In order to try to combat the of working from home fatigue, first and foremost you have to recognise that the issue is there in the first instance. Keeping an eye on your work output, propensity to make errors, and how you feel your attention to detail and general mood and outlook are can all help.
When you’ve identified a problem, the key is to breaking the routine and repetitiveness that causes fatigue in the first instance.
This might mean switching up how you’re working, the way you’re working, or even adding more structure by time blocking or scheduling out your day so that you don’t get caught up in the same task for so long it becomes soporific and your energy wanes.
We've rounded up 5 ways below to help you:
5 ways to beat work-from-home fatigue
1. Change your working space
Working from home can be a great perk, but it gets dull if you aren't vigilant. Find ways to change up your surroundings.
Kenzi Wood, a freelance writer who is used to working from home says:
"For me, a change of scenery does the trick. Pre-COVID, I would use a part-time coworking space membership to get out of the house. I'm so much more productive there without the distractions of home. But during COVID, it was more difficult.
Fortunately, the weather here was very nice, so I sat outside to work for a few hours a day. I even created a meditation corner in my office where I can sit on the floor and work."
2. Add variety to your routine
A common symptom of this fatigue is a feeling of lethargy from the lack of variety that comes with your current home environment. This can severely impact the rate at which you’re able to complete certain tasks, and how much work you can get done in however many hours you’re working per day.
Don’t do the exact same thing every single day at the same time. That is a recipe for monotony to set in and rapidly exasperate those feelings of fatigue.
If you go for a walk on your lunch break, then why not try and take one first thing when you wake up and spend your lunch break doing something different?
3. Prioritise leaving the house (if you can)
*During COVID-19, leaving the house may not be an option for all of us. If you can't leave your house, then try and set some time aside for light exercise during your day.
Daniel Caughill, Co-Founder at The Dog Tale says: "One of the key issues I faced early on was forcing myself to leave my apartment.
When I first started working from home, it was common for me to return home on Sunday night and not step foot outdoors until Friday evening. A clear sign of the toll this was taking was when I concentration started getting a little wiry. I couldn’t focus on one thing at a time, and I found it very difficult to be productive. That’s when I remembered hearing that some of the greatest thinkers did most of their work while taking walks.
Now I schedule walks every day, sometimes in the afternoon, and sometimes in the evenings. Aside from providing basic exercise, it does wonders for clearing my head and helping me focus on a task when I return to my desk."
Pro tip: If you have a work call that doesn’t need you to look at your screen / a computer, why not pop your headphones on and walk with it?
4. Take regular breaks to stretch your legs/back and relax your eyes
In the office, we naturally move around a bit more. We don't tend to have our desks in the kitchen, and meetings often take place in different rooms, sometimes in different buildings. At the time you don't think that this is helping, but once you've found yourself sitting in the same spot for 8 hours at a time you'll realise how helpful those little breaks really were.
Daniel Caughill says: "I’ve also been making a point of stepping away from my desk for short spurts throughout the day. In the office, I’d naturally move around more, going to the conference room for meetings, heading to a team member’s desk to check up on them, etc. but with all of that happening on my computer I wasn’t getting up and taking breaks from the screen.
When I start to feel my focus flagging I take a quick five minutes to head out to the porch for some fresh air, or go down to the kitchen and brew a fresh cup of coffee—just something to get the blood moving and keep me from hunching over my computer the entire day."
5. Keep your work time and your personal time seperate
Chris Myers, CEO at Professional Alternatives, says:
Don't let personal time take precedence during work hours—being comfortable at home can lead to scrolling through social media, taking personal phone calls, or even watching TV in the background.
Try to create a better work-life balance by doing your best to separate the two."
Thank you to our contributors:
Chris Myers, CEO at Professional Alternatives
Daniel Caughill, Co-Founder at The Dog Tale
Kenzi Wood, Freelance Writer