When you have bills to pay or a family to support, a strong work-life balance while working from home almost seems like a luxury. In truth, it’s a necessity. Whether you’re a high-powered executive or working for minimum wage, you need to maintain a balance between your personal and professional lives. If you don’t, then you could be at risk of burning out.
What Is Burnout?
Burnout happens when chronic stress depletes your emotional, physical, and mental reserves. When you burn out, you no longer have the energy to keep up with basic responsibilities, let alone the pressure of a career. Anyone can develop burnout if they’re not living a life of balance, where their personal needs are treated with the same importance as their work.
Four Tips for Preventing Burnout
The only way to prevent burnout is by taking proper care of yourself, and that means maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Balancing professional demands with your personal life isn’t easy to do, especially when you work from home, but following these tips will help.
Take your vacation days
Americans get the short end of the stick when it comes to paid time off. Even then, most US workers don’t take the vacation time they’re allotted. Unfortunately, the end result is workers who are less happy, less productive, and less healthy.
Given the unique circumstances we're in, many people aren't planning vacations or are canceling vacation plans. However, you can still "get away" in a sense by scheduling a long weekend for a staycation instead. You’ll get more stress-busting benefits if you kick back for three days rather than two. If you really want to feel like you’re getting away from it all, book a vacation rental in your area so there’s nothing to worry about but enjoying yourself.
Stop checking email at home
When work and personal life collide at home, it becomes harder to actually leave work when your shift ends. But checking your email after hours won’t help your paycheck or your productivity. You’ll show up to work more refreshed and get more enjoyment from your time off if you restrict work-related emails to the home office. If it’s hard to ignore push notifications, turn them off. Instead of checking email, try to do some stress-busting activities each night, including meditating, breathing with intention, smiling, and sleeping at least seven hours.
Pick up a hobby
If you find yourself reflexively checking your work phone after hours, the problem could be that you’re bored. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance isn’t just about leaving work at the office — it also requires developing a fulfilling personal life. Whether you pick up that hobby you dropped years ago, call up old friends to connect, or start hitting the gym, make sure you have something to look forward to at the end of the workday.
Pay attention to company culture
The best thing anyone can do for their work-life balance is to work for a company that values it. If you get a job at a company where it’s the norm to work overtime and on weekends, you’ll face a lot of resistance when you push back. However, if you use the hiring process as an opportunity to interview companies too, you can find a work environment where maintaining an active life outside the office is seen as a positive. Fast Company explains how to identify the red flags of toxic company culture so you can avoid taking a job that’s the wrong fit.
Work is important, but it’s not the only thing. If you want a successful career and a healthy personal life, maintaining a work-life balance in your career is a must. Whether you need to make a few changes within your current work-from-home job or seek a new job with a better company culture, take the steps to establish a better work-life balance for yourself.
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