These days, millions of people are learning to adapt to a new remote work environment. Many hail the benefits of having a job at all while others cheer for the flexibility of working from home. However, most would agree that there are plenty of challenges in creating a remote work environment that works best for you. And one of the more common roadblocks is burnout.
Fortunately, a little preparation goes a long way to ensure your remote work experience is organized and productive. Here are three tips to get started.
1. Identify work time and personal time.
It’s important to make a distinction between your personal time and professional responsibilities. That doesn’t necessarily mean trying to maintain an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule; flexibility is an important part of making this work. But it does require setting up a specific range of work hours in which you can focus.
Once you’ve determined your work hours, prepare for the day as you would if you had to commute to a work location. Get dressed, grab your water bottle and some snacks, and enter your workspace ready to start the day.
You need a routine at the end of the day as well. Update your calendar with completed tasks and make notes for tomorrow’s work, answer any lingering emails, and step away from your workspace for the day.
2. Step away from the computer.
Technology has made working from home an easy transition for most of us. However, that same technology also means we carry our job responsibilities with us wherever we are. “Helping employees prioritize their own health and wellness will make them feel better, stay healthier and be able to keep going during the crisis,” says Claire Hastwell at greatplacetowork.com.
This means scheduling time away from the job, just as you would in a traditional work setting, to take a walk, nap, eat a meal, listen to music, exercise, meditate, etc. Spend time engaging in activities that help you mentally and physically recharge and feel revitalized.
3. Seek out human interaction
If you live alone and work from home, it’s likely that you’ve spent the entire day with no real-life human interaction. That isn’t great. Experts attribute the rise in depression to the lack of meaningful, face-to-face connection. A study on loneliness in America found that barely half of Americans (53 percent) engage in extended conversations with a friend or spend time with family on a daily basis. Working from home compounds those risks, so it’s important to interact with people every day. Set up a Zoom meeting with a coworker, talk to a neighbor, or call a friend and loved one to chat.
If your new work setting closely resembles a kitchen table, we know you have some adjustments to make. By setting aside work time, taking breaks, and connecting with friends and family, your productivity will keep a sizzling pace without remote work burnout.