Remote workers are more productive than those who work at the office.
This is because they're more focused, better at communication, and more flexible. All this makes them happier and more fulfilled with their jobs, too.
However, there is a dark side to remote work—burnout.
In this post, we'll tell you how to make sure it doesn't happen to you.
Set a Schedule
As a remote worker, a flexible schedule may be one of the perks of your job that you value most.
But it can be a double-edged sword.
If you don't stay on top of your schedule, it can start holding you back at work. That's why you have to be disciplined.
Without your boss or coworkers there to check up on you, you'll need to hold yourself accountable. In order to do this, set your own schedule for your working hours.
Don't just work whenever you feel like it. You'll soon find that you don't feel like it half as often as you're supposed to. Create a schedule that works for you, and you'll be way more productive.
Stick to it
When you first start out, you may find it easy to stick to your remote working schedule.
However, as time goes on and you get used to your freedom, you may find that your discipline starts to wane.
Don't let this happen.
Of course, there's room for a hiccup or a last-minute change here and there. That's one of the luxuries of managing your own schedule. Just don't let things get out of hand.
Set dedicated times for breaks and take them, even if you don't always feel like you need to. If you don't, things will catch up with you and you'll crash.
Be Realistic with Your Workload
When you're working remotely, it can be tempting to take on a ton of work to make up for your absence from the office.
Just make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew.
Be realistic with how much work you can take on, and don't be afraid to say no if you need to.
This also means being sensible with your turnaround times. Think objectively about how much you can deliver and when. If you set your deadlines too early, you might find yourself scrambling to get things done and submitting sub-standard work later down the line.
Separate Work and Play
One of the most difficult things about working remotely is separating your work from the rest of your life.
If you're working from home, you're both working and relaxing in the same place. This can make it especially difficult to draw the line between the two.
Since you're not physically stepping out of the office at the end of the day, it's all too easy to continue working long into the night.
You can make things a little easier by setting up a dedicated workspace in your home. Don't make a habit of working from your bed or your sofa. Instead, cultivate an environment that's just for work, so you can step out of that space when you're done for the day.
If your home isn't the best place for you to work, consider going to cafes or coworking spaces.
Know the Signs
You can't avoid burnout if you don't know what it looks like. So, make sure you're familiar with the signs.
One of the most common signs to look out for is chronic fatigue. If you're constantly tired, even when you've had a full night's sleep, you're not giving your body and mind what they need to recover.
Depression and anxiety are also common side effects.
On top of these symptoms, you may also experience headaches, a lack of creativity, an inability to focus, and a feeling of listlessness.
With all of this going on, you won't be able to perform the way you're supposed to. That's why it's crucial that you take preventative measures.
Take Time for Self-Care
Self-care is more than just a buzzword. If you want to look, feel and perform at the best of your ability, it's something you should take very seriously.
Self-care means taking time out to do the things that make you feel good. Whether it's reading a book, taking a walk, having coffee with friends, going for a run or having a home-cooked meal, you need to put it in your schedule.
Don't wait until you feel completely exhausted to treat yourself. Instead, make it part of your regular routine. If you're a workaholic, it may trigger a pang of guilt at first, but you'll feel much better for it in the long run.
Outsource When You Can
You don't need to carry the entire weight of your workload on your own two shoulders all the time. There are tons of companies that will lighten the load for you, so why not let them take care of it?
You could hire an online personal assistant to handle your admin or a social media manager to represent you online.
You could also pay a third-party company to take care of your online security. After all, when so much of your work relies on an internet connection, online communication, and digital files, the risks are high.
The last thing you want is to lose all your data as a result of a pesky hacker or a server failure, so consider cloud computing security.
Check out this blog to find out how it could work for you.
Use apps and spreadsheets to track your working hours, deadlines and breaks.
Trying to manage it all is a huge task in itself. This way, you can make it easier. You can also analyze everything to make sure you're working the way you're supposed to.
Strike a Balance with Remote Work
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to remote work.
Ultimately, it's about finding what works best for you. After a period of trial and error, you'll figure it out.
Use a systematic approach, and don't let things get on top of you.
For some more tips, read our list of stress-fighting rituals to try.