Little work tension when the deadline is approaching or working on a challenging project is normal. But when work stress becomes chronic, it affects your overall well-being. In this crisis, the lines are blurred between work and personal life due to work from Home, especially with smart devices day in and day out. Employees struggle by unplugging from work at the end of the day compared to the office workspace.
Long-term exposure to unmanaged stress can take a toll on your health. Research suggests there is a potential link between work-related burnout and depression and anxiety. At one point or another, each deals with the feelings of stress, but one must pay attention to the levels of stress being faced and how it affects you.
As we are away from face-to-face interactions with our colleagues, it's important to double-check with your messages for the tone of communication and the emotion it carries before you hit send. This can get you to keep worrying about what your colleague/recipient might think about you. Direct messaging or sending email without clarity might also cause unnecessary anxiety for the recipient. If you're worried about your tone being misunderstood on text, try calling your colleagues. This might also open doors for some fun and laughter.
2. Schedule time for team bonding:
When we work remotely, we miss out on the impromptu fun moments with our colleagues that help us recharge and refresh. Recreate all the office fun in your virtual workspace with online team bonding sessions and fun activities. As you can't stop by each other's desks for casual talk, you can start your morning with virtual check-in every day. Don't forget to schedule some quick fun activities or icebreakers during online meetings for an informal conversation at the beginning and end.Take time to chat! It helps build internal relationships, reduces your stress and helps you boost creativity.
3. Make time for minibreaks:
Stepping away from your work desk and Pc for even five minutes can help you relax — and stay focused on the next task. Working without breaks can lead to serious burnout, so make sure you include hourly breaks in your work schedule. You can also use some apps that remind you to take breaks at regular intervals. To make your breaks more recharging, reward yourself with things you enjoy like going for a walk with your pet, enjoying music, playing with kids, doing some stretches etc., during the breaks.
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4. Have a separate space for work, away from your home space:
Our environment always affects the way we think and act. Even if you don't have a lot of space in your home, creating a designated 'work zone' where you can focus without any distractions can help maintain a work-life balance. Designate a certain part of your home to work, and then try to make it comfortable, ergonomic and perfect for hours of focus and productivity! You can also customize your space with some quotes, plants and sticky notes to bring the work vibe to your home office space.
5. Follow routines:
Every day, following a set routine, can help you create the work-from-home boundaries that will help you deal with workplace stress management! Decide on a start and end time, then try to stick to them without fail. Design a morning and evening routine that is completely away from your work, and use that time for family time, exercise, self-care and things you enjoy! You can also commit to getting some physical activity by blocking off time on your calendar for some daily exercise. Need some working-out-from-home ideas? Try a quick five or 10-minute workout every day or a variety of desk stretches, or just put on your favourite song and dance it out and let your stress fly away.
Pro Tip: You can make your break time for physical activity more fun and rewarding with virtual team activity. Jump on a video call with your peers, dance together, host a quick yoga session, or pick a YouTube fitness video, and get your sweat on together.
Working remotely is great for flexibility, and some argue that it can create a better work-life balance for this reason. On the other hand, it's easier to blur the boundaries between home and work if somebody works from Home. Work From Home has blurred the lines between work and personal life.
Due to increased distractions and none monitoring you, work hours are longer than before. Suppose all of your work is carried out on a laptop and in your home; it's easy to overwork when you don't leave a physical workspace at a specific time every day. So it's very critical to keep strict and healthy boundaries. Your brain gets a sense of relief from constantly thinking about work when you end your work at the same time every day. To end your workday, you can also include some activities like evening meditation, reading a book/ magazine, journaling, exercising, etc.
If you don't create a ritual for 'logged off' hours, this can lead to serious burnout.
Any routine that signals to your brain that the workday is done help transition from work to home life. This routine will help with stress management and keep you working regular hours.
7. Check-in on each other:
There is no doubt, all of us are suffering from loneliness, isolation and stress. . It's important now more than ever to support one another as we navigate the days ahead. We all need social connection and a sense of bonding with our friends and community in these hard times. In these uncertain times, many companies are striving for business continuity and supporting employees as best they can in various ways. Make time to connect with your remote teams regularly. This can be done by setting up virtual lunches on weekends, virtual teatimes to recreate the good old moments of office tea breaks and team outings.
Pick a time, send a meeting invite, and perhaps you can plan out a few topics of conversation or quick icebreakers to get rid of awkward silences in virtual check-ins. Make sure the check-ins are casual and not work-related.
Must read: Best Icebreaker ideas for your virtual teams
8. Turn weekends into de-stressors:
Weekends are not lazy days. Studies show that too much rest can lead to an increase in stress. Stop dedicating your weekends to binge-watching. Good leisure is when you abandon the work routines and engage in challenging or creative hobbies like dancing, painting, doodling, gardening, etc. Doing this will reduce the stress and exhaustion and give a much-needed break to recharge yourself for the upcoming week. Doing this will not only boost your creativity but also help you to unplug and refresh.
To sum it up,
While working from Home may provide a sense of freedom and flexibility, as well as a no-cost commute, there are hidden stressors when you don't follow healthy practices while working from Home. By focusing on what you can do to mitigate this stress, you can improve your overall work-life balance and navigate towards the future of work with strong motivation.
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