Working remotely for the first time and feeling fatigued, believe us, we know what you're experiencing. While there are productivity and cost benefits that remote work offers, remote workers usually face mental health consequences and demotivation.
It is very normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed under the pressure to finish everything on time. Missing office environment or chit chats with colleagues, feeling lonely and isolated is also common. What is crucial is to identify the signs before you hit rock bottom and completely challenge your mental health.
Psychological Effects of Working from Home
Isolation and loneliness: Amid lockdown, millions of people are stuck at home working solo, far from any family or office colleagues. A recent survey has shown, the effects of loneliness and isolation are twice as harmful, both physically and mentally, as obesity.
Burnout and pressure: Not identifying when to stop working and unplug to take rest is very prevalent amongst remote workers. The need to prove your productivity with added workload and pressure results in total burnout.
Depression and anxiety: The anxiety and stress of working from home, being lonely, and the pressure to be more productive can certainly make remote workers depressed and anxious.
How to take care of your mental health while working remotely?
Taking care of your mental health is equally important as nourishing your body and taking care of your physical health.
It's okay not to be okay
Feeling burnout, anxiety and isolation, while working from home. Good news: your mental health doesn't have to suffer.
Transitioning from an in-house to a remote team is not going to be easy, but acknowledge it. Don't stress it out. It is a difficult time, so be calm and composed. Accept and recognize that telecommuting for the first time, is going to take effort.
Working from home as opposed to office includes distractions such as household chores, kids, and other family members living in the house, making it challenging to focus and concentrate at first. Be patient, and don't be hard on yourself; it takes time to perfect the process of working remotely.
Without a proper routine and dedicated home office in place, it will be tedious to adjust to remote work. Provide yourself time to adapt and create ways to work effectively from home. In the long run, your productivity is going to take a boost. Don't give up.
Getting into a routine
Sticking to a daily schedule is a necessity to complete tasks with increased productivity and focus. Pen down your tasks for the day or maybe a week in advance to avoid deviation from your set goal of task completion.
A daily routine also involves :
Work schedule: Commit fixed hours for work, represented by events created in your calendar, also helping the whole team comprehend your work hours. It would help increase focus and prevent wastage of your valuable time: should we even mention social media and binge-watching.
Fun breaks: Daily Schedule should also indicate your lunch hours, coffee breaks, and water-cooler chats with colleagues. Include fun activities like playing with kids, reading books, exercise, some family time, hobbies, actually anything that makes you happy.
Screen breaks: Unplugging at the end of the day is equally important. Over 22% of people said unplugging is a struggle while working from home. Shut down that computer at the end of work hours and include screen breaks in your schedule to relax and get distant from all the screens for much-needed rest.
Upgrade home office
No, a couch/bed and a laptop does not qualify as a home office. To improve productivity and your work throughput, first priority is to a get a proper home office setup far form distractions, to create a work like environment.
An ideal workspace includes:
Standing Desk: Sitting for longer hours are linked with a higher risk of obesity and many other health effects. We propose to get a standing desk which will compel you to take breaks and finish on time while taking care of your health.
Ergonomic chair and Music system: Apart from a desk, look for an ergonomic chair for neck and back support, if not a standing desk. Along with that choose a good pair of headphones to get some tunes going with work to feel relaxed.
Get up and Exercise
Continuously sitting and fretting about work won't provide you the peace of mind. Avoid leading a sedentary lifestyle by including exercise and evening walks in your daily schedule to be mentally and physically healthy.
Make it fun, maybe go for a walk, a yoga session, or a fun dance class, but get that body moving. Append slots for working out to get that heart pumped and decrease the anxiety level providing a distraction from work-related problems.
Be around other people
Feeling isolated and lonely while working from home is common, but there doesn't have to be permanent. Human interaction is essential to entertain and keep your mind healthy.
Rather than spending time on social media and being-watching Netflix and Youtube, spend time with your favorite people and indulge in fun activities with friends and family.
Have family lunches, coffee dates, friends happy hours to lift your mood and keep your mental health in check. Decrease social information intake and increase involving with other humans especially your colleagues, friends, and family
Practise self care
Start each day with a gratitude practice, pen down things that you are grateful for. Stay hydrated, get some exercise and fresh air if you can, eat healthily, and avoid too much alcohol or sugar. Mediate in the morning and practice deep breathing exercises throughout your day.
Spend time in nature, go on camping trips, hikes, or a casual walk to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. The simple act of taking care of yourself will have a positive impact on your mental health.
Also, learn to say no. It is essential to set boundaries between work and family time while working from home. Understand your limitations, take workload accordingly. Follow your work hours firmly, and don't exhaust yourself beyond schedule.
Neglecting mental health is dangerous not only to work performance but to the emotional and mental wellness of one. We know it takes more than a wifi connection and a home office to work from home effectively. Follow these suggested tips and tricks to take care of yourselves and show some self-love.