Due to the coronavirus pandemic, over five million people in the United Kingdom were advised to work from home. Whilst this setup allows businesses to continue their operations without risking safety, it still poses worrying risks to employees. Studies have revealed that people working from home experience increased loneliness compared to those who are not. A lack of physical interaction with colleagues, combined with a blurring of work-life boundaries, causes significant mental distress. So to help you avoid stress while working from home, here are a few things you can do.
Replicate a regular work day
Although working from home gives you the flexibility of working on your own terms, it is more beneficial to stick to a schedule. Start by giving yourself enough time before work to take a shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast. This routine will help set your mind for a day’s work ahead. List down the tasks you need to accomplish within the day. This will help you in visualizing what your schedule will look like, and at the end of the day, you can "leave" work with a sense of accomplishment. Just be sure to set realistic goals to maximise your time! Aside from blocking at least an hour of uninterrupted time to focus on accomplishing your tasks, make sure you also schedule breaks in between. Enjoy your lunch and coffee breaks, so you can be energised before coming back to work. And when you are nearing the end of your workdayworkday, practise a work closing ritual. Check your emails for the last time, inform your colleagues that you will be logging off, and prepare your to-do list for the following day.
Pay attention to home office ergonomics
It may be tempting to stay in bed or constantly switch workplaces while working from home, but if you wish to avoid body pains and injuries, you have to set up an ergonomic workstation. Incorporating ergonomics into your remote work life dramatically increases your comfort — reducing your stress levels and boosting your focus and productivity. So be sure to include this on your moving checklist! The first step is to look into ergonomic equipment. Aside from a sturdy desk that lets you keep your screen at eye level, this article points out that an ergonomic chair can also make a huge difference in your workday. A quality ergonomic chair improves your body posture, avoiding strain in your back, shoulders, and neck, and helps prevent serious injuries like severe pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. It also promotes blood circulation to your extremities, so you will not feel uncomfortable despite sitting down for hours at a time. Moreover, consider what you do repetitively and look for a solution that will optimise your tasks. For instance, if your job involves excessive typing, maybe you can use a voice typing tool so that you can reduce the amount of time your fingers are on the keyboard.
Lessen the stress of home admin
Moving homes and setting up a new workstation are already stressful on their own, and on top of that, you have to update all of your service providers about your address change. You even have to do that as soon as possible to avoid having your mail and other important documents shipped to the wrong address. Fortunately, there is automation software that can provide address management, taking the hassle out of moving and reducing waste from misdelivered items. Moreover, you can use it to cancel pre-existing services, link your multiple email accounts, and share your new details with family and friends. Now, that is one less thing to worry about!
Remember: It's the little things
Last but not least, you have to remember that it's good daily habits that can help you be your best self. If you want to be more productive, you have to take care of yourself! Eat and sleep well to rejuvenate your body, and establish clear work-life boundaries by pursuing your interests outside of work. Also, reward yourself for a job well done by going on a walk, meditating, cooking, listening to music, watching an episode of your favourite show — whatever boosts your mood at the end of the day.
By writer Carissa Akers An article for monadd.io