During the pandemic, remote work became the norm, and many employees continue to work remotely. Many employees enjoy the flexibility that comes when working from home. However, it is harder to establish boundaries when working from home, and the stress from work can bleed into family life. Feeling stress, anxiety, and uncertainty is common unless you find ways to protect your mental and physical health. Here are five that will help you.
Setting boundaries with other members of your household is important to your mental well-being when working from home. You will have distractions that can be hard to deal with, such as children demanding your attention. Have a discussion with your family about the fact that you have to work and you need peace and quiet to do it. Promise your children that you will switch off your computer when your workday is over, and you can enjoy time together as a family. If you don’t set boundaries, it is easy for you to become anxious and depressed.
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If you don’t follow a routine, it is easy for the lines between home and work to become blurred. It’s important to try and follow your normal routine of getting up in the morning, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and then settling down at your desk. You can use the time you would normally spend commuting to exercise, meditating etc. and prepare yourself for the day’s work.
Sitting in your pajamas all day may be fun at first, but you can fall into a slump that affects your work if you can’t even bother to get dressed. Many employees who work from home suffer stress because their bosses expect them to be connected 24/7. Don’t fall for answering emails outside of work hours when you should be spending time with your family.
Your wake and sleep routine matters when working from home just as much as it does when working from an office. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Avoid the blue lights of digital devices before going to bed, as they can affect your ability to fall asleep.
It is difficult to maintain your mental and physical health if you don’t have a dedicated workspace. It may be tempting to sit on a sofa to work, but it is much better for you to sit in an upright position at the right distance from your computer screen.
Setting up a workspace with everything you need helps you to work in an organized manner and avoid the stress of all your work tools and documents lying around the house. If you can set up a spare room where you can close the door if necessary, it is better than trying to work in the kitchen at the counter or in another busy area. Think about working in a room with a window where you can get some exposure to natural light.
You need to make time for breaks to help you to unwind and prevent stress from negatively affecting you. A break of five to 10 minutes every hour is enough to clear your mind, think about something else and return to your work ready to focus once more. If you can get outdoors and breathe in some fresh air, it can do wonders for your mental health. Going for a short walk can give you some exercise and increase your productivity when you start working again.
Working from home has many benefits, but it is easier to feel isolated than when working in an office. Human interaction is very important, especially when working from home. Your colleagues may feel the same way you do, so it may help to reach out and ask how they are doing. You can possibly find ways to support one another.
Make the time to socialize virtually. Many companies have introduced virtual coffee breaks or Friday online get-togethers to help employees feel less isolated while working from home. You may find playing online games and sharing other activities with coworkers helps to ease your isolation.