5 Tips to Avoid Burnout
Burnout is a bit of a buzzword these days, and unfortunately seems to have reached an all-time high in the last 12 months.
In March, released survey results that found more than half of respondents felt burned out, and 67% — more than two-thirds — believe it’s gotten worse during the pandemic.
Being a remote workforce who are passionate about what we do and who we work with, we’re no strangers to the temptation to be always ‘on’. It doesn’t surprise us that in the above survey, those who work virtually were more likely to report that their burnout has worsened since the pandemic, compared to those who work onsite. As digital nomads, our team has learned a trick or two about keeping a work-life balance. Here are some of our healthy habits to help avoid burnout.
Connect with others
Surround yourself with community. Studies have shown that having supportive relationships helps increase mental well-being. If you’re working remotely, your team is likely missing out on the small but important chit-chat that occurs by the water cooler, coffee machine, or the break room ping pong table. These things might be easy to dismiss as inconsequential or even time-wasting, but we think there are a multitude of benefits that arise from casual conversations between employees.
How to recreate the water cooler vibe in a remote-setting?
Make time for small talk: Post in your general chat about something small that happened in your day — a photo from your lunchtime or your pet — or jump on a meeting five minutes early to quickly catch up on something non-work related
Coffee chats: Schedule virtual coffee breaks with your co–workers. This could be once a day or once a week.
Gamification: Turn your meetings into games by implementing tools like or run a trivia game via Polly on Microsoft Teams your team will bond and chat over shared wins or funny misses.
Liberal use of gifs: There’s nothing like a well-timed gif to inject some lightness, humour and personality into your internal work chats. Not only are gifs hilarious, they can also portray a much better idea of what someone may be feeling. * Michael Scott finger guns*
Take care of your mind and body
The pandemic has radically changed the way we live and presented unique challenges for each of us. Here are some obvious-sounding but tried-and-tested tips to inspire health and wellness:
Stand up once an hour: Take a few minutes to stretch your body. Walk to the store or kitchen and grab a drink. Adding small physical activities throughout the day feels better. Better yet, invest in a standing desk or ask your workplace if they can provide you with one.
Take a walking meeting: These can work especially well for some of the lighter internal meetings like 1:1s or daily stand-up. Worried that others might think you’re slacking off? Studies have shown that walking actually boosts creative output by 60%.
Exercise for 30 minutes per day: From doing chores around the house to going on a brisk walk at lunchtime, anything that gets you moving counts, right? Set yourself up with an accountability buddy to keep you on track.
Take short breaks during the day to clear your head: Try to schedule some time in your day to go outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Practice positive self-talk: Mental health is the real wealth! Is your glass half-empty or half-full? There are loads of resources and professionals out there talking about the benefits of positive self-talk and how it helps us calm down and manage stress. Learn to say goodbye to internal negative chatter by stopping such thoughts in their tracks, and replacing them with thoughts that actually make you feel better. It sounds cheesy, but can make a huge difference to your day!
Make time to unwind
In between meetings, consider practicing quick self-care methods such as taking slow breaths, getting comfortable, feeling your feet on the ground, spending time with a pet or listening to your tracks. To avoid eye strain, look away at something far away and give your eyes a break from your computer screen.
Create a post–work ritual:
No matter what you have going on, establish a ‘closing time’ to your workday and try to stick to it. Step away from your computer when the cut-off time rolls around. Make your own ritual to turn off your ‘work brain’ and get into relaxation mode, whether this is music, a cup of tea (or something stronger) or a shower and change of clothes. Take time in the evenings and weekends to disconnect from emails, alerts and distractions.
Open up and ask for help
It sounds contradictory, but we find that self-care empowers us to perform better at work. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need, even if it isn’t a normal benefit. Talk to your manager and team and let them know how you’re doing and what’s on your plate. Work together to set and adjust goals, and reach out if you need assistance on a project or could use a few hours off.
Like most things in life, there isn’t one solution that fits all. Acknowledging that burnout is a reality for many people during the pandemic and finding ways that work for you to avoid or reduce it can be so helpful in the short- and long-term. Stay well, friends!