Until the pandemic, when remote work became a necessity due to lockdowns and restrictions worldwide, working from home was seen as some form of luxury. It was so that many self-help and finance gurus kept glorifying it in their blogs and YouTube videos, and for understandable reasons – avoiding commute and traffic, no need to be rushed in the morning, and of course, the ability to work at the comfort of your home (and make money for that matter!) In other words, working from home is desired for the seemingly relaxed and comfortable work environment that it offers.
However, anyone who goes to this work setting will realize that working from home is not all pillows and coziness. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself being stressed, burned out and overall experience negative effects on your mental health on working from home.
If you are experiencing stress and burnout from working from home, then the following tips can help you overcome them.
1) Set and stick to a schedule
One of the main reasons why people who work from home experience more stress and burnout is simply because we fail to set our working schedule. For some reason, our work schedule suddenly becomes 24 hours once to working from home!
Just because you’re working from home does not mean that your time is “open” for work. Just like with the 9-to-5, we should also set working hours – and stick to it. Once your working hours is finished, unless there’s really, really a need to go “overtime”, then it’s time to close that laptop and end the work. And if at all possible, strive to have at least one day of rest per week.
2) Feel free to socialize with your colleagues
In a physical office, especially for extroverts, socialization is just part of their work life. But for some reason, socialization isn’t almost a thing in online workspaces – we seemed distant to our colleagues and we’re just there to do the job.
But just because you’re working online does not mean that you cannot share your hobbies and interests to your colleagues anymore! Feel free to talk to your colleagues beyond work and, you know, just socialize with them. Some remote-work messaging apps, like Slack, offers workers to create a channel wherein they can share their interests, stories and possibly even do meetups if they live in the same region.
3) Clear yourself off from anything that will hurt your productivity
This one needs discipline, but it can be done! Social media, TV, and anything that can hurt your productivity should be kept away as possible from you while you’re working. But because some of the distractions can come from the very same laptop or computer that you’re using for work – think about social media and internet browsing in general – it will take some discipline to avoid going to these websites. One way to remove distractions is by creating your “office” in your own house, which will lead us to the next point.
4) Create an “office” room in your house
When people think of working from home, they may imagine that all you need is a laptop or computer, and that’s it. Just have a table or desk, open your laptop, and you’re good to go! For some people, this works, but for others, they crave more structure or just the “office feels”. If you are the latter, you may want to consider creating an “office” in your house.
This office could be a spare room or just your bedroom. If it’s a spare room, you can have all the freedom to redesign it into an office space. However, you can also create an office in your bedroom. One way to do that is to simply have a dedicated desk for your workspace and create an office set-up around it. Tip: if possible, set the desk outwards (such as towards the window) to help you be more focused at work.
5) Set time for other areas in your life (take a break)
Life is not just meant to be for your job. Many people have dreamed to have a work-from-home job for the promises of “more freedom” and “owning your time” that it offers, so why work more hours than you would in a 9-to-5 job? For some reason, once we shifted to remote work, we get sucked into our jobs even more. And it shouldn’t be that way.
So, take some time for other areas for your life, such as hobbies, passions or your relationships. Exercise, take a walk in the morning, spend some time with your family, friends or your romantic partner, play a sport or even just go outside. If you have pets, spend time playing with them. Whatever you do, take a break from work – both physically and mentally!