October is Anxiety & Depression awareness month. Many of us have been working remotely for months now during the global health crisis and its no surprise we are feeling the effects on our mental health. Today’s blog is not necessarily technology related – but for those of us feeling a little beyond just cooped up, here are some daily tricks to easing the stress that comes from working from home.
MAINTAIN A SET SCHEDULE – I imagine a lot of us at first were thrilled with the idea of being at home, but maintaining a schedule and sticking to it will enforce work hours and non-work hours. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain work-life balance. Make sure you also create a morning routine – just like arriving 10 minutes early for a cup of coffee and to say good morning to your favorite co-workers, having a morning routine at home can help direct your mindset for the day. Try to avoid rolling out of bed and settling at your desk immediately. Do some stretches, enjoy your cup of coffee, take a jog!
SET RULES WITH PEOPLE IN YOUR SPACE – I love working from home with my kids, however we struggled at first when they all started schooling from home as well during the pandemic. If you have children who are home while you are working make certain they understand that just because Mom or Dad are there does not mean they are “available” the same goes for partners and roommates. Just because you are home should not necessarily mean you are able to do it all. Set the ground rules early and make sure to adhere to them yourself. Even though the dishes are only a room away does not mean they need to be done while also attending a morning meeting.
DO TAKE YOUR BREAKS – Schedule your breaks and take them in their ENTIRETY don’t short change yourself just because you’re home. Walk away from the computer screen and phone and give yourself adequate time when you do. It has actually been proven that taking breaks can BOOST productivity so don’t let yourself sit in that seat for 9 hours straight! When possible LEAVE THE HOUSE, obviously stay safe during this time but go for a walk, leave the building at least once a workday, you need to move, you need fresh air and sunlight!
KEEP A DEDICATED WORKSPACE – Don’t be afraid to request items you need from your management team. Ensuring their remote employees have everything they need to work should be a top priority for them. If you had dual monitors at the office you should probably have them at home too. Making sure you create a space that is as removed from everyday traffic and home hecticness will also help with the mental separation from work and personal time.
SOCIALIZE WITH COWORKERS – you heard me! Set up a Friday late afternoon Teams meeting, schedule check in calls with coworkers to nurture relationships and interaction. We’re all feeling a bit isolated right now, make sure to not get overwhelmed by that and grow your relationships with coworkers even when you can’t meet face to face. In fact – because you’re missing out on the daily face to face interaction, OVER communicate. Small things can turn into larger issues when you aren’t randomly talking about a current project or task in passing in the break room.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION – find something you can do during your breaks that otherwise you would never have time for. Walk the dogs, go for a noon bike ride with the kids, spend a lunch break with Netflix on! Take advantage of the perks of working from home.