The current health crisis has already altered many facets of everyday life. Entertainment, transportation, and education are all accommodating the realities of the new normal. That is especially true for businesses and companies. The commercial sector is experiencing radical changes. Thanks to its resilience and digital technology, a new working paradigm has emerged.
As of June 2020, as many as 42 percent of working adults in the United States are using work-from-home arrangements. Although these set-ups will protect you and uphold social distancing protocols, they come with their own downsides. Namely, working from home can be a continual source of stress.
Sources of Stress Working from Home
As many as 83 percent of working Americans already experience work-related stress. Unless you’re looking forward to adrenal fatigue treatment, you’ll need to understand how working from home can be just as stressful as going to the office. Just because you’re working from, it doesn’t mean the sources of stress have disappeared, just that they’ve changed. Here are the most apparent causes of anxiety and stress when you’re working out of your home.
- Lack of organization. Because you’re no longer in your office, you are essentially semiautonomous. Your distance from supervisors and coworkers could make it difficult to reach out to them, even with internet connectivity and messaging apps. The frustration of trying to reach coworkers and coordinate with teammates can drive your stress levels right up.
- Too many distractions. Unlike the pristine and controlled environment of your office, your home can be chock-full of distractions. Your family can continuously barge in on you, neighbors could blast music, and pets can demand your attention. Your electronics, such as your phone and television, can also tempt you from focusing on your work.
- Overwhelming responsibilities. When you’re working from home, your duties to your home and family don’t disappear. You could be suddenly needed to cook a meal, help with some chores, and other tasks. Juggling these responsibilities can be overwhelming and ramp up your stress.
- Blurred boundaries. Without the mental framework provided by going to the office, you may have more problems maintaining your work-life balance. That can cause you to work too much and neglect your personal needs.
Managing Your Stress Efficiently
How do you deal with all this stress? You need to make your work-from-home arrangement for efficient and learn how to manage your stress. The following tips can help you create a less stressful environment.
Establish Your Own Space
The first thing you need to do is to establish a home office. Of course, this is much easier if you can set up an entire room with a door. However, if you don’t have the area for it, you need to create a designated nook. Make sure it’s comfortable and away from distracting areas such as noisy roads or your entertainment systems. Finally, discuss this space with your family or housemates. Make it clear that they aren’t to invade your workspace.
Stick to a Schedule
Unless you have flexible working hours, treat your workday usually. If your shift starts at nine in the morning, make sure you’re ready to work by then. If you get an hour for lunch at noon, use it to eat or relax, not to do extra work. And if your shift ends, make sure you log out by then. Sticking to a regular schedule prevents you from feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities at home and in your job. Focus on your job during work hours and don’t bring them outside their allotted time.
Although it’s not ideal to have a supervisor breathing down your neck, their presence does tend to decrease the temptation to engage in distracting activities. At home, you have to police yourself, and the best way to do that is by physically removing distractions. If you have a home office, install thick drapes on the windows to lower noise from outside. Move out any potentially distracting devices such as your television or gaming system from the room. Finally, put your phone on silent or vibrate and mute notifications from social media.
Maintaining your work-life balance is the most important tool you have in decreasing work from home stress. Just like how establishing a home office, sticking to a schedule, and removing distractions keep your home life outside your work, they should also keep it inside these spaces. Resist the urge to work when your shift is over, especially if there’s no pressing need for it. If a supervisor asks you to do so, learn to say no unless they have compelling evidence. Say no to logging in too early for your shift and certainly say no to sacrificing your weekends for non-emergency work situations.
Your mental and emotional health are just as important as your physical well-being. Working from home may protect the latter, but without efficient management, it could jeopardize the latter two. These suggestions will help you ensure you’re happy and healthy with every aspect of your life.