David Mizne, chief contributor and editor of the award winning 15Five Blog talks about avoiding burnout as a remote worker.
The proliferation of the internet has allowed people from all over the world to collaborate. The rise of the remote worker is directly related to this. As long as an employee is able to get online from wherever they are, they can be an integral part of your team. Thanks to improvements with employee performance management software, managers can monitor and keep tabs on employees no matter where they are physically located.
However, remote work doesn’t mean that these employees are immune from burnout. Anyone can find themselves feeling disengaged, unmotivated, and/or exhausted, regardless of where you’re located and the schedule you keep.
Remote work can be even more difficult than office work if you’re in a different time zone or speak a different first language than the rest of your team. Luckily, there are ways for remote workers to prevent burning out and to maintain a good work/life balance. Here are six tips on exactly how to do so.
1. Build a Routine
As a remote worker, you have more freedom than your traditional desk-bound counterparts when it comes to building a schedule. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t benefit from establishing a schedule or daily routine.
Figure out when you’re the most productive during the day, and build around that. Also set aside time for your regular errands, tasks, and time you spend with friends or family. There may be some bumps at first. But, you’ll soon find a daily rhythm that suits you and your lifestyle and allows you to enjoy your downtime.
2. Enforce Boundaries
When it comes to communication, you may feel like you need to be constantly available to show that remote work is a viable and productive option for your company. But, that’s a direct route to burnout.
After you set up your daily schedule, you’ll be able to see when you’re available to receive calls from your boss, clients, or coworkers. Alert them to the times when you’re accessible, and set boundaries so they know when not to call. You should also share this schedule with your friends and family, so they don’t clog up your phone line during work hours.
3. Take the Opportunity to Travel
Remote work is unique in that an out-of-office employee can do their job from almost anywhere. Take advantage of this fact and explore what the world has to offer.
You may need to adjust work hours or change your schedule during this period, but take advantage of your flexibility while you have the option. Travel is a great way to open your horizons, increase creativity, and help you get away so that you can refocus on work completely refreshed.
4. Stay Productive
Try to set aside a designated work area so that you don’t stay on your couch all day. While it’s tempting, chances are you’ll stay there all day and potentially even nod off.
To combat this and stay productive, do things like stretch regularly or walk around while you’re on a work call. This will not only help your overall health, but also keep you energized so you’re ready to tackle more tasks. Keeping your blood flowing and moving around will help you focus on what’s next.
5. Take Care of Your Body
It’s not uncommon to get so caught up in work that you forget to eat or drink. It’s important to stay hydrated and well fed, as doing so will fuel your body so you can keep working.
One strategy to combat this is to keep a large glass of water near you at all times and to take regular breaks during which you can snack or eat a meal. Without eating or drinking, you won’t have the stamina to put in a full day’s work.
6. Appreciate Your Lifestyle
One of the best parts of remote work is its flexibility, and you should take advantage of that fact. Take the opportunity to pick your kids up from school or share a snack with them when they get home. Another idea: take an hour out of your day to go to your favorite gym class. This can all help to boost your energy levels and keep you excited and committed to your work.
It also affords you the opportunity to get out of the house for a few hours and away from your computer screen. Making time to spend with your loved ones or do things for yourself is important, and remote work allows you to do so.
Create a schedule that works with your lifestyle, and you can take advantage of all the benefits remote work has to offer. While it may seem daunting at first, remote work can offer an ideal work/life balance to those who take advantage of it. By taking time to do the things that make you happiest and most relaxed, you can stay motivated and productive while avoiding burn out.