When work from home orders was placed by a lot of companies last March in response to the pandemic, we never anticipated that it would last this long, and a new work culture would emerge. Now, almost nine months into the setup, we are starting to see that so many employees experience burnout and anxiety. This is because a lot of employees do not have the tools and environment to work productively from home.
While the Work From Home (WFH) setup was mainly put in place to try to keep employees physically safe, it is taking a toll on their mental health.
Somehow the lines between work and home life, which were once very bold, have been completely blurred. And many attribute this to the demise of their mental health and is a major cause of stress. Here are some workable tips to help you work from home more effectively:
Define Your Work Space
Introduce a sense of structure by creating a space in your home where you would work. It can be a work table or even a makeshift one in a small corner. What is important is that you designate that area purely for work. You should try to pick a spot in your home that is not an area with high traffic that can be a cause of distractions (kitchen, dining area, TV area, etc.) You should also avoid working in the bedroom. So when you go and rest, you are not reminded of work and can escape in your sanctuary.
Invest in Your Work Area and Work Accessories
Sitting down in a chair not made to be sat on for hours and hours a day takes a toll on your body and drains your energy faster. Tables that are not the right height for working makes you slouch and is also taxing for your body. If noise around your household is inevitable, a pair of noise-canceling earphones also come in very handy. These might seem like an added expense but think of it this way: these are investments that you will be using for a while since it seems like the WFH setup will be enforced by a lot of companies for a long time. These are also tools to help you become more productive.
Create and Follow a Work Schedule and Regimen
This greatly helps in keeping you productive and accountable. It also creates a structure and routine that will help draw a bolder line between your home and work life. Some employers are more lenient now with assigning work hours. If you find those particular working hours is hard for you because of other responsibilities that overlap with work like parenting or overseeing your kid’s online schooling. Just ask your superior for some adjustments, and you might be able to work something out. Try to also keep your lunch breaks and other breaks regular. It is also a great way to maximize spending time with everyone working/ going to school in your household. This will help recharge you midday.
Create To-do Lists and Task Lists
Chances are, if you are working from home, you are unlikely to have your superiors physically present to remind you of deadlines or deliverables. Just so you are accountable and see that you are accomplishing everything that you need to, and do not forget that you can do this by yourself. There are a lot of productivity/task management apps available on phones and for download.
Get Dressed for Work
As tempting as it is to just get up from bed and start working, take a little time to fix up and put on something other than pajamas. Whether you have to be in an online meeting that requires you to have your camera on or not. Fix yourself up. It’s a proven fact that when you look good, you feel good. So why not take that little step to help shift yourself in the right mindset. It will also help define that line or mode from home to work and will make you feel less lazy. In the same manner, after-work hours change into your house clothes to put yourself in that rest/relaxed mind frame.
While these are just some tips that might help employees or the workforce struggling with the work from home setup. The WFH setup is sometimes not for everyone. If you find that it is really not for you, consult your HR department or superior for options (they might allow you to come into the office for a few days a week) or consider working from some of the co-working spaces around available for rent.
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