your normal routine as if you were going into the office, taking a morning shower, brewing the coffee, watching the news, and get dressed for a day in the office before you head to your work from home station. This will help you stick to your normal day-to-day routine and set you up for a more focused day. Additionally, working within your normal 9-5 office hours will help you disconnect work from home leisure thus giving you back more time to relax and work while you’re scheduled.
In addition to scheduling your day as normal, it is also helpful to dress for success. In this study, titled “The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing,” research showed that wearing formal clothing increases productivity and changes how we perceive the day ahead. So, whether you have a Zoom call or not, it’s a smart idea to increase your productivity and focus by dressing in your usual office wear.
Arguably, one of the most important parts about working in the office that has been removed is social interaction and accountability from coworkers. Not only to keep up with the workplace gossip and client notes but also to hold each other accountable for your work and the feeling of having a supportive environment. It’s important to have people you see regularly to keep you feeling supported in work and to be able to read how you may be feeling before burn out. But since we are at home and lacking this social interaction it’s more important than ever to become self-aware. If you start to feel yourself becoming burnt out, consider speaking with your manager/boss about ways you can become recommitted to your position, or consider a fun video chat with coworkers to catch up on some things outside of work. Additionally, everyday stress relievers such as taking a walk, practicing deep breathing exercises, and meditation are always helpful to get you back on track.
During these times, it is also just as important to check in on your coworkers as they are going through the same thing and, everyone handles these situations differently.
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