Top 8 Tips from Our Trainer on Avoiding ‘WfH Burnout’

by | Feb 5, 2021 | Charity, Mental Health

Sue Sharp is our resident coach and trainer. She also happens to have over ten years of recruitment experience! She specialises in a number of areas. They include: positive working practices, encouraging teamwork, and management development. Over the past year, Sue has helped ensure a smooth transition into working from home with regular one-to-one staff coaching sessions – a vital part of our plan to keep everyone happy and healthy.

As we close in on a full year of sporadic home working, Sue shared her top 8 tips for avoiding WfH burnout:

Start and end your workday

Consider implementing a starting and ending your workday routine to create separation and help you shift from work to home life even though it’s all happening at home. What did you used to do to commute? Can you replicate that in some way? Go for a drive, put your headphones in, go for a walk? The body loves routine and the more similar you can make your working day to how it used to be, the more relaxed your body may become. It will likely also help you to ‘switch off’ in the evenings.

Take more frequent breaks

Shorter breaks away from the screen are good for your eyes. You’re used to looking away from the screen frequently to interact with those around you. This means away from blue light, and also changing your focus distance. However when your work and your team are on screen, then this can be harder to achieve. Set your phone alarm and give yourself 5-10 mins away to refresh and relax your eyes.

Ambient noise

Sitting at home alone in the quiet can create feelings of aloneness. Consider downloading the Noisli app. It’s free and has settings such as natural sounds, coffee shop sounds, etc. Pop it on quietly in the background so you don’t feel isolated.

Get outside

Make the most of your lockdown leisure and ensure you get outside for whenever you are legally allowed to. Ideally this will be a walk / exercise, but if not, any time in the daylight is valuable.

Move your body during the day

Take a leaf out of the Japanese factory worker’s book and move your body frequently during the day – stretch, lengthen, strengthen your muscles, any thing that makes you feel good will do. Ideally away from your screen, but if not, then do the in-seat kinds of exercises for rotating ankles, shoulders, stretching arms that you find on the back of the airline evacuation cards.

If your home set up allows it, consider walking round the room for certain calls where you don’t have to make too many notes / be at the screen.

Stay hydrated

Especially now we’ve probably all got our central heating on, staying well hydrated is vital to help our body and mind stay alert and in good working order.

Eat healthily

Enough said really! I’m sure you’ve all got your own best ways to support your body, but do watch out for coffee peaks and troughs if you’re drinking caffeine, or carbs at lunch time if you’re suffering from mid-afternoon energy lulls. Try moving to one coffee a day max and more protein for lunch to boost day long energy and focus.

Interact with others – virtual tea / lunch breaks

Get out of work-mode for a bit and have a chat with your colleagues. You’d do it if you were at work, so do it now. Again, having a quick social catch up can be powerful – maybe by phone so you can take a few minutes away from the screen again.

Consider having a private video call session with your team / friends / colleagues and setting up an agreed time to meet for a virtual tea or lunch break.

For more advice, check out this info from one of our favourite charities, MIND: