Small steps such as waking up on time, having a bath, getting dressed before switching on your laptops help prepare the mind and increase concentration as well as efficiency, advises Amit Duggal, COO, Meraqui.
While working from home seems to be a comfortable option where one is relieved from the daily hassle of commutation and can work flexibly at their own pace; it comes with its fair share of challenges as well.
The one topping the list is facing mental exhaustion or blockages due to constant confinement in the four walls of the room.
The extended working hours, the communication barriers, along with unproductivity due to distractions further add to the woes.
Contrary to the notion that WFH helps maintain work-life balance, this is often not achieved!
All these reasons collaboratively make employees feel burnout, fatigued, and demotivated.
The World Health Organization defines burnout as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress and further states that if the condition is not addressed timely, then, it can lead to serious health issues.
During such tough times, support from the organisations especially managers is equally important. However, this is often not provided to the employees and further makes it challenging for them to work optimally.
According to a research by the Harvard Business Review, 100% of managers claim that they have been supportive of their employees. On the contrary, only half of the workforces agree to this!
However, with just a few simple tips, employees can effectively deal with the negativity and focus on their professional responsibilities even while working from home-
1. Following a routine
It is very common to be tempted to log in just before the work timings, skip baths and spend all day working in your pajamas. However, it only adds to the lethargy.
Hence, it is advisable that you follow a routine even while you are working from home.
Small steps such as waking up on time, having a bath, getting dressed before switching on your laptops help prepare the mind and increase concentration as well as efficiency.
With some spare time in hand from commuting, prefer indulging in walking, yoga, meditation, etc. as these activities can be rewarding and calming for both your mind as well as your body.
2. Making a dedicated workspace
It is important to find a peaceful spot in your home where you can concentrate without any disturbances.
Instead of sitting on the bed curled up in your sheets, opt for setting up a dedicated workspace.
Include a table, chair, indoor plants for freshness along with other necessities to create an appropriate workplace environment even at home!
Doing so will make you feel confident and motivated about your work.
3. Giving yourself a mental break
It is indeed an undeniable fact that remote working has blurred the line between working and non-working hours.
Being glued to the screens all the time leads to a decrease in productivity and can be detrimental to one’s well-being as well. Hence, it becomes critical that you take small breaks in between.
They are important as they help restore energy, promote creative thinking, and even stimulate problem-solving capabilities.
Try out the 90/20 rule which suggests working with all focus for 90 minutes and then taking a refreshing break for 20 minutes.
4. Setting boundaries
Managing both personal commitments and professional responsibilities while working from home can be quite challenging.
We often struggle to leave work out of our minds if we aren't working. However, setting boundaries becomes imperative in order to maintain productivity and overall health.
Refrain from replying to e-mails or taking calls while having meals or in odd hours. Shut off your mind once the laptop is shut down.
Don't allow personal conversations during work hours and vice versa.
Clearly demarcate family time in your schedule and ensure that you do not work, receive calls or even reply to emails during this time.
5. Communicating with teammates
Maintaining communication with your teammates despite geographical barriers is important and helps foster good relations with them.
Replace the physical coffee breaks with virtual ones and discuss about your emotions, feelings, tight deadlines, home chores and even your remote working struggles!
Transparent and honest communication not only helps in inducing motivation but also carves the path for a collaborative, rejuvenated, and positive work culture which will be beneficial to the organisation.
6. Trying something new every day
Trying your hand at something new will definitely boost your mood and confidence. It will ignite the flames of passion and energy.
You will find yourself happy and focused towards work.
You could try out a new recipe, gather new skills, for instance take up language or upskilling courses, read a new book, explore a new interest, etc.
This way, you will have something unique to look forward to beyond work and will help keep you energised and positive.
7. Maintaining a sleep regime
As much as people talk about a healthy lifestyle and the importance of physical activity, not many highlight maintaining a sleep regime.
Work e-mails buzzing in the middle of the night or working late nights while compromising on sleep is one of the most common observed WFH side effects.
However, sleeping late at night and getting up early the next morning not only makes one irritable but also reduces efficiency and productivity.
Hence, it is strictly advised that you sleep and wake up at fixed times so as to ensure your sleep regime is maintained.
8. Taking time off from work
In the pre-pandemic times, vacation was the ideal way to take time off from work and rejuvenate.
With the COVID-19 into the picture, travelling won't be a feasible option. But this shouldn't restrict you from taking a long break from work.
Take a few days or even a week off from your office well in advance so that you can disconnect from your professional life.
Relax, catch up on your sleep, binge-watch, or even cook, read, and explore some new activities with your family.
The idea is that you take a break from work for a considerable amount of time and do anything that interests or relaxes you!
9. Go easy on yourself
The pandemic has been a challenging time for all of us. Adding to it, remote working has been mentally exhausting.
In such turbulent times, experiencing negative emotions of stress, anxiety, panic, and demotivation is natural. But in no case should you let these affect you.
Don't be too harsh on yourself.
You have to constantly remind yourself that are doing the best you can.
Take a deep breath and just go with the flow. The tough times shall be over soon!
The sudden shift to remote working may have led to various disruptions. Mornings turn to nights and before we know it, the next day is right there!
Juggling between various responsibilities and work-life imbalances, negative emotions might overpower us but we need to stay strong.
In such challenging times, we need to accept that self-care and prioritising ourselves is no longer an option but an essential part of our lives while we are trying to adjust to the new normal of working!