Stress-free work from home is not a myth.
Working from home has become the norm over the last year. As of February 2021, 52% of Americans were working remotely most of the time. Many businesses are choosing to keep their employees remote for the foreseeable future.
Remote working has its benefits. It allows for flexibility and can even boost your productivity. There are also mental health benefits, including reduced work-related stress and more growth opportunities. But, it can also cause stress if you’re trying to juggle your work life and family life.
While your work stress might go down, the stress of finding a work-life balance can go up.
So, what can you do to keep calm and relaxed while you’re working from home? It’s easier than you might think if you’re willing to try a few effective tips.
You’ll only be successful in working from home if you can actually work. But, when your family is around and wants your attention, that might feel easier said than done. So, what can you do?
For starters, establish your own workspace. Even if you have limited space in your home, setting up your own office can make a big difference in your productivity. If you don’t have a separate room available for an office, get creative. You can create an effective work area in places like:
- The entryway of your house
- Under the staircase
- A closet
- The staircase landing
You can also “set up shop” in a more common area, like the living room or kitchen. But, that’s where boundaries become important. Your family needs to know that when you’re working, you can’t be distracted. You can make that easier on everyone by setting specific “work hours” each day. Establishing a daily routine can help, so you start working at the same time every morning, and you’re done at the same time every afternoon.
Creating that kind of routine will make it easier for you to develop a healthy work-life balance. It will also give your family time to spend with you in the evenings.
Setting up your office the right way will also help to reduce stress and make you more productive. Keep things as decluttered and organized as possible. If you’re able to have your own separate room, use inspiring and motivating colors and decor. And, put a few live plants in your space – they can enhance creativity and help you to let go of stress.
One of the drawbacks of working from home is feeling disconnected from other adults. Even if your spouse or partner is in the home with you, you might miss those workplace relationships, or even getting out to spend time with friends.
Isolation can be a big problem for remote workers, causing issues like:
- Poor sleep quality
- Cognitive decline
- Impaired immunity
By staying connected and collaborating with your co-workers, you can fight back against isolation. One of the obvious ways to do that is via Zoom meetings or other video conferencing platforms. But, reach out to your co-workers as often as possible. Collaborate on projects together through virtual means. Virtual meetings can sometimes lack the space for collaboration. So, do what you can to stay connected via phone calls, emails, messaging platforms, or virtual whiteboards.
Digital collaboration with your co-workers can help you to stay inspired and make you feel like you’re not alone, even when you’re in your home office space.
Take care of yourself
Self-care has, unfortunately, taken a back seat for many throughout this pandemic. But, it’s more important than ever.
When you’re working from home, you might initially assume that you’ll have more free time, but that isn’t necessarily true. Instead, you might find yourself extending your work hours or feeling as though you always have to be “on.”
It’s crucial to establish a healthy work-life balance when you’re switching to a remote career. That can start by creating a framework for your family in this post-pandemic world. Help everyone to understand some of the challenges that might arise from you working from home. Let them know what you need.
Self-care can take many different forms, but you need to make it a priority when you’re working from home. It might be a walk around the neighborhood with your family each night. Or, it could be some alone time to read a few chapters of your favorite book. Whatever self-care means to you, find some time each day to do it. It will help your work-home life to feel more balanced, and it will keep your stress levels in check.
Stress-free work from home is possible. By getting everyone in your family on board with your remote lifestyle and establishing healthy boundaries, you can keep taking care of your mental health while boosting your productivity and spending more time with the people you love.