Working from home, while convenient, does come with its own set of issues. Blurry boundaries between work and home life, Zoom fatigue and burnout are just some of the negative effects that we’ve all been facing for the past year.
As many of us transition to a post-COVID world, flexible work routines are becoming the new normal. It’s good to make the most out of the situation and make working from home a more pleasant experience for ourselves.
Here are some tips that we believe can make working from home a little easier for you.
It’s tempting to stay in your seat the whole day, especially when you’re at home. Stepping away from your screen and moving around ever so often allows you to loosen your stiff muscles and rest your eyes. Light stretching at your desk, laps around your living room or even a 5-min dance break will help you shake the stress off and leave you feeling refreshed.
Make time for breaks
Having breakfast, lunch and sometimes even dinner in front of our screens, working for hours on end without getting up – sound familiar? If it does, it’s time for you to switch it up. While we can get our meals delivered straight to our doors when working from home, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still take the full hour. Spend it doing and thinking of something other than work, like watching an episode of your favourite show or an article that you’ve meaning to read. Scheduling in regular breaks for meals and movement (and sticking to them!) allows you to break up your day and make you feel less overwhelmed.
Call a friend
Physical isolation doesn’t mean social isolation. After spending most of your working hours with your colleagues, it can be slightly jarring to not see them as often. Make time between your tasks to stay in touch with your work friends, through calls and texts. Talking it out with your friends can help take your mind off the stress that you’re feeling and even help gain a new perspective.
Check out on time
When your home becomes your office, it’s natural to feel tempted to keep working even after your regular work hours have ended. “I don’t have anywhere to go or anything else to do anyway” is an excuse we’ve heard ourselves give when we continue working into the night. This, however, is a straight road to burnout. It’s important for you to set clear boundaries for yourself and step away physically and mentally from work.
Be compassionate to yourself
As adults, it’s hard for us to accept changes to our routines and lives, especially such a major one like working from home and self-isolation. It’s more important now than ever to show some compassion towards yourself. Cut yourself some slack – it’s okay to slip up, it’s okay to not perform at 100% every single day. Feeling stressed is completely normal, but don’t let it consume you. Practise self-care through your favourite hobbies or a wind-down ritual before bed. Remember that this too shall pass, and that you’re just human.