Setting Yourself Up For Work-From-Home Success
We are all in the middle of a completely unprecedented situation. In the midst of a pandemic, life seems to shift overnight. Suddenly, we’re working from home, our children aren’t at school and we have to plan out our lives like never before. A whole new set of challenges have erupted since our global pandemic began.
Though some may have worked from home before, doing so full-time and not knowing when it will end is a new experience. Here, you’ll find some easy tips to let you implement healthy work-from-home strategies.
Find togetherness with your co-workers. Having a shared identity and culture with your colleagues is more important now than ever before. It’s easy to begin feeling isolated when you’re working from home and can’t socialize when your workday is over. Get together online to discuss when there can be overlaps in your day where you’re available online through a work chat such as Zoom, Slack or Skype. When you can collaborate, you’ll be able to brainstorm and feel more of that vital attachment to your team.
Designate your space. It can be difficult to separate your work and home lives when both occur in your home. To make sure these lines don’t blur, create a space that is only for your work. You might be thinking, “I don’t have the room for that.” Even those in small apartments can have a small corner for their workspace. Make it your own, with pictures, decorations and a chair that you know is comfortable and won’t leave you with an aching back or neck. With this separation between your work and home lives, you can be ready to turn the switch to “on” when you start your workday, then “off” when it’s time to immerse yourself in your home life.
Define your working hours. When you’re working at home, it’s all too easy to let your hours stretch out over a whole day. “I’ll just answer that email quickly.” “I should deal with that now instead of letting it sit until morning.” “I forgot to do that earlier; I better take care of it right away.” By sticking with your regular working hours, you can be more productive during that specific span of time. If you wouldn’t normally head back into the office to finish up that task, don’t do it just because you’re working from home.
Remember the joy. It’s always easier to look at the disadvantages in a situation than to think about the positives. Consider making a list of things you’re grateful for during this unique time. For example, you might be thrilled about having a ten-second commute to your office instead of the usual 45 minutes. You may find happiness in being around your dog all day long. It’s okay to miss your old life while feeling joy over some aspects of your new normal.
Though we don’t know when the pandemic will end and life will return to its normal state, there is promising news: one study has shown that people working from home were 13% more productive and half as likely to quit!
Decrease Your Stress
Social distancing has been in effect for a few months now, and people are reporting a marked decrease in their moods, along with an increase in the amount of stress they are experiencing.
It’s no secret that stress releases cortisol, which causes inflammation in your body. This increase in inflammation can affect your sleep, your digestion, your weight, and your body’s ability to function well. If you are experiencing restlessness, irritability, or symptoms of depression or anxiety, stress is likely the culprit.
So how can we destress?
We all may have different ways we like to unwind. But these are a few my clients and myself like to take our minds off of stressful situations.
Listening to music releases feel good hormones in our brains. It’s a very common tool used to become grounded, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be soothing waterfalls or harps, although these are great as well. Listening to music you enjoy, no matter what the genre can allow you to feel more relaxed. Add some dancing, and this can be a great way to keep moving while relieving stress.
Video Chat with Friends
Socializing has taken on a new form. We may not be able to physically see our favourite people, but we can talk on the phone or video chat with our loved ones. Many people are now video chatting with friends or family while doing regular everyday things like cooking, cleaning, sharing movies, or for celebrations. Online meeting forums have become a popular way to connect with many people at one time.
Sitting alone with your favourite cup of herbal tea is both relaxing and healthy. Consuming warm drinks, or the opposite, very cold drinks can allow your body and your mind to unwind. You can pull out a book, or admire your surroundings while enjoying a beverage – both of which are excellent methods for destressing.
Sitting on your deck, porch, or balcony during the nice weather will not only allow your body to absorb some vitamin D, but the warmth can be quite soothing. Just be sure not to overdo it, make sure there is either some shade, you have on sunscreen, and/or are wearing a hat to protect your face and eyes.
Organizing your home or workspace is a great way to destress and get some spring cleaning done. When was the last time you organized your shoe closet or went through your family’s winter clothes? Decluttering can allow us to feel accomplished, and having a clean and clear space is beneficial to our mental wellness.
While there may be days any of these options seem impossible, there will be times to just unwind. Making time, or taking time when we can is a challenge particularly for those with small children. Get them involved, children love to feel like they are a part of the process. Singing, dancing, getting outside, video chats, and organizing toys or art supplies is equally as important to your children as it is for yourself. Whatever it is you choose to do, take care of yourself to avoid further health or wellness issues in the future.