Many people are now working from home, taking part in a global effort against the novel coronavirus. Zoom and Slack have become part of the Zeitgeist, with long commutes now accomplished in a matter of seconds.
Even as Facebook, Twitter, and many other companies are planning to let employees work from home indefinitely, there is still a lively debate going on about the challenges and opportunities of telecommuting. Suffice it to say that as long ago as 1989, Peter Drucker, a management guru, said that “commuting to office work is obsolete.” It didn’t really work out. Telecommuting has a long, somewhat troubled history.
According to a worrying report from the United Nations, 41% of employees face higher levels of stress while working from home. With the additional anxiety that the pandemic is causing, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself to avoid burnout while telecommuting.
Recognize Your Stress
The first step towards avoiding burnout while telecommuting is being able to recognize when you’re reaching high levels of discomfort. By changing the way we evaluate stress we can change the way we react to it. Notice if you find yourself snapping at people, and look out for changes in your eating regimen. A stress-activated sweet tooth may mean that you’re seeking comfort. Losing sleep or feeling always tired are definitely symptoms of excessive stress.
Create A Designated Work Space
Creating your own workspace is vital when you’re telecommuting. It’s important to surround yourself with items that cue your brain into that specific work state of mind that you find yourself in when you’re trying to be productive at the office. For example, if you’re used to listening to a productivity playlist at work, use music to maintain focus without falling into the routine of the household.
How to Work From Home With Kids
You don’t have to be Captain Marvel or Super Dad. You can’t do everything, and you need to set reasonable expectations. This is particularly true if you happen to have kids. If both parents are working, divide up the day into blocks that give one parent space away from the children. This will avoid resentment and will allow both you and your partner to get key work done.
Take More Breaks
Don’t try to mimic your day at the office; it’s crucial to acknowledge that the situation has changed. Instead, try taking shorter and more frequent breaks. A few minutes of conscious breathing every hour or so can keep you more refreshed and productive.
Avoid judging yourself on what you can get done each day. Everybody is adapting to a new normal, even your boss. And yes, while Sir Isaac Newton came up with the theory of gravity during quarantine, you don’t need to beat yourself down. After all, Newton also managed to blind himself temporarily by staring at the sun. You win some, you lose some. Just give yourself some time to settle into your new routine and you’ll avoid burnout while telecommuting.