We have two questions.
Question 1: Rollback time to 2020 January. Your boss approaches you and says “*insert name* would you like a completely flexible working arrangement where you can work from home?”
What would you do?
a) Accept it with glee
b) Reject it
c) Wake up and wish it were true
For most, C probably would have been the answer they’d select.
Question 2: Now that working from home (WFH) is a reality, is it everything that you dreamt it would be?
The answer may not be simple for most.
The flexibility of working from home has given people much-desired freedom to engage in personal and family activities while also tending to their responsibilities at work. Yet, on the flip side, studies have shown many who work from home reported higher levels of stress compared to those who work in offices.1
Causes of WFH Stress
- Blurring of work-home boundaries
- Lack of structure – no set daily routines
- Increased reliance on mobile devices
- Lack of physical activity
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Distractions (e.g. managing children, spouse, visitors, etc.)
- Social isolation
We have put together some useful tips to help you overcome these challenges and make working from home a positive experience.
Ensure Clear Boundaries Between Work and Home Life:
1. Create a designated work space at home
It is essential for you to have a clearly demarcated space for work. We are not talking about fancy set-ups. What’s really important is being consistent about where you do your work from. In addition to helping you become more productive this will protect the sanctity of your home and family life.
2. Your bedroom is off limits
It may be very tempting to take the laptop to bed, but don’t! Your subconscious mind relies on subtle cues to function on a daily basis. Your bed, pillows and the bedroom environment offer visual cues to your brain signaling relaxation and sleep. Do not mix it with work related cues such as your laptop and phone.
3. Don’t forget to utilize your leave
Since WFH began, applying for leave is trickier than before. However, applying for leave to take a break from work may improve your productivity.
Organize Your Day:
4. Stick to a timetable
Now that you have the luxury of working from home, you may be tempted to vary your routine on a daily basis. However, do not tamper with your sleeping pattern. Being consistent in your daily sleeping pattern is essential for your mind and body.
5. Use a to-do-list
Working from home has its inherent distractions, especially for parents. Keeping a to-do-list will help you stay focused and organized. Not to mention the satisfaction of drawing a big tick to strike off something on your list once you have completed a task!
6. Add physical activity
Typically, your daily commute to work and your work habits ensured some level of physical activity. Working from home takes away that physical activity. Try to get yourself a wearable activity tracker to keep track of your activity levels.
Did you know that lack of physical activity is a leading cause of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)? It also affects your body's ability to get a good night's rest.
7. Make time for social interactions
For most, camaraderie found in the office environment is a helpful mental stress reliever. In addition, afterwork chit-chats as well as hangouts help get rid of stress.
There will always be stress associated with work whether it’s WFH or working in the office. For those who work from home, we hope the above tips will help you to become more productive and make the experience stress-free and enjoyable.