Working remotely is awesome. It’s flexible, it allows you to work from home (which is great for the environment), and it gives you a lot of freedom. But there are some downsides to working remotely as well — including loneliness and burnout. That’s why it’s so important to know how to prevent both of these things from happening in your life.

By the end of this article, you’ll know the exact strategies to help you get your work done in less time, turn work off and tune into your personal life so you can be mindful, and recharge your batteries to avoid burnout. 


Be Intentional


There are loads of benefits for working from home. You save time on commuting, you don’t have to worry about traffic, and you can work from pretty much anywhere. One of the reasons, though, many remote workers suffer from burnout is because they aren’t working with intention. As a result, their work and personal time get so blended that it feels like they are working 24/7. 

In fact, over 60 percent of remote workers reported feeling overworked. This may be due to their belief that their employer didn’t want them to take time off, but it may also be because they were working without clear boundaries.  

To be effective and avoid burnout, you have to design your work day intentionally, and that includes setting work-related boundaries in advance. 

If someone asks if they can call earlier than usual because they need help with something urgent, tell them no because it’ll mess up your whole schedule, or at the very least it will lead to work creeping into your personal time. If you have the same policy across the board, no one will get hurt about your response. 

If you’re in a management position, set clear guidelines about when team meetings will happen (every Tuesday afternoon?), then stick with those plans unless there’s an emergency situation which requires everyone’s immediate attention (like someone getting injured).

It may also help if you designate certain days as “work days” when all your focus goes towards getting things done at the office (or wherever), while other days are “free days” when nothing gets done except what needs to get done around the house (or wherever).

Because these days we use technology in both spheres of our lives, it’s important to identify what is and isn’t appropriate for you to do during work (no checking social media). On the flip side, stop checking emails and responding to work-related issues during your personal time. It helps to have separate email accounts and even separate phones for work-related matters, so you can turn off notifications and turn work off after work hours. 

Setting your schedule in advance will help you plan out your day so that it doesn’t feel like there’s never enough time in the day to get everything done. This includes work meetings, time to work on specific projects and tasks, but also your personal time. Fill up your calendar with time to run errands, exercise, and get together with friends.This ensures that you get your needs met and avoid working around the clock.


Take care of yourself


If you work from your home, boundaries between your work and personal life can easily blur. Assuming you’ve created boundaries and scheduled your personal time in advance, it’s important that you show up for yourself during that scheduled time. Otherwise, you risk burning out and quitting your job before it even begins. 

It’s not enough to schedule time for yourself AFTER work. You have to schedule time for yourself DURING work. This means taking breaks throughout the day, unplugging for short spurts and doing something to move your body, release the stress, and refocus your mind. 

We all know that burnout is real and can be detrimental to our productivity and wellbeing if left unchecked, so make sure you keep an eye on how much time you are working and whether or not it’s too much for your body, mind, and soul.

If this means taking regular breaks from work, then do it! It doesn’t mean being lazy or slacking off; rather, it means giving yourself the opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved so far and how best to approach future tasks in order that they are completed successfully with minimal effort while still keeping up momentum without feeling weighed down by the task itself.

Get ahead of loneliness by being proactive in engaging with people


One of the real challenges you face when working remotely is isolation and loneliness. This is even more pronounced in extroverts who thrive off the energy of others. Yes, we still do Zoom meetings, but that’s not the same as being able to stroll over to your colleague’s cubicle or office door and have a quick chat about the upcoming weekend’s events or last night’s sports team’s performance. 

When it comes to work, remember that you are not alone! Your team members are always there for you, so reach out when you need them—whether it’s to share an idea or just vent about something frustrating about the job.

It’s a good idea to be proactive in making sure you don’t get lonely. If you have the opportunity, schedule time with friends and family members who live nearby. If that’s not possible, consider inviting them over for dinner. You can also invite people over by phone or video chat—and if they don’t feel like making the trip, encourage them to call you instead.

For those long-distance relationships, set up phone calls with friends and family on a regular basis. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, it will help ease your mind into thinking about other things besides work. A quick catch up call can go a long way!

Use social media as an extension of your real-life relationships: use it to see what your friends are up to and stay connected while working from home. Even if all you do is post pictures from work parties or weekend outings on Facebook, it will help remind everyone else that even though you don’t see each other as often these days, your relationships remain strong! And emailing someone regularly (even if it’s just an update about how crazed their friend has been lately) gives a sense of connection without requiring effort on either end.

Lastly, make sure you have some kind of social outlet in your life—whether it’s joining an intramural sports team or taking up painting as a hobby. These in-person activities are great ways to expand your social network and make new friends while simultaneously releasing the stress of the day.


Create a dedicated workspace


One of the challenges of working from home is that you might utilize the same space for multiple purposes. When you do that, the wires get crossed and it might feel like you’re working even when you’re not. 

It can be tempting to use your bed or couch as a makeshift desk, but this can lead to poor posture and strain on your body. The ideal would be to create a dedicated workspace, even if it’s just a corner of your room. Make that space as pleasant as possible and treat it seriously. This will maximize the positive associations you make with working from that space at home. If it helps, consider treating yourself to some nice office supplies or creating an aesthetic theme for your area such as green plants or whiteboard walls.

Be sure to clear the clutter around the space, as well, so that it’s not draining your energy. To shut out distractions, make use of some simple tools like noise canceling headphones, eye shades (when appropriate), and earplugs.

Here’s a great tip I recently learned. When you shift your seat, you shift your attention. Let’s assume you don’t have a dedicated office out of your house, so you’re doing your work out of your dining room table or you’re writing emails from your laptop while sitting on the couch. 

No problem. When your work day ends, simply shift over to a different chair at the table to have your dinner or to a different part of the couch to watch Netflix. It’s a simple hack based in brain science that can help you reap the benefits of a dedicated workspace even when you don’t have one. 




Working from home has many benefits, which is why so many workers are hesitant to go back to the office. That said, it’s important to be mindful about HOW you work while working remotely to avoid burnout.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of working remotely and forget that there’s more to life than just being on a computer all day long. By setting boundaries on how much time each day should be spent doing work related tasks and making sure that you take care of yourself physically, mentally, and socially, you will have an easier time staying productive and living with balance. 


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Dr. Sharon Grossman, AKA the Burnout Doc, is a clinically trained psychologist and subject matter expert in burnout and mental health. Associations and Fortune 500 companies hire her to be their closing keynote speaker, to help their members and executives crack the code on burnout, and create custom-tailored solutions for recovery.
Over the past 20 years, Dr. Sharon has been helping high achievers who are struggling with anxiety, overwhelm, and burnout go from exhausted to extraordinary by better understanding how their brain works and how they can design and run their programming on purpose to live the kind of life they want to live. She is the author of several books on burnout and mindset and host of the Decode Your Burnout podcast. Through her speaking, training, and coaching, she helps organizations keep their top talent.