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How to Reduce Remote Work Exhaustion

09 January 2024

If working remotely leaves you exhausted and fatigued, you're definitely not alone! Tiredness isn't limited to the office, and you can very well experience the same kind of fatigue that someone who works in-office could, even when you're at home.

On top of that, remote work doesn't seem to be going anywhere. While the threat of COVID is now subsiding, remote work is here to stay.

Knowing how to reduce remote work exhaustion then becomes vital to making sure your efficiency and productivity levels don't drop. More importantly, if you don't manage your exhaustion levels, you could end up with physical and mental health problems which will then snowball into making you even more tired than you already are.

Let's look at some tips to minimize and manage remote work fatigue.

Take Breaks

No matter what, taking breaks is an absolute necessity. Regardless of what kind of work you do, you need to take breaks to refresh your brain and relax it a bit.

Research shows that people can only really focus on a task for 15 minutes at a time. After that, pushing yourself to engage with it to the same level will only cause more fatigue and burnout, since your brain is unable to do what you're pushing it to.

By taking a small break, you can get rid of the stress and exhaustion because you get to relax. On that note, it is also important to step away from your workspace when you take a break.

If you are working at your desk on your laptop, taking a break doesn't mean to open your social media and scroll for a bit. Leave your workspace and walk around for a while. The physical exercise will also help get rid of some of the tension in your body so that when you come back to your work, you are refreshed and rejuvenated and can focus better.

Rewards System

It may come as a surprise to you, but having a rewards system can be very helpful in getting yourself to do your work on time and avoid the exhaustion of long hours.

When working in-office, the prospect of going home is enough of a reward to make you focus on your work and finish up on time. With remote work, things get a bit trickier.

Setting up a rewards system for yourself helps with the problem. Assign tasks to yourself, and don't listen to your wants until you're done with them.

When you work from home, you often have home chores to do, and sometimes you may even get distracted with personal work. This only contributes to your fatigue, since the distraction means that you don't finish up on time and after spending a long time in the at-work mindset (even when you're not actually working!) you can get tired and burnt out.

If you have to get dinner, but you haven't answered your emails yet, tell yourself that you won't get dinner until you're done answering emails. It may seem like a chore to do it, but with a reward hanging over your head (in this case, dinner) you'll be able to get through the work much faster.

Get an Accountability Buddy

Again, it's easy to get distracted when you work remotely, and with nobody else around, it can also make you less accountable for yourself.

You can get an accountability buddy, who will keep an eye on you and make sure you're doing your work on time without slacking off, while you do the same for them. Being answerable to someone makes you prioritize properly and keep your work in order, instead of just doing whatever you feel like and ending up working much longer hours than necessary.

An accountability buddy can be a coworker or a friend, or even just someone at home who is doing their own work.

Focus on Your Health

Your health is important, regardless of whether you're working in-office, remotely, or not at all. But exhaustion and fatigue can actually get worse if your physical and mental health is already doing not-so-great.

It's important to eat on time and healthy (ditch the junk food!) and just as important to get a bit of a workout during the day. Working at home can make us feel too lazy to cook a balanced meal or get a good workout, but if you put in a bit of effort you'd see it really makes a difference!

Take Therapeutic Breaks

When working remotely, many of us actually get even busier during our breaks than we are when working. From chores to personal responsibilities, we have a lot of things to do!

While stepping away from your workstation will help, it may not help as much as it should if you come back to your desk even more tired than before.

You can do your chores, and you can even dedicate your breaks to them, but make sure to put aside some of your breaks to actually relax. This could be anything from meditation to yoga to taking a nap. You can even do things that help you feel relaxed, like cooking or sketching.

The goal is to clear your mind and relax your body. If your brakes aren't doing that, you should be finding better ways to spend them.

Set Up a Proper Home Office Workstation

The biggest problem with working remotely is that most people don't have a proper workstation.

Many are working from their beds, while others are sprawled over their living room couch. Some people work at the dinner table, and others work at desks that are nowhere near ergonomic.

With such improper workstation conditions, it's no wonder you get tired and exhausted!

Having a proper workplace setup is vital for any kind of work - whether that's remote or in-office. That means that you can't be working from your bed (in fact, this may tire you out even more!) no matter how lazy you feel.

The best option is to have a separate room for you to work in, where you won't be disturbed and can focus. Having a proper working environment is necessary.

Another thing that's necessary is to have the right furniture. If you don't have any other option, sure, the dinner table may work, but it is not recommended.

If you can invest in new furniture, you should go for furniture that is designed with your health and ergonomics in mind. This will help prevent aches and pains and musculoskeletal problems, and thus, minimize the exhaustion that comes with them.

Comhar All-in-One Standing Desk

The Comhar All-in-One Standing Desk is a multi-functional desk that works perfectly for home offices and such. It has the option for height adjustment, so you can set it at whatever height you need to keep the right posture without straining yourself. A lot of the exhaustion that comes with working (whether remotely or not) is about bad posture and sitting position. With height adjustment, you can make sure the desk suits your body type and stature and thus prevent problems.

The adjustment is also easily done, since it comes with a motor that can help move the tabletop up and down without you needing to do anything. You can even preset your height preferences so that if the desk is adjusted for other purposes, you can get it back to the original without much hassle. The anti-collision function helps prevent damage as well.

It takes up minimal floor space, so you can set it up in any corner of the room as long as the tabletop fits. It also has a minimalist aesthetic so it can work well with any sort of room decor.

The desktop itself is also spacious and can house your essentials without clutter. There is a storage drawer and USB charging ports built into the desktop as well.

Take Days Off

When working remotely, it feels a bit like a waste to take a day off since you're at home anyway. Work culture also makes some of us feel guilty about taking time off when you don't have a valid reason to do so, but it's time we got over it! You're given vacation days separately from sick days for a reason, so you should utilize them!

Taking days off here and there is important to help refresh yourself. If you're too burnt out to work, forcing yourself to do it anyway is just asking for more problems.

You can even try combining your vacation days with the weekend to get a 3-4 day break from work. But when you take days off, avoid your work! If you're thinking about work even on your days off, you'll just end up more stressed out.

If possible, avoid your home office or workspace when you're not working so you don't give in to the temptation.

Burnout and exhaustion from remote work is nothing uncommon, and as remote work culture grows, more and more people fall victim to it. That doesn't mean you can't fight it though! By incorporating these things into your daily life, you can prevent fatigue and keep yourself on track - both in your professional life, and personal life.