There’s nothing new about working from home. But, since the pandemic strikes, it has become a trend that is more popular than ever.
Today, working from home has become a new normal for most employees. Some of them enjoy it, no long commutes, no traffic jams, no rigid working schedule, no wardrobe, no conflict with school schedules, and more. Meanwhile, others still have a hard time maintaining their productivity and balancing their work life and personal life — which can lead to feeling stressed out.
Many employees are experiencing work burnout due to long working hours at home. According to research, over two-thirds (69%) of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home. If you’re one of them — feeling soul-crushed because of WFH, here are some ways to help you manage your work environment so you can achieve greater productivity and less stress.
Create your own working space
Not all of us have the luxury of dedicated office space at home. But, working on the couch or bed has never been a good idea. A report found that having a tidy, organized workspace can make a person able to work for 7.5 minutes longer without losing focus.
You don’t have to spend a thousand bucks just to build a new working space. A corner of the room or any other space in your home can be turned into a dedicated workspace; a small corner in your kitchen, a small table near the window, etc — as long as you feel comfortable.
It doesn’t have to be big and luxurious; it just needs to give you enough room for your laptop and other work essentials so that you can focus on your work. That way, you can stay focused, work comfortably, and avoid any possible distractions.
Set a schedule and stick to it
One of the biggest challenges when working from home is to find the perfect balance between your work life and personal life. Some of us find it easy to overindulge in relaxation, procrastinating tasks that need to be done. On the other extreme, others struggle to stop working.
This is even more challenging if you are also attending college. You might be tempted to squeeze that “easy” homework in your to-do list during work hours.
In this case, it’s best to create a schedule and stick to it. If you’ve decided that working from home means work hours only, then no browsing the web or watching your favorite animated YouTube videos during office hours (unless you’re on lunch break). And you’ll only run your study sessions and review your class notes from sites like StuDocu during study hours.
Prioritize the most urgent and important tasks. When you start your day by working on the first, you’ll feel more accomplished and less stressed throughout the rest of the day.
Define boundaries and limits
As a remote worker, it’s easy to feel like you need to be available and online at all hours of the workday. However, just because you work from home, it doesn’t mean that you have to sit in front of your laptop and stay online non-stop 24/7.
You can still set up boundaries and limits for yourself so that you won’t get too overwhelmed with work. The smartest move you can make is mimicking your normal work schedule in the office.
Turn off your phone or put it in silent mode during working hours; this way, no one will disturb you while doing something important. Or maybe just check your emails first before anything else–then unplug. Working from home shouldn’t mean that you need to give your whole personal life.
Give yourself permission for breaks
When you work in the office, Whereas in the office we might have stepped away from our desk every so often by taking a lunch break, catching up with coworkers on the coffee break, chatting over the photocopier, and more. When you work from home, you deserve breaks too.
Rest and recharge yourself. According to psychotherapist and counseling directory member Beverley Blackman, taking breaks while working remotely is essential to productivity. “the mind needs a break from concentration in order to regenerate and allow it to relax,” he told Stylist.
Breaks that engage the body or mind in an activity unrelated to your work, can provide you with higher energy levels. That way, you might feel more motivated to continue working on your assignments.
So, if you find yourself getting overwhelmed throughout the day, you can take breaks every hour to get up and stretch your legs or even go for a quick walk outside if possible. A healthy body leads to a healthier mind which will help you be more productive during work hours.
Think about how you’re communicating
Remote work usually leads to loneliness. According to a study conducted by Buffer and AngelList, at least 20% of remote workers struggle with loneliness. But, thanks to remote technologies that make working from home less lonely.
There are useful communication tools that can be a necessary substitute for in-person work during remote working. Tools such as Slack, HipChat, and Google Hangouts can help your team communicate more easily even if they are remote.
One thing you need to remember, though; sticking to one or two tools is what is important. Every tool comes with its own noise. It means more tools, more noises. When you use too many communication tools, you are more likely to stress out.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro