When it comes to working from home, productivity tends to be the main concern. There are several benefits to being in the comfort of your own living space, such as more flexibility and less commuting. While the added level of freedom is great to have, it can also hinder your efficiency.
Stress is another major contributor. This is especially true now when we’re dealing with unprecedented changes to daily life and many people are new to working from home. Learning to minimise anxiety can help you make a smoother transition and ensure that valuable time doesn’t go to waste.
Here are some tried-and-true ways to reduce stress while working remotely.
Balance Work and Home Life to Reduce Stress
It can be jarring to have the line between home and work life almost completely blurred. This has a disruptive effect on both aspects, which increases the risk of not allowing yourself to relax and rejuvenate when necessary. Important as productivity may be, you still need to switch off sufficiently outside business hours.
Creating boundaries is key. For instance, you can:
- Schedule regular breaks
- Maintain normal working hours
- Ensure that tasks are completed on time
- Turn off work-related technology at the end of the day
- Set up your office in a separate space away from where you sleep
Stay in Touch
Social isolation has become far more prevalent in recent months and the negative effects are only amplified when you start working from home. Not having the enriching interactions with colleagues and friends that you’re used to can contribute to more stress. That’s why it’s vital to maintain the connectivity that boosts your positive emotions.
Whether it’s through digital platforms like video conferencing and social media, or the occasional meeting for coffee, staying in touch can make a world of a difference to your well-being as a whole.
It can also help to identify individuals in the same position as you who share your goals and interests. They will act as a valuable source of support, even when it’s a short phone call.
With little along the lines of structure, working from home can lend to a frenetic approach that causes business processes to go astray. Feeling out of control naturally increases stress. To combat this, develop and follow a routine that fits into your new work environment. Be mindful of burnout and make sure that you include breaks in your schedule.
Prioritise Your Health
Even the most driven and motivated people will struggle to get anything done if they don’t take care of their health. Physical and mental wellness go hand-in-hand. If you don’t eat the right food or get enough sleep, your brain suffers the consequences just as much as your body.
Start with simple changes based on where you can improve. This may include:
- Drinking enough water and avoiding sugary beverages
- Not skipping breakfast or lunch
- Forgoing takeaways and cooking at home instead
- Preparing meals for the week ahead to avoid feeling pressured
- Following a consistent sleep schedule with around 8 hours per night
- Taking daily walks or another form of exercise
- Performing meditation or mindfulness practices
Consider using apps to your advantage. For instance, you can create and track habits with Loop, Momentum, or Habitica. Apps such as Boosted can be utilised to stay on top of work hours and better manage your time. There also are many meditation and home workout apps that provide guidance for beginners.
Use the Right Tools
In today’s connected world, the technologies you can use to improve your productivity and reduce stress go far beyond apps. Remote working poses several challenges that require the right tools to overcome, particularly among small businesses. Work from home IT Support services offer one of the most comprehensive solutions.
They can help companies that lack certain infrastructure or resources by providing the necessary equipment and software. Now more than ever, cybersecurity is a major concern and home users tend to be soft targets. A good remote IT Support solution will keep your data safe and facilitate seamless access to company networks.
Having this structure in place and knowing that everything is working correctly can provide some much-needed peace of mind and reduce stress levels. Of course, you should also make sure that your information and devices are protected by performing regular backups and using reliable antivirus software.
When you’re at work on a daily basis, it’s easier to notice the subtle changes in your colleagues’ appearance and behaviour that indicate stress. These signs are difficult to pick up from video calls if you’re not seeing your colleagues at all. This makes stress invisible and can leave others without the help they need.
Managers in particular should take time to discuss the well-being of their remote workers and ask them how they’re feeling. If anyone mentions how they’re frequently unmotivated or struggling to concentrate, stress is likely a factor. Encourage everyone to share their concerns and make it known where they can find assistance.
Taking an active approach puts you in the position of a positive influencer instead of a passive reactionist, which in and of itself will contribute to stronger morale among remote team members.
Optimise Your Workspace
Your environment has a significant impact on stress levels. Workspaces that are untidy, unorganised, or unergonomic hinder more than just your productivity. Here are a few ways to improve and optimise your home office:
- Find a quiet and separate space where you can work in peace
- Declutter your desk and remove any unnecessary items
- Make use of ergonomic furniture and peripherals
- Ensure that your workspace is well-lit and exposed to fresh air
- Bring in some greenery and calming scents with plants
Whether it’s with a gratitude journal or simply reminding yourself of your accomplishments and where you are, following practices that contribute to positive emotions is a great way to reduce stress. Remember your purpose, find meaning in what you do and continue moving forward!
These strategies will go a long way in making your experience as stress-free as possible. If you’d like to discuss what our remote IT Support team can to do help, don’t hesitate to get in touch.