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The Importance of Switching off from Work to Avoid Burnout

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Now, you can do a lot of things at work to avoid burning out. Vary the work type, monitor workloads, offer help with work/life balance—these are all good steps.

But in the current circumstances, the best way is simply to remind people of the time they’re entitled to spend on themselves and their families. After all, 2020 is bringing stressors from virtually everywhere, not just work.

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Encouraging employees and colleagues to take annual leave during the glorious (well, slightly less than usual) summer will go some way to lessening the burnout, exhaustion and potential resentment people will feel at the way their lives have been turned upside-down by coronavirus.

Even just taking a week off to sit in the garden, do some DIY or just play video games with the kids will refresh, recharge and reset people who have been stuck indoors for months now, working remotely with no change of pace or scenery.

There’s a danger that, with the shift toward semi-permanent remote work, people’s work/life balance will get distorted. When you spend 23 hours a day in the same place, the idea of taking holiday time to spend even more of those hours there might feel alien and pointless.

But, as we say, burnout is very real. And the best way to combat it is to spend a little time—without the stresses of work on our backs—on ourselves.

Encourage colleagues, employees, family and friends to take the annual leave they’re entitled to, and come back feeling a little more optimistic. We’re all in this together, and we’ll all make it through.