It’s been over 18 months since the COVID-19 pandemic first exiled employees worldwide to a life of full-time remote work. Now things are slowly grinding back into action, with an end to COVID hopefully in sight, yet many companies will continue to let their staff work from home, whether on a full-time or part-time basis. After all, the benefits of working from home are numerous – from a better work-life balance to increased flexibility – yet, like all things, it comes with its own challenges.
With no clear start and finish time to bookend your day, and colleagues working at different times throughout the morning and evening, protecting your own wellbeing when homeworking can – at times – feel like a big challenge. Luckily for you, there are measures you can put in place to ensure that you’re happy and healthy while working remotely. Keep reading for our top five tips on how you can support your wellbeing when working from home.
We’re all only human and everyone needs time to refuel. When aiming for productivity, it can be tempting to keep working for hours on end in order to get more done. Unfortunately, though, this is counter-intuitive. Forcing yourself to work without break will deplete your alertness and impact your overall concentration. When you work day after day, hour after hour, without regular breaks, it can ultimately lead to burnout. The trick to elevating both productivity and wellbeing is to find the type of breaks that suit you; for some people one hour-long break a day might do the trick, for others, three twenty-minute breaks throughout the day might be the best for fostering alertness.
It may go without saying, but managing your workload effectively is key to supporting your wellbeing while working from home. Being overloaded with work causes worry – and if you’re not able to keep on top of your daily tasks they can start to pile up, causing an accumulation of stress which impacts the overall quality of your work and your wellbeing, too. To avoid this, it’s important you’re able to effectively prioritize your individual tasks and have clear oversight of your various projects. Task boards in Ayoa provide a perfect way of managing your weekly work, while Ayoa’s planner function gives you a specific space to clearly prioritize tasks from across projects and disciplines. An important part of working from home is collaborating with others – make this a seamless pursuit with Ayoa’s whiteboards for creative all-in-one idea generation and task management that is collaborative and organized.
One of the hardest parts of working from home is staying connected with employees you’d usually be sat with in the office. Luckily, in our age of modern technology, staying connected doesn’t have to be a chore. Whether it’s daily catch-ups over a video call or just a quick chat over instant messenger, the important thing is that the connection with your colleagues is regular and scheduled in advance. One important technique for fostering a real sense of connection is regular weekly meetings that aren’t specifically work-focussed. Instead, these should be casual catch-ups where people talk about how they’re feeling, what they’re up to in their spare time, and anything else non-work-related to keep colleagues feeling engaged and supported.
Working from home can mean more distractions than you’re used to when working in an environment specifically made for concentration (like an office). While it might be tempting to spend your Friday afternoons working in front of the TV, and answering a few text messages might feel harmless enough, these things aren’t conducive to a productive work environment. The constant buzz, buzz, buzz of your phone combined with too much background noise will not only distract you from doing your best work, they can also add to your general sense of overwhelm and stress. By limiting distractions when working at home and creating a clean, intuitive workspace, you can get more done in work hours so that you can finish on time and maintain clear distinctions between work and play.
Last but not least, whether working from home or in the office, always remember to be kind to yourself. Everyone has bad days and no one can perform at their best 100% of the time. Working from home provides a great opportunity for increased flexibility but it can, at times, be a challenge. Whether it’s juggling childcare alongside your daily work or finding a comfortable place to work, there are unique challenges to remote working, too. Remember that setting firm boundaries and asking for help is okay. Your mental health should always come first and by being kind to yourself and taking time out when you need to, you will foster resilience and achieve better work in the long run.
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