Work from home is something we’ve always wished for, but were never really prepared for!
A pandemic, something that none of us had ever been through, turned our professional and personal lives upside down. Work from home, just a by-product, came as a welcome change. All those who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs, were pleasantly thrilled. We expected it to be a professional honeymoon of sorts. Well, who knew it would last for months together and now a year too.
But very soon our 9-to-5 turned into almost all-day jobs, 24×7 notifications, and day long tasks which brought along “work-from-home stress”. It has become difficult to handle personal and professional commitments at the same time.
We are with you in these unprecedented times. We will take you through a few small steps you can take to manage your office & work stress while working from home. As it is said – ‘It’s the little things that matter the most’.
Ways to Handle Work from Home Stress
1. Schedule your entire day before beginning your work
A proper schedule can help you manage your day in a better way. It is best if you can plan your entire week over the previous weekend. Usually official meetings are scheduled well in advance to allow you to plan your day around them.
If you are a beginner and planning the entire week is too big a task, plan your next day before going to sleep the previous night. Keep some room for some alterations on the go.
If you are too lazy to do that as well, write your day’s plan first thing in the morning. This habit helps in scheduling your day and managing it better.
2. Sleep Well
Work stress (especially from home) has a lot to do with improper sleep. With inadequate sleep, you cannot expect to have an active and productive day. It is difficult to concentrate and get work done in the time frame as you are functioning in your full capacity. This builds stress.
Work from home has set in a laid back attitude and has altered our habits and schedule. This includes our sleep pattern too. Watch out for it and make sure you have a good night’s sleep to wake up early for a power packed day.
3. Don’t Postpone your Work Deliverables
One of the worst habits most of us have adapted to during our work-from-home cycle is procrastination. We begin our day thinking we have ample time for all the tasks in hand and keep pushing it for the end of the day. However, while sitting on an office desk, work hours were defined. Each one of us would endeavour to finish the task in hand at the earliest to head back home.
While we spend the day postponing tasks, there is just too much to do at the end and we end up missing deadlines. Don’t postpone your tasks and try to do them as soon as possible and reduce the work from home stress.
Also read: Making Your Company’s Virtual Teams Work
4. Keep your Mobile Away
Smartphones have become our best companions. We do not even move around the house without them. While it has eased our life for the good, it has also become the greatest source for distraction. To add to the anxiety of checking notifications, the amount of negativity spread by different media houses takes a toll on our mental health issues and our personal & professional relationships.
The best practice to adopt is to turn off all social media notifications during work hours. Keep your phone away from your work desk and check it only after an interval.
If you want to leverage technology to get more productive, use apps that monitor screen time and the frequency of your phone usage. Adopt ways to reduce the same. Try it out and experience more sanity coming back into your life. You will see an instant boost in efficiency if you just keep your phone away for an hour or two. Track your performance each day.
5. Meditate to bring back some Zen Moments
The chaos of work, home, family and the anxiety of the pandemic has left us in jeopardy of psychological issues. To keep sane, it is important to find calm amidst the chaos.
Practising mindfulness, meditation or praying in any form brings a positive outlook to life and relaxes the state of mind. Meditation is one of the best coping skills that helps declutter the mind and discover efficient solutions to mental blocks.
Get yourself into the habit of meditating regularly. Begin with 5 minutes of concentration on your breathing process. As you get used to it, you can take it up to 30 minutes or as long as you want.
6. Make a dedicated office corner in your home
We know the office days are long gone and who knows when we can have them back. While we work from, it is important to have a defined work set up. What do you think kept you more productive at the office? While there could be several factors among which the work environment and comfort are the highlights. The good news is, we can almost recreate this setup for ourselves at home too.
Find a peaceful corner that you can have as your office space. If you have a study table and chair, move it in here. If you don’t, get a setup as per your need and budget. It is advisable to invest in this because this is the place where you will spend most of your day. It must be comfortable and should set in the right vibe to give your best.
Not only is this corner valuable for the office, it will also be your haven, when you want to spend some time just with yourself.
7. Wake up Early. You know it, right?
We grew up listening to, ‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’. Now as grown-ups, let us get to adulting with these lines from Evan Carmichael,
‘ Wake up Early and Tackle the day before it Tackles you. Be on Offense, not Defense.’
Most of us wake up just 5 minutes before working hours are about to begin, switch on our laptops and start working.
We need to stop this. Wake up at least an hour before, take time to recharge yourself and get ready to take on the day with an actual plan. Then start your day like a conqueror.
Also read: Boost Employee Morale While Working Remotely
8. Take small and frequent breaks
They have conducted various studies across the world to determine the maximum attention span of individuals. The results, however, vary. Some suggest a 20 minute concentration range while others suggest 40-45 minutes. Few revealed 90 minutes as a threshold.
We go by 40-45 minutes. It is essential to take at least a 10 minute break after working for about 45 minutes. Frequent breaks help to break the monotony and bring back better focus to work. However, do not overextend the breaks to break the flow of work. Train your brain for the maximum output in this span and get on the top of your game.
These were some simple ideas that you can use and improve your work from home experience. A few other little things that you must take care of are:
- Keep yourself-hydrated.
- Don’t eat too much junk while working.
- Make a fitness routine for yourself.
You can actually enjoy your work-from-home days by utilising your commute time for something creative. Make the most of your days while keeping them pleasant.