How to easily overcome remote working fatigue
31 Aug 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in the age of remote working where an unprecedented number of employees are doing their jobs from home. While virtual working offers many benefits such as autonomy, independence and improved productivity, it can also lead to long hours and lousy working habits that lead to exhaustion and fatigue.
A Society of Human Resources Management survey reported that 35% of remote working employees often feel tired or have little energy and 32% sometimes feel that way.
If you’re suffering from remote working fatigue the following strategies will help you overcome the lethargy.
Have Audio-Only Meeting Sometimes
We rely on our computer screens a lot, from writing documents and ordering groceries to teleconferences and retail therapy. But staring at displays all day comes at a cost - screen fatigue. Therefore make some of your meetings audio only so you're not constantly gazing into your webcam. If you have a wireless headset, you don’t have to be tied to your desk. You can move around a room without distracting other attendees.
Also, schedule fewer meetings. Often, they´re repetitive and go on for far too long, which is draining. Therefore, try to reduce their number by combining several meetings, having clear, focused agendas with times allotted for each matter, or substituting some meetings with detailed emails/ documents.
Schedule Frequent Breaks
Taking regular breaks should be part of your work-from-home schedule. If you're working continuously, you will soon burn out. Carve out around 15 minutes every 90 minutes to get up from your desk to sit in a quiet corner, potter, stand on the balcony or walk around the garden. Do not use this time to check your emails or look at your mobile devices. If you see a lot of messages in your inbox, you may want to clear them. This will make it more challenging to switch your attention back to your work when you need to. Plus, it's a distraction that will eat into your schedule.
Movement is healthy and keeps us alert. The fact you're not getting out to see your customers or visiting colleagues on different floors of your building could be increasing your tiredness levels. Therefore, take microbreaks where you're walking around the room a couple of times, jumping up and down, and performing stretches during audio-only meetings.
Even if you are an expert juggler and can handle several tasks simultaneously, doing so requires more energy. You are not actually doing two or three things at the same time; you are switching between them, which increases fatigue because of the demands on your attention. So instead, concentrate on one activity at a time. Put your phone out of reach and turn off distractions so you can focus.
Tune In To Your Body Clock
One of the many advantages of working from home is having a more flexible schedule than before. This allows you to match your work volumes with your energy levels. For example, if you are a morning person, try to schedule the most important meetings and challenging tasks for the first half of the day.
Don't Skip Meals or Snacks
Your brain and body need their regular intakes of nutrients to function at optimum levels. If you miss meals or snack times because you're busy, you will feel tired and sluggish.
Remote working doesn't have to be a burden that drains your energy. By following a few simple steps, you can stay fresh, alert and productive.
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