2020 will surely be remembered as the year in which we all became acquainted with the pleasures and perils of working from home (or, as it’s come to be called, WFH). Many of us have adapted to this transition remarkably well and actually managed to increase our productivity and quality of life. But the same, alas, isn’t so for everyone. In many cases, the practice of working from home can generate stress.
Much of the time, this stress comes not from working from home itself, but from the way in which it’s done. If you’re struggling with the stress of working from home, then there are several tweaks you might make to your routine, to allow you to cope that little bit better.
Build a Routine
If you don’t have a routine to follow, then you’re not going to be as productive. It’s really as simple as that. Set fixed times for going to bed, and for waking up. When you wake up, get dressed. Even consider getting a suit/tux to wear for video calls if you need to. Get out of your pajamas every day.
If you’re tempted to have a lie-in, then that’s probably a sign that you’re going to bed too late. Make sure that you’re working the same hours every day – consistency will help you to avoid distraction. The time that you might otherwise have spent commuting can be devoted to other activities, like writing a journal, meditating, or exercising.
Stay in Touch
You might be surprised at the extent to which you miss the social interactions that work brought about. If you’re missing talking to people, then why not schedule a face-to-face video call at a fixed time every week, just so you can remind yourself that there’s a person on the other end of all of those emails you’re firing off.
When you’re working from home, you might find yourself unable to distinguish between work mode and home mode. After all, you’re using the same building for both. If striking the balance proves tricky, it might be time to schedule your downtime and stick to it with the same intensity that you’re keeping your work hours with. Treating yourself to chocolates when you’ve performed a particular task can provide the push you need to power through.
Make sure that you’re getting the most out of your breaks. Don’t just aimlessly scroll through social media – if your objective is to deal with stress, then your Twitter feed is not going to help you achieve it. Fixed breaks of five minutes or so spread throughout the day will help you to maintain some perspective on your working life. You might come back to the task at hand completely refreshed, and solve the problem you were worrying about in a matter of mere moments.
Move things Around
One of the joys of working from home is that you can move from one part of the house to another, if you feel like you need a change of scenery. With that said, a fixed office space with boundaries (those exclude children and family pets) will allow you to form habits that’ll make you more productive in the long-term.