Work From Home Tips: Staying Productive and Mentally Healthy
Since the outbreak of 2019 Coronavirus, everybody has been seeking ways to reduce vulnerability to being infected – hoarding vitamin C tablets, hand sanitizers, face masks, gloves, as well as consuming DIY preventive drinks or medicine. One major move that businesses have taken to do so is implementing work from home so that their employees can avoid being exposed to public transport, crowded places, and getting in contact with different people thus, slowing down the spread of the virus.
But the question is, why is implementing working from home such a brave move despite the safety it provides? This is because being hidden from virus exposure – working remotely in the comfort of your home – exposes you to all types of distractions: your irresistible comfy bed: your fridge full of scrumptious snacks: your favorite buddy – TV series and movies: and the one overlooked distraction of all, solitude.
So how does ‘work-from-home’ really work?
- Provide proper equipment for employees such as apps or software that would let everyone keep in touch, update, send reports, and easily communicate with each other. Since not everyone can easily adapt to a virtual conversation, try to create a support system to help them catch up.
- Conferences/group meetings should be done in a group call where there is an assigned chairman who would give a proper cue to all the members on who should talk and who should listen – asking to mute the mic of everyone except for the one who was called to speak up and then asking who would like to speak next which will again be selected by the chairman himself. This will create a clear exchange of thoughts in a disciplined manner and will lessen misunderstanding and chaotic conversation.
- Update and talk to your colleagues by call or chat or email as much as how you communicate with them when you are in the office. This will put you in the active zone and not in the boring mood of being alone.
- On the other hand, too many calls and unnecessary emails, chats, and calls can be stressful so create strict instructions on how and where people can contact you most especially if you are a manager.
- If there are newcomers in your team, try to communicate and check with them more often. This will help decrease loads of stress that they’re experiencing given that work from home is even more challenging when you are trying to prove yourself as a newbie.
- It is best to find your dedicated workspace when you are on the clock and also space where you can get away with when you are off the clock. An area of the house in which you are away from distractions – if you only have your bed as your working area, try to put away your pillows, sit up straight and make sure you minimize anything that can take your focus.
- Eat properly – away from your working area with proper food. Remember that break time is the part of the day where you breathe – stop working – and by not taking a ‘break’, you get yourself stuck at the stress of work, feel hungry – causing you to be less productive – and will burn you out eventually.
- Do stretching every now and then. This will make you feel more relaxed, active, and will wake those sleeping neurons up.
- Plan what you are eating for the day ahead of time. Perhaps, cook extra at night and re-heat for tomorrow’s lunch. Eating out or opting for food delivery is not advisable during the virus outbreak so, preparing early helps you get a peaceful lunch break.
- Use a planner or a journal wherein you will write your major tasks for the day as well as the ongoing ones. Try to focus on these clear tasks and monitor your progress.
- You may also ask yourself these WEB questions as your guide in planning priorities for today and what to adjust for the next one:
W – What I want to achieve for today?
E – What I expect to achieve?
B – What I had better achieved today?
- Remember that you need to strictly know the time when you would be in the clock and off the clock. It is best to stop – leave your desk – when taking your break and go back when it is time.
- When the working day is over, pack your things and leave your working area. It is good for your mind to always start fresh every day and rest peacefully when work ends.
- If you are studying at home or you do mom/dad duties while working, it is important to establish a clear schedule of when you are working and when you are parenting because doing both at the same time won’t help you finish things, will stress you out, and will leave you giving divided attention to work and your kids. For an instance, focusing on a set of tasks to get done first and then go for playtime with your kids and then getting back to work again is better than playing with your kid while typing on your pc.
Working from home can be isolating and lonely. This is why social interactions need to be there all the time – frequently chatting with your colleagues informally or to your home buddy. When working and team bonding is balanced, it can boost your well-being thus, producing a better work attitude.
- Remember to use what tool/software your company provided you. If you’re having trouble, think of this as another learning challenge for you and solve those learning troubles by always asking for help from your IT department or your colleagues rather than to ramp up your stress level. You don’t want anxiety to be your best buddy at this time.
- In these circumstances, employees and even supervisors may feel vulnerable in demonstrating leadership and productivity. This calls for better recognition on team members by reminding them how good of a job they are doing so to encourage everyone to stay composed.
- Also, keep in mind that not everyone reacts the same way to work from home. Some may be more anxious or distracted than you are so better to be more sensitive in planning your response and make a little more effort in understanding their behavioral changes.
This situation may send mixed emotions to many. Not everyone wants to work from home and some are even struggling with this working method.
- Do a daily reflection. Make time to identify what went well today, recognize your progress and successes. This will help you practice self-compassion thus, boosting your well-being most especially in this time of solitude.
- Keep a daily record of your achievements and space for adjustments. This will eventually sink in and you will start to cope up with this kind of working method and you will know how to deal with your distractions as well as to focus when you need to.
- Let your body adapt to its new working patterns by keeping the body healthy and strong to manage the amplified stress. Get proper sleep by getting a good sleeping routine – full hours sleep on weekends and at the same time sleeping cycle on weekdays. Also, as much as you can, get some sunlight and most especially,
- Stay hydrated. Not only does water keep you awake, but also when you refill that water bottle, you keep your eyes away from the screen and you could stretch your legs out.
Work from home is a great adjustment to many. Self-compassion, teamwork, and planning is the key to stay mentally healthy and productive.
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