Posted-on October 2020 By Amy Bates
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the line between work and non-work is overlapping. Because the shift to remote work happened so suddenly, people were forced into this situation without proper preparation. Many were not equipped to maintain healthy limits between their professional and personal lives. Faced with unease about the future of their companies, they may feel that they have to work long hours to demonstrate their loyalty and prove their worth.
While remote work has been seen as a benefit to some people, allowing flexibility and saving time and money on travel, work clothes, lunches and other expenses, it can also lead to stress. What was once a luxury is now a necessity, and many may worry that if they miss a call or do not respond to an email immediately, they will be seen as not working as hard as they did in the office.
The challenge of having to juggle your personal and professional life, increased workload and lack of communication and support from the employer may have an impact on your mental health. Weekdays can start to blend into weekends, and without physically leaving your place of work and closing the door behind you, you no longer have a clear signal that it's time to relax and enjoy your home life. This means that you have to make a conscious effort to set boundaries and take care of yourself in order to avoid stress.
Here are some tips on how to avoid feeling stressed, whilst working remotely:
Setting routines and dividing your day into your work life and personal life is essential.
Make sure you have a separate place for your home office and go there to work, just as you did when you left your house to go to work.
Implementing a routine with consistent parameters every day.
Create yourself a work schedule and stick to it as much as you can. Starting every day at the same time and finishing around the same time. Also, eat lunch and take breaks and try to keep your job schedule as consistent as you can. When you create your own schedule having the routine can be motivating. Building a new routine is up to you so that you can normalise things as much as possible.
Working in an office building, productivity at the office is often measured by time. Working remotely can make measuring productivity more difficult. Concentrate on the goals of your job. Establish goals to ensure realistic achievements and set healthy metrics with your manager. Integrate time into your work hours for professional development and support.
When working remotely decreased social connection is a definite challenge. Determine how you will stay connected with your team, your friends and your colleagues. To support work relationships, use technology, but also take the opportunity to gather safely in parks or other places that allow social distancing. Wider networks, such as professional groups, are another way to stay connected. Use social media to open or create relevant links, such as a professional Facebook support group.
Working from home for longer periods of time can lead to stress, and if you do not take steps to deal with that stress, your quality of life can be affected. Feeling stressed can have a negative impact on your personal life and also on your job performance, so be conscious of the signs of stress and do what you need to do to improve your situation.