Working from home, while convenient and cost-efficient, has its drawbacks. Having no physical distinction between home and office makes it hard to put work aside and relax, which can increase anxiety and be detrimental to the wellbeing of your employees.
Additionally, being indoors all day with no change in scenery or routine may lead to boredom, depression, and energy loss. An increased sense of isolation is also a risk for those accustomed to workplace camaraderie. But following a few key guidelines can help you get the most from your remote work experience.
Create a Physical Workplace to Establish a Work-Home Balance
First, have a clear sense of where your workspace is. Designate a “work only” room or area and create a space that maximises comfort, productivity, and positivity. Indulge in a little décor to enhance your office aesthetics. This might mean hanging attractive art prints or replacing a harsh overhead light with the warm radiance of a desk lamp.
Research has shown that a clean and clutter-free workplace is conducive not only to increased productivity but to improved mental health and energy, so take a few extra minutes each day to tidy up. If increased isolation and sameness of routine have you feeling negative or depressed, playing classical music can lift your spirits. Avoid getting distracted by anything that could provoke negativity, so if the news cycle is getting you down, unplug from that for a while and encourage your team to the same.
For employees unable to designate an entire room as a work area, choose a corner out of the way of the main living space and enclose it with furniture or a standing screen to emphasise physical boundaries and enhance your overall wellbeing.
Establish a Routine That Works For You
Your schedule can be more flexible at home, but jettisoning all routine and simply winging it is a bad idea if you want to meet deadlines and still have personal time. Figure out what wake-up time works best for you, then hold yourself to it. Set goals throughout the day and include breaks in your schedule.
Try not to get into the habit of nibbling or snacking while you work; instead, delineate set times for meal breaks. If you need a snack or beverage to keep your energy levels up, make that a part of your schedule, and walk away from your workspace to prepare your own refreshments, clear your head, get the blood flowing, and remain mindful of what you’re eating and drinking as unhealthy snacks can have a negative effect on productivity.
Reward Yourself for Completing Tasks and Deadlines
Your reward system can be integrated into your work schedule in the form of breaks and time off but should also involve actual pleasurable activities or personal bonuses. You might set aside a slot of time for logging into social media or playing an online game, but establish breaks that take you out of the office as well.
Get out of the house and take a walk to give yourself a change of scenery. If you are saving money by working remotely, consider treating yourself to something extra, or putting funds aside for a relaxing vacation when your schedule allows.
Exercise for Mental Focus and Physical Wellbeing
Exercise may not seem like a reward and may even feel like extra work, but you will thank yourself once you’ve completed your workout. Sitting at a desk all day can be hard on your body and leave you feeling both physically sluggish and mentally exhausted.
It’s important to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing, as well as move around to give your back and your joints a break. You can turn your outdoor walks into opportunities for exercise. Or find some physical activity you enjoy, such as dancing or kickboxing. When you create a fun fitness routine, you are more likely to be motivated to do it consistently and there’s no doubt your overall wellbeing will improve.
Working from home gives you the opportunity to be your own boss, but you’ll need to make some adjustments to avoid isolation and burnout. Think about how you would like to be treated in the workplace and treat yourself accordingly!