Freelancers and independent VAs offering the best virtual assistant services generally accomplish their work by working remotely. But while they may seem to have the best work setup as they can essentially save money from transportation costs, have a customizable office, and achieve location independence, they still experience the same work-related stress and burnout as office-based employees.
But in a work-from-home setup, the burnout an employee experiences may be greater. This comes as remote workers may have blurred work and home life boundaries. Some even think they need to be viewed as a “good worker”; therefore, they resort to working for longer hours. This makes them unable to “shut off” work at the right time.
Getting burnt out from work is normal. However, letting it drag for a longer period may cause adverse effects on your productivity and willingness to function. This can affect your performance and also that of the company. Hence, practicing certain habits to overcome burnout or avoid it entirely is essential.
Among the most important things, you must do when working from home is set boundaries. While work will inevitably interrupt your personal time, a few rules will help you prevent burnout. For instance, do not check your email after work, and turn off work email on your mobile device. You can also set a realistic limit on the number of committees you serve on. When you are working from home, you may not want to be on every committee.
It is also vital to set boundaries with your boss and other coworkers. Setting boundaries with your boss and colleagues is essential to avoiding burnout.
Another way to avoid WFH burnout is to schedule your breaks and be sure to take them. Whether you are on a walk, watching TV, or organizing your email, take a break from your work to refresh yourself and de-stress. Even if your work requires you to be glued to your screen for hours, a few minutes away from it will do you good. When you return to your work, you will feel renewed and refreshed.
In addition to rest, take time for yourself. Studies show that working through a break decreases performance. Other studies also show that human beings cannot focus for eight hours at a stretch, so even when you do manage to complete your work, it takes up to two hours and 53 minutes to be productive.
Moreover, you should also consider communicating with coworkers regularly to reduce your chances of experiencing work burnout. While you might not feel like it, working from home can be lonely. Try scheduling phone or video calls with coworkers to discuss your work and the challenges you face. If possible, make time for fun, casual conversations with coworkers. Cracking jokes while working from home is a great way to avoid burnout. Keeping in touch with coworkers via Zoom or other tools can help you maintain a healthy work/life balance.
You need to set up an effective workspace outside your home. Having a designated workspace outside the house can help you avoid work-from-home burnout. A well-defined workspace can help your brain engage in work mode and disengage from the home environment. Another tip for remote working is to draw up your own schedule. Working alone can be stressful, so schedule breaks and set a plan you and your coworkers can follow.
Learn more about how to overcome WFH burnout in this infographic from OVA Virtual, a virtual assistant company in the Philippines.