One of the biggest perks for modern workers is the ability to work from home.
Being able to have control over your surroundings means no more fighting over the office AC, listening to your music without headphones, and even working in your pajamas sometimes.
However, not everyone thrives working from home, especially when it wasn’t their choice to begin with.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed work-from-home dynamics, requiring people to make the adjustment almost instantaneously and adding to the struggle to remain motivated and focused.
That said, you aren’t left to your own devices when trying to figure out how to make working from home work for you.
To overcome whatever might be causing your work-from-home stress, try the tips below.
Establish a Routine
It is nice to have more freedom in your schedule when working from home, but this looser daytime routine might also be contributing to your stress.
To help you feel more in control of your days, you may benefit from creating a daily routine for yourself.
- Try to wake up the same time every day (use a smart light to help you wake up refreshed)
- Create a workflow for yourself (check emails first thing, make a list of things to do, etc.)
- Set time limits or goals for each task to help you hold yourself accountable
- End your work day around the same time each day (while it might seem like working overtime every day is a good way to get ahead, it could be causing stress and burnout)
It may feel like you’re putting added pressure on yourself when adhering to a routine, but it can actually help reduce stress in your day.
This is because having a routine makes your day more predictable and allows you to keep track of your progress.
It can be easy to fall into a slump of laziness when working from home, especially on those long or hard days.
However, this can have a negative impact on your mental health and leave you feeling drained.
It can also lead to aches and pains like lower back pain, leg cramps and more.
That’s why it’s important to make time for exercise throughout your day.
For some, it’s nice to take a break and head out for a lunchtime run or walk.
For others, doing a virtual workout class or heading to the local gym after work is a good way to blow off some steam.
Whatever your preferred mode of exercise is, make sure you get an hour of physical activity at least three days a week, if not every day.
Just make sure to find the best running shoes for your workout, otherwise you might find yourself in pain and discouraged from keeping up your new exercise routine.
Set Up a Workstation
It’s easy to feel disorganized and distracted when you don’t have a space that’s conducive to work.
While sitting on your bed might seem like the ideal move for a comfortable work-from-home day, that’s not necessarily the case.
In fact, it can actually make you feel lethargic and cause difficulty concentrating.
Instead of sitting somewhere that you typically use for lounging (i.e. your couch or bed), use a desk chair, bar stool, or more structured sitting area to keep yourself focused.
You also want to have all your equipment and supplies nearby to improve your productivity and keep you working as efficiently as possible.
Keep everything you need within arm’s reach by setting up a small section of your home as your designated workspace, whether that be the kitchen table, your countertop, or a desk.
Block Out Distractions
One thing that might be making it harder to get through your workday, causing you to work at a slower pace or even potentially getting behind on work, is distractions in your home.
Whether it’s roommates, your kids, or outside noises, it’s important to figure out how to block out distractions during work hours. Some ideas for helping to minimize distractions include:
- Noise-cancelling headphones that actually work
- Having a discussion with other members of the household to agree on hours that you are not to be disturbed
- Working somewhere where you can shut the door
- Use an anti-distraction app
If you still feel stressed after following these tips, consider talking to your boss about your workload or maybe talking with a therapist to help resolve personal stressors that might be impacting your work.
By making some constructive changes and addressing the underlying factors contributing to your stress, you can achieve work-from-home success.