The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic affected millions across the globe. Some people lost their job, while others were forced to work from home. Some businesses were affected, while others made a fortune. There is a paradigm shift in how people work, especially in India.
Working from home has been a blessing for a few people. On the other hand, many of them found it quite stressful. Can work from home be stressful with no long commute time, getting stuck in traffic or reaching the office in time, or traveling for client meetings?
Yes, working from home has been more stressful for many than you think. According to the research, people working from home reported high-stress levels.
41% of the people who worked from home vs. on-site considered themselves highly stressed, compared to 25% who worked only on-site. Moreover, 42% of the people working from home reported frequent night waking compared to 29% of office going people.
So, why work from home has been stressful? Well, below are some of the reasons that contribute to stress:
- Too many distractions
- Lack of structure
- Longer working hours
- Difficult to set boundaries
- Challenging to work from home, especially if you are a parent
- Social isolation
- Sedentary lifestyle
- More screen time (mobile, laptop, television)
The stressors mentioned above have contributed to more stress while working from home. So, what can you do to prevent them? Well, do not worry, we got you covered. Keep reading this article to know how you can relieve your stress while working from home. We will describe five ways to help you reduce or manage your stress levels.
Keep your social life active
While working from home, it may seem easy to focus on your job with no one around you. No one will stop by your desk for a quick chat or update about the work. However, that is not the case. Many people feel left out of their workplace due to decision-making, lack of communication, and information sharing, often creating social isolation.
So, here is how you can keep your social life active. While working from home, constantly talking to your colleagues, family members, friends, and roommates can ease the boredom. Talking and sharing may boost your energy and help you be more productive. Mini breaks while working and having a quick chat with your office friends can help you to cool down from the work stress.
Rest, sleep, repeat
Extended working hours and attending late-night meetings or calls have led to reduced sleep and more work. These factors have contributed to more stress, exhaustion of energy, and losing mental focus.
Research has suggested that adequate rest and healthy sleep for at least 8 hours are linked with increased productivity. Moreover, turn off your emails entirely when you are not working, so you do not get any notifications and are to focus on yourself and your family.
When working remotely, it is vital to indulge in self-care activities. It helps you understand yourself, what you need in terms of work-life better, and stay connected with yourself. Find out activities that can help to relax and meet your needs. You can do the following activities:
- Working out regularly
- Taking naps
- Spending time with friends
- Reading or painting
- Listening music
The activities mentioned above can help you relax and help you catch a break from work.
Set a routine
When you are working remotely, there is flexibility about it. However, the other side of the coin is that you can work wherever and whenever. For most people, working from home has meant finding it hard to leave your workstation, constantly answering emails, and attending meetings request after working hours. So, you are left with no routine or personal space.
Here is how you should set your routine and reduce your stress. Set your schedule by having a specific working hour. Creating a routine will help you manage your time efficiently and help you to focus. Follow the following tips:
- Set a morning alarm
- Create a ritual after waking up (taking a cup of coffee or tea, having breakfast, or reading a newspaper) before starting your work
- Mark a deadline to end your day
- Set lunchtime hours
- Take small breaks while working
- Stretch out or walk a bit while working
It would help if you experimented to create a perfect routine while working from home. It may take weeks to months to strike a perfect balance, but it will be worth it.
While working from home, it can be luring to get into bed and work. Hence, find a spot in your home where you can focus on work with no disturbances, or there are fewer distractions. Set up a desk, a chair, and your laptop or screen. Setting up a workstation helps you create a work and home boundary (even if it is a small corner). Make sure the place you choose is comfortable to work for 8 hours; however, it should not be cozy that you feel lazy.
If you can go out, work in the cafes as it can also provide a change of work setting, which eases your stress. If you cannot go out, keep changing your workstation at home when you get bored. The chance may help you to focus on something different.
However, if you have tried the above and yet feel the same, you can talk to your doctor about herbal supplements for stress relief. Some anti-stress medicines used in India include those containing adaptogens, such as Ashwagandha.
The bottom line
Working from home is always challenging as too many factors can easily create distractions. Moreover, there are no work limit boundaries to make matters worse, so you cannot escape. These factors increase your stress levels. It is essential to create boundaries, get comfortable saying no, work out a bit, reward yourself, and indulge in activities that give you pleasure. Doing things differently and taking time for yourself and your family is more important and helps in reducing your stress.