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7 Tips to Help Avoid Burnout Whilst Working at Home



June 2020

Annalise Kirk

Blog Post

Over the last couple of months, our working practices have changed…some people have been furloughed, some sadly made redundant, some reliant upon SSIS or Universal Credit, but a lot of office based staff have still been working, but just not in the office.  

Spare rooms have been repurposed, kitchen tables and dressing tables have become hot desks, and we have all learned how to use Zoom!  Yes, kids have walked in on the call naked or asked for their backside to be wiped, and family members have wandered past unaware that you are talking to the MD but hey!

There are some great benefits to working from home. The 2hr London commute has turned into a 30 second walk from one room to another, allowing people more time to spend with their family or doing jobs that have needed doing for some time but have never had the time to do, or just taking time for themselves. There’s no need to get suited and booted (unless you want to of course) and if it’s on Zoom, you only need to look smart from the waist up (although be sure not to stand up during the call!)

There is no denying that lockdown has had a massive impact on working practices.

In the biggest unintentional work experiment, businesses are going to realise that they might not need to have that expensive office suite or subsidise their employees travel or rail fares. They might realise that actually, the business can work just fine, if not better, with employees working remotely. Employees and business owners may realise that they needed this time out, or how much time they were wasting commuting or travelling unnecessarily. Restructuring might take place to make the best of the available time and resources so as to allow more productivity as well as leisure time for employers and employees..

What I do think, is that more people will be working from home, even if they go into the office for a couple of days a week or month.  However, there is still the danger of burnout even when you are working from home, perhaps even more so, but sticking to these tips should help, especially if you implement these earlier rather than later:

1. Make sure that you work specific hours and stick to them if possible. Of course, there are times when this will not be possible but if you work over those hours, try and claim that extra time back at another time.

2. Have a digital detox. Whilst a lot of people may ‘finish’ work at a certain time, they often still work on their phone or device throughout the evening or weekend. So, decide on a time in the evening when you will turn off your phone.  If this is not possible, put it in another room and only check it at pre-determined intervals.

3. Create a dedicated workspace.  I will be talking more about this in my next blog/post but if you are working at home, you need to keep work and home separate.  If possible, have a separate room only for work that you can shut the door on at the end of the working day.  If that isn’t possible, have a dedicated space but remember to turn your laptop or computer off at the end of the working day, or perhaps you can find somewhere you can hot-desk?

4. If you are lucky enough to have a home workplace and your kids are still a distraction, get them to make you a ‘do not disturb’ door sign and let them know that they are not to disturb you when it is hung on the door.

5. Take breaks, even if it is just for a few minutes. This helps to enhance productivity levels, increases focus, and lowers stress levels.

6. Do not eat at your desk.  Apart from the legend that there are more germs on your keyboard than your toilet seat, it is another opportunity to refocus, and prevent eyestrain and other ergonomic problems.

7. Make sure that you maintain a healthy lifestyle, that is, eat healthily, exercise and engage in activities that are good for your mental health.

Although these tips mainly relate to working at home, many of them can also apply to office working.  Now is the time to start making these changes…a fresh start if you like!

If you are wondering what you can do in those breaks, check out my next post for some helpful ideas, or get in touch if you need some help, especially if you think that you are already suffering from burnout.

About Annalise Kirk

Annalise Kirk is a professional hypnotherapist based in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Annalise has been a qualified, full-time hypnotherapist since 2010 and has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals and overcome personal issues using hypnosis, CBT and NLP techniques.

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