The year 2020 has been a ton load of all things unexpected. From having longed for unlimited work-from-home a year ago, today, most employees yearn to go back to our “normal” routines, to our workspaces, but alas!
However, considering the personal safety and safety of those around us, working from home seems the best option in current times. With the unsettling pandemic, putting our health and safety at risk would undoubtedly be unwise.
While some employees have adapted fabulously to the indefinite Working from home with assistance from their organizations, some find it all the more stressful, with the workspaces invading our homes and the work-from-home culture merging the boundaries between professional and personal lives, putting their emotional health and safety in jeopardy.
Here are a few practical but easy-to-implement tips to help you settle down better at your home workspaces, balance your work and home front, and make working from home a smooth ride.
A Dedicated Workspace:
Set up a workspace that you would use only for office work, however small that space is. Considering the pandemic, employee safety, and some employees working from their hometowns, many organizations provide their employees financial assistance to set up a workspace at home. See if your organization provides that assistance and avail the same. Use ergonomic chairs for back and neck support to avoid feeling weary by the end of a working day. It would be best if your workspace is not superimposed on your personal area of the home that is meant for relaxation. Make space for your coffee (or beverage of your choice) mug, notebooks, and other stationery you may need while working. Doing this would help you stay more focused when working and more at ease while you relax.
Draw boundaries and set expectations:
Decide on your working hours and ensure that your team is aware of the same. Beginning and ending your working hours at stipulated times helps you set expectations and ensures that you have a regular routine. Keep children away from workspaces. This brings more focus during your working hours. Make sure that you disconnect as soon as you are done with your work. Keeping your work-related devices at a place, not within easy reach further helps with the temptation of checking that mail that came in just as you were logging off or ending your working hours. (Probably saving you another 2 hours you may spend more at work, and helps spend more time with your family!) Times are challenging. If any of your loved ones are affected by Covid or your safety is compromised, inform your manager and team so that they can plan the work accordingly. If you feel overwhelmed, contact a counsellor through the Employee Assistance Program. This will relieve you of the stress and provide emotional assistance and coping mechanisms.
While at office workspaces, we have colleagues and teammates who ensure that we step away from our desks and systems for a break, even if it is just for a few minutes. At home, however, the chances of us losing track of time are at an all-time high. Breaks are needed to correct our postures and stretch, failing which our joints and muscular health and safety would be compromised. Set reminders to take a 5- or 10-minute break every two hours, move around a bit, and take a few sips of water. Resist looking into your mobiles during these times and instead step out for a breath of fresh air. This can help you clear your mind for the working hours, feel more relaxed when returning to workspace, and lower your stress levels, helping you get back to work refreshed. The employee assistance programs offer workshops that help you manage your time and health better. Register for the workshops to get the needed assistance to focus on your work better.
Maintain a to-do list:
Create a To-do list that you can access from all your devices. If there is something that you remember to do, even as you relax, update your to-do list so you can refer to it when you next get to your workspace. Having an accessible to-do list helps you prioritize your work and keep track of all tasks you need to accomplish. Not only does it give you a clear picture of
your day, but a to-do list also gives you a sense of purpose and a sense of accomplishment that does wonders to your mental well-being and emotional safety.
Several employees have been putting off utilizing our paid leaves, stating that we are already home and do not feel the need to take a day off. While working from home has its perks, taking a day or two off can do wonders for an employee’s emotional safety, wellness, and physical health. While travelling is a risk to our safety and definitely is off the agenda, for now, you could always opt for a staycation and spend guilt-free time with family or friends. But also remember to follow the safety protocols. Do not go too hard on yourself if a day does not go as planned. The next day definitely ought to be better. Include physical activity in your daily routine, and try eating at least two healthy meals for immunity and safety during this pandemic.
These tips are simple but can make a huge difference in offering assistance to maintain a sound work-life balance while working from home during this pandemic.
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