Whether you’ve started to work from home or have been doing it for a while now, you may be going through several challenges. You might be able to skip your daily commute and spend more quality time with your loved ones. But, on the other hand, the lack of structure, abundant distractions, and scarce social interactions can be fueling your stress levels. Stress, as you may already know, is the number one enemy of mental and physical health. Luckily, there are several things you can do to conquer the stress of remote work.
Is working from home more stressful? As remote working is a fairly new trend, there’s no universal consensus on whether it is more or less stressful than traditional, in-office work. It all depends on your personality and current position. What can be said is that, for many people, a new work environment becomes a great source of anxiety and worry, even if that environment is their home.
When it comes to remote work, there are new complications you wouldn’t experience in the office. For instance, you risk suffering productivity slowdown, communication issues, and overwork. After all, your home is closely linked to leisure and family. You might be tempted by distractions. Additionally, you might face unintentional interruptions from your partner, relatives, and children. Naturally, these are sources of stress.
If the pressure of working from home is already piling up, take a few minutes to reflect on the perks of the situation. You have more freedom, more control over your time, and you don’t have to worry about commuting. If this isn’t enough to ease your worries and you still need some guidance to adapt to your new lifestyle, here are ten useful tips.
10 Tips to Manage Stress While Working From Home
Relaxation may seem like the direct opposite of work. How can you think about relaxing when you have upcoming deadlines, meetings, and unsolved tasks? However, we are not talking about the kind of relaxation associated with lying in bed and doing nothing. True relaxation is rooted in the mind; it is the “offline” period where you can rest, recharge your batteries to continue performing at your best potential.
This is not merely figurative: when you relax, the blood flow increases throughout your body, giving you more energy. As a result, your mind becomes sharper and clearer, which makes concentration, positive thinking, and memory much more effective. Moreover, relaxation slows your heart rate and relieves tension.
2. Focus on what you love
Astronaut Christina Koch became well-known for breaking the record of the longest single spaceflight by a woman. Koch was trained by NASA to endure social isolation while in space. She advised that, during this time, an excellent way to manage the stress of working at home is trying to focus on the positive.
Naturally, remaining positive during such uncertain times is a huge challenge. However, you can begin by focusing on what you like the most about this situation. This can be having more time to see your children, working while having a nice view of your backyard, etc. The more you think about your favorite things, the less pessimistic you will feel. In the words of Koch, “is not about the number of dates, but what you do with those dates.”
3. Create your workspace
You are at home, but you are still working. As tempting as lying in bed with your laptop might be, this can be counterproductive. Use a spare bedroom as your new office. Or, if you live in a less spacious place, find a specific spot suitable for your needs. This can be a quiet corner of your bedroom or living room. Now, find a table and a chair so you can sit straight.
This has several advantages:
- It makes you feel comfortable and keep everything tidy.
- It sets a clear boundary between your work and home life. Whenever you are at your new office, your family will understand you shouldn’t be disturbed.
- It helps you develop the “I’m at work” mindset.
4. Schedule your day
When you work remotely, you are no longer restrained by the office’s timetable. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the lack of structure, write down all the tasks you would like to complete by the end of the day. You can also schedule coffee or lunchtime breaks. And remember that you won’t be able to finish everything you’d like to in a single day, so establish a proper finish time. This way, you won’t have issues unplugging for the day.
5. Cut out distractions
Typically, when you are at home, you are close to the objects you use to spend your leisure time: your TV, books, games, musical instruments, etc. A good idea is to maintain a safe distance. You should keep these leisure tools far away as possible from your workspace, inside a cabinet for example. Or, if you spend a considerable amount of time on social media, you could temporarily block specific sites that can become a source of distraction.
6. Stay organized and clean
Disorganization drains your energy and time. People who work at home in cluttered spaces spend extra time looking for lost items such as paperwork, stationery, tools, keys, etc. The extra time you spend sorting through the mess adds up quickly, shortening your productivity and stressing you out. Being organized is crucial to managing your time and efficiency. Always try to work in a clean and organized space. Leave your workspace organized at night so you can work with no major setbacks as you begin your day.
7. Be humorous
These are challenging times. So, try to add a bit of humor to the situation. If you are spending a good deal of time communicating via email or other virtual spaces, send a smiley face or two. Emojis will soften any situation or put a smile on your coworkers’ faces.
8. Be proactive
It’s crucial to take time off when you are working from home. You can get carried out and spend hours and hours sitting down. This isn’t good, you’ll start feeling physically uncomfortable and burned out. Add 10 or 15-minute breaks to your daily schedule. During that time, try to do a very basic workout so you can release tension and recharge your batteries.
9. Value social interactions
For those who had a strong social life at work, the abrupt transition to remote working can impact productivity and morale. If you can’t get together in person, take advantage of the available virtual workplaces to schedule friendly videoconferences. Remote happy hours are an excellent way to catch up, inquire about your colleagues’ well-being, and release tension.
10. Be patient
It’s very important to remember that, as much as you’d like to, things will not go 100% according to plan. Perhaps, there will be days in which you will not be able to finish everything you intend because of circumstances out of your control or because you simply lack the resources in your current environment. Also bear in mind that you are not alone in this. For your colleagues, employees, and family members, this is also a new experience. There might be interruptions and there might be a period of adaptation in which the workflow won’t be as dynamic and efficient as it used to be. In those cases, when stress becomes too much to bear, simply take a deep breath.
Eliminate Stress: Make the Most out of Your Time
If the prospect of remote work is stressing you out, fear not. There’s still a lot to learn about working from home and not everyone has it figured out. With the current health emergency, it will take a while to get used to the new circumstances. Worrying about the future is not at all productive as you can’t predict what tomorrow will be like. You can, however, focus on the now.
Make the most out of the situation and look at the bright side. You can start by following our 10 remote-working tips to properly manage stress and keep yourself productive. Synctuition makes the process much easier by relaxing your mind with the latest meditation technology. The more you listen to our 3D sound audio journeys, the more you will develop the clarity of mind needed to stay positive, focused, and motivated in the midst of adversity.