Working from home is the new preference nowadays. Whether you are a freelancer or a full-time remote employee, working from home has its benefits compared to working onsite: no commute, no dress code, and having more freedom and less supervision.
However, while remote work may be a welcome change for many, this setup still has a downside. A survey conducted by monster.com found that 69% of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home. 65% of remote workers surveyed by Flexjobs reported working more hours than they had while working in the office.
Research also shows that employees who work from home may experience a blur between work and personal life boundaries. They may also struggle more with unplugging and ending their workday than in an office setting. Add to that the distractions and interruptions, which make it hard for you to focus on work like caring for your children and pets, receiving deliveries, getting non-work-related calls or messages, or even neighborhood noise.
Utilize these helpful tips to manage stress and set yourself up to work from home effectively.
Create a routine.
Even if you have the liberty to set your work hours or have specific hours that you need to be working, it is helpful to have a routine to stick to so that it will be easier for you to manage your time. Coming up with a practice can also help you have more focus at work.
Start with deciding on a ritual to start your workday. It can be drinking coffee, doing a short stretch, or meditating to prepare you for the work ahead.
Then, plan your day and list down the tasks you need to work on throughout the day. Prioritize challenging tasks first so that you will have more time to accomplish these tasks and will not be overwhelmed later on in the day.
Finish your workday with a routine, like choosing to unplug from any work tool, taking an evening walk or a relaxing bath, or lighting up a candle to relax your mind after a long day.
Choose a dedicated workplace.
One factor that causes stress is when you procrastinate, realizing that many things need to be finished. The reason why you procrastinated? You were curled up in bed while working.
To avoid experiencing this scenario, choose a dedicated workplace conducive to working. Make sure that your chosen spot has proper lighting and ventilation. Put all work tools and supplies that you will need within reach.
Once you are in your dedicated workplace, reduce distractions by putting your phone in silent mode or turning off notifications you may receive that are not work-related. You may also play some relaxing music to help you focus.
Set out expectations with your boss.
One of the biggest causes of stress is when you lack clear directions and are unsure if you are meeting your immediate head’s expectations. Communication is the key here- set a meeting with your boss to discuss what is expected of you. Ask what tasks and projects are the priority and the timelines. Be open and honest if you think you need more time or other support to deliver what is expected of you.
Movement is a great way to reduce stress, so incorporate short movement breaks in your workday. You can do a 10-minute yoga, walk outside the house for a few minutes, lift some weights, or dance to a lively song. Short movements or exercises can release endorphins, which can lessen your stress. It can also help prevent eye strains, headaches, and stiffness.
Keep your social life thriving.
Even when you are at home, keeping your social life thriving is essential to avoid loneliness. The support of your workmates, housemates, and family can ease the boredom of working alone and boost your energy. During your work breaks, opt to video call your friends or relatives. Catch up with them, and you can instantly get happy hormones to shoo the stress away.
Be compassionate with yourself.
Reward yourself, even for small wins. Rewards can be taking a well-deserved break, eating a food you have craved, or sleeping early and recharging after a long workday. Don’t forget to sleep, as working too much can exhaust your energy and mental focus.
And remember, do not be too hard on yourself. Do not overthink things you can’t control or stress yourself, even with the minor things.
Go easy on yourself- allow yourself to feel the stress but don’t let it consume you. Be patient with yourself. All is well.
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