With more of us working from home and a greater trend towards distributed teams, remote work burnout is on the rise.
When there’s less separation between work and home, it’s all too easy to just pull out your laptop and get work done during the time you’d usually take off. But, being “always on” could contribute to more work-related stress, and potentially over time, burnout.
So, what exactly is remote work burnout?
Remote work burnout can happen when you’re overextending yourself at work, to the point where it’s causing significant, prolonged stress. Burnout isn’t anything to be embarrassed about, but it is something that’s important to be conscious of. Being aware if you’re overworking or any symptoms of burnout is a great first step. That way, you can take proactive actions to prevent remote work burnout from happening in the first place.
A Monster poll from July 2020 found that over two-thirds of remote workers were experiencing symptoms of remote work burnout. Clearly, this is a widespread problem among those working remotely. More than ever, it’s important to be intentional about the way you work to reduce any work-related stress.
The best way to fight remote work burnout? To prevent it from happening in the first place, and to have clear strategies in place to promote work-life balance, alongside stress reduction techniques that work for you. That way, you can reduce stressful situations, and, when they do come your way, you’re able to manage them with less stress and more ease.
4 key ways to keep remote work productive
There are plenty of strategies that can help remote work as stress-free as possible. Here are a few go-to ways to optimize your workday in a way that can help prevent burnout at work.
1. Set clear boundaries between work and home
When you work in your home, it’s definitely much more challenging to set boundaries between your work and the rest of your life. Especially if you’re working remotely without a home office or designated separate space, it’s all the more important to set clear boundaries between work and home in a way that works for you.
Try creating a morning ritual to signify the beginning and end of your workday. Instead of immediately opening up your work email when you wake up, maybe you take a few minutes to read a book, take a walk in the neighborhood, or get in a workout. To close out the workday, consider setting a specific time every day where you shut your laptop down. You could even put your laptop out of sight in another room to prevent being tempted to open it up and check your work email.
2. Take a look at your notification settings
Picture this — you’re having a relaxing evening, making dinner and listening to music, and you get a bunch of notifications on your phone. Even though nothing is urgent, you just can’t help but check your phone and respond to whatever’s happening at work. To prevent getting distracted during your time off, consider restricting your notifications so that you only receive them during work hours.
If you find yourself getting distracted by constant pings during your workday, try turning off notifications during certain hours of the day, if it works with your schedule. That way, you’ll have blocks of time where you can focus on your work distraction-free.
3. Combat Zoom fatigue
Be mindful of virtual meetings, and how it could be potentially exhausting for your team to join Zoom meetings throughout the day. Zoom fatigue is a real thing, and to help prevent it, consider whether a meeting is genuinely needed. If not, suggest moving the conversation to email, Slack, or find another way to move a project forward.
When meetings are necessary (and sometimes they are!) consider ways you can schedule them more mindfully. Try hosting meetings first thing in the morning to avoid interrupting workflow during the day, or designating meeting-free days, and planning your meetings around them.
4. Take a break with virtual team building
Work doesn’t have to be connected to stress, and team-building activities and virtual events can be a great reminder of that! Through engaging and interactive virtual experiences, teams can stay connected, share some laughs, and ultimately, get to know each other in a fun, no-stress way.
Bring your team together with an extraordinary, memorable experience with Marco. Take a break from work as a remote team with engaging and unique events, like a virtual hot sauce making class, a mind-boggling virtual interactive magic show, an energizing power vinyasa class, and more. Planning experiences can allow remote teams to switch things up from a typical workday and create moments of fun. Taking a break from the everyday stresses of work with team bonding activities and experiences is a great part of any strategy to prevent remote work burnout.