How To Avoid Work-From-Home Fatigue

Working from home may have been fun at first, but for many remote workers, months of setting up a home office at the dining room table have made staying focused from 9 to 5 feel exhausting. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, an estimated 58 percent of workers shifted some or all of their work from the office to the home office (via Gallup). As stress levels have soared, you may be fighting to maintain your previous levels of productivity and dealing with a decrease in focus and creativity (via Fortunately, you can get back on track, become more productive, and find your purpose at work again.

First, rethink your office space and daily routines. You may want to consider adding a "commute" to your morning by going for a walk or a short bike ride before sitting down at your desk — and then closing out the workday with another lap around the neighborhood. Commuting by bike or on foot has been shown to improve health as well as mood and productivity (via ScienceDaily). You may also want to rethink your office setup: You may have started by working on the sofa with your laptop, but ergonomic experts recommend sitting up straight in a comfortable, supportive chair and raising your computer monitor to be at eye level (via Harvard).

Get back in touch with your former work life

Feeling like you're no longer working with purpose? "The initial giddiness that many people experienced at being able to 'catch up' on work at home and not facing tiresome commutes has faded into a sense of missing those we work with and who structure our working lives," Yale professor and organizational psychologist Amy Wrzesniewski told Yale Insights. To reclaim your former spark, she suggests figuring out what's missing from your workday (that you actually miss). "That will vary, but usually comes down to identifying the things that will help you focus and be immersed in the work and managing your sense of connection to others and to the work itself," she added.

Lastly, if you've been avoiding video calls or phone calls with coworkers or business friends in recent months, you're not alone. Many people are claiming 'Zoom fatigue' and trying to stay away from virtual communication. But for most of us, video conferencing is the closest thing we will have to real-life work connections for the foreseeable future, so it's time to re-engage with your computer's camera. Keep calls short and to the point, skip the multitasking, and close out other tabs that might cause you to become distracted: Focus on making a real connection with your coworkers rather than simply checking off another task on your list (via Harvard Business Review).