During the pandemic, working from home became a new norm. Working from home initially seems attractive but after some time, it might become stressful. At first, the idea of no dress code, no convenience issues, no morning hustles, and freedom might attract you. But after a few days, it might become tough because of home distractions, isolation, and lack of a systematic pattern.
According to the survey, 42% of employees who work from home experience more stress than those who work in offices and on-site. Some believe this is because of the lack of balance between professional and personal life. While working from home, the boundary between work and personal life is often obscure.
Additionally, your day lacks structure as it does not start properly from dressing to going to the office. Similarly, it ends abruptly without any official ending. This creates a sense of anxiety. If this is something you’re experiencing while working from home, we invite you to continue reading for more information about working from home.
Tips for Working from Home for a Productive Experience
Pros and Cons:
Even before the pandemic most of us were aware of the idea of working from home, but, now we have no choice but to work from home. It works for some but many people find it challenging to balance work and personal life. Working from home has advantages as well as disadvantages.
The benefits of working from home may include:
- Flexible timings.
- You can work in your pajamas without worrying about your boss and the commute.
- Working from home means easy to take care of your child and having more family time.
- Helps to explore new talents and start working on side hussles.
- Cost friendly as it saves office utilities, and convenience charges.
Despite having so many benefits, working from home can be stressful. It also has a negative impact on mental and physical health as people who are working from home sit more and walk less.
They might also suffer from sore back, fatigue, eyestrain, and headaches. They also feel isolated and lonely. Sometimes people fail to balance work and personal life. This also results in stress and an increased level of anxiety.
8 tips to help you work from home with less stress and greater productivity.
Working from home can be stressful. By adopting these 7 useful tips you can make your work less stressful and more productive:
1. Maintain a daily structure of your time.
When you are working from home, you may compromise on your daily routine. Procrastination, home distractions, social media, and distorted sleeping patterns may reduce your productivity level which results in anxiety and irritation. In order to avoid stress, maintain a routine.
Start your day and wear something which is comfortable as well as presentable. This will help you feel motivated. Set a routine and plan your tasks. This will help you to track and complete them. After completing your work, formally end your day. Don’t check emails and office tasks after that. This will help you to feel better.
2. Your office at home.
If you are working while lying on the bed or sitting on the couch, I have bad news for you. Of course, that is you are becoming less productive. That’s why it’s important to dedicate a certain place in the home or a room to work. This not only reduce the distractions but also help you to balance work and personal life. You can also easily detach yourself from work once you walk out of that specific space. It’s also important to design that room according to your needs so you can take care of your physical and mental health.
I worked in offices for over 45 years and for the first 20 years “ergonomics” was NOT a thing. Now, I’m expecting hip surgery within the next 7 – 8 years that prove the dangers of non-ergonomic office furniture. It must be right or you will suffer. There is no way around that fact.
The last 25 years, every time I took on a new position in a new office, the IT department visited my cubicle or office the first day to measure my entire space for ergonomics, so I know about this first-hand and want to pass my knowledge on to you.
First, expensive does not mean better. It only means expensive. In fact, when first staring out with a home office, I encourage you to keep your office furniture costs as low as possible simply because this is new territory for you and most likely you’ll replace at least a few of the items as you learn more about your space and grow into it.
3. Use a chair that suits your position.
You might be experiencing sore arms, posture issues, and back pain. Due to the wrong choice of furniture many people who are working from home face similar issues. I recommend that you opt for a more comfortable chair with ergonomic design.
These ergonomic chairs are not only flexible but also help you to be more productive without compromising on your physical health. They are also adjustable according to your shape and convenience.
Again, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on ergonomic chairs. But, stay away from chairs just because they’re pretty! Ignore those images you see online of those straight back or designer chairs that will cause you more pain than you can imagine. Start out with a simple ergonomic chair similar to those in this article. Back support pillows often make a chair perfect and are adjustable for the ultimate comfort.
There are so many cushions to go through to find the perfect one for you if you also have tailbone discomfort. I actually have a deteriorating tail bone from a car accident many decades ago that finally caught up with me. In trying to find the right cushion, I bought 3 different cushions before finding a 100% latex cushion in my mom’s things after she passed and that’s what I use now. So, I highly recommend latex cushions. They cost more, but for me, the expense is well worth the comfort. And, they last a long time. The 3rd example below is a latex cushion.
Another often over-looked thing to consider are your arm rests. Be sure they are adjustable or fit you perfectly. If not, you’ll find yourself leaning one way or the other and over time, that causes damage to your back. You won’t feel it right away unless you are a senior, but it will catch up with you 10 – 15 – 30 years down the road. You can take that to the bank. Of course, you may opt for an attractive chair without arms but ensure it fits your body well.
If your chair is on carpet at home, it’s optimal to use a mat under the chair for ease of movement. Mats also protect your floors no matter the type of flooring material.
If you are a short person like me, always – always – always use a foot rest. I use a memory foam foot rest which is my favorite – ever. Of course, there are also other versions you might like to try out.
4. Ensure correct screen positioning.
Believe it or not, this is very important. The wrong screen position causes eyestrain, tiredness, and poor posture. You can avoid these symptoms by choosing a sit-stand desk. It provides you a correct screen position and helps you to move physically while you are working.
Sit-stand desks are adjustable so they offer different positions which is helpful. Try standing while conducting an online session or meeting that will help you to gain more confidence and boost energy.
For my home desk, I think simpler is better. The most important feature I look for is a pull-out keyboard drawer with no lip at the end of the drawer or a lip that is easily made flat.
Ensure that you leave space for your ergonomic wrist rests and that it’s wide enough to hold both your keyboard and mouse with an ergonomic wrist rest. If you use 2 or 3 monitors, ensure that the desk is wide enough.
Another good tip is that I use a gaming keyboard with the numbers at the top because I was keyboarding long before there were numbers at the side of the keyboards. Plus, they take up less space and leave plenty of room on my keyboard drawer for my mouse. Gaming keyboards are also great if you’re a senior because they have the bright colorful lit up keys for ease of sight. Plus they’re inexpensive and made for lots of hardy use.
5. Take advantage of fresh air and nature.
Nature and fresh air always have a positive impact. They not only reduce the stress but also encourage optimistic behavior. You must have some plants in your home office and a window near your desk. You will feel a positive change. According to the research, plants promote calmness and reduce anxiety. Similarly, viewing nature can improve focus and boost memory. Fresh air also helps in feeling relaxed.
6. Work near natural lighting.
Natural light or sunlight is very important. It not only provides vitamin D but also lifts up your mood. Experts suggest that your workspace should at least have a window from where natural light streams in.
7. Meeting software that you must have.
When you are working from home, you must have some meeting software and necessary apps to stay connected to your team. Mural, Zoom, and Google office are great when it comes to team meetings, online classes, and virtual sessions.
Similarly, you can use slack and google workspace also help to organize the team tasks. You can also download a screen recorder if you need to record a screen for a session.
Of course, another option is Microsoft Teams for organizing and tracking your team’s efforts. In fact, the Microsoft Business Standard software package now includes MS Teams.
8. Self-care is very important.
Do not compromise on your mental health while working from home. Take small breaks, take a walk, refresh your self and eat healthily. Treat yourself with love and tenderness. Do not rush. This is an unusual situation and you might feel less productive. That’s completely fine. Value your physical health and mental wellbeing.
If you are still confused about meeting software you must use, or how to work online without compromising on your mental health then communicate your concerns with your team. It is good to communicate and voice your opinion. Maybe they are facing similar issues but they are too shy to communicate them.
It is our wish that you find this post enlightening and helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions, we love to hear from you in the comments below. Also, kindly accept our invitation to join our group on Facebook to surround yourself with kindred spirits and post your encouraging messages.