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Staying Sane While Working From Home

There are tons of obstacles involved with working from home. We're here to help you get through them.

Working from home means that you are never far from the comfort of your kitchen, meaning you can cook full on meals during your breaks. You are at home, so that means you must be able to spend more time with your family. You don't have to keep spending money on all of that gas it takes driving to work and back home.

Working from home sounds amazing, in theory. Once the pandemic of 2020 hit, though, we all realised that it may not be all that it is cracked up to be. There are many issues that may arise from working from home, such as:

  • Separating work and home life. When you are working from home, you may begin to subconsciously mesh your work life with your home life. This can create issues with shutting off at the end of the work day.

  • Creating issues in your home relationships. If your partner and you find yourselves both confined to working from home, or your family members are also at home during the day, you may find that tensions begin to build as you spend more and more time together. Bickering is typically a natural consequence of spending too much time with a person.

  • Creating distractions. At home, there is the television, your fridge, your furry friends, your family members, and tons of other distractions that may make it hard to focus on your work.

  • Less structure than in the work place. Without your boss in the building supervising and leading work, some people may struggle to stay on task or keep up with their deadlines. There is a reason that supervisors are a common position at companies.

  • Social isolation. We are a social species! Most of us thrive off of the company of other people, no matter how introverted one may be. When we work from home, though, we lose that connection with other people we would have while working in an office. This can lead to feelings of loneliness.

These issues can lead us to feeling lonely, unproductive, unmotivated, or stressed out. Fortunately, there are a few tips that can help you prevent or overcome these obstacles while working from home. They include:

  • Setting up an office space. Dedicating a specific space to doing your work will allow your brain to switch from work mode to home mode easier. If you set up an office space, you can train your brain to become triggered into work mode as you sit down at your desk to begin work then to switch off for the day when you have finished.

  • Make your workspace inspiring. Nobody wants to sit themselves down to a drab desk that they despise. Add some pictures of your friends and family, throw in some color, just do whatever will help you feel warm and ready to work in your office space.

  • Take your breaks. When working from home, it can be so easy to work straight through the day without ever stepping away from your computer. Doing this consistently, however, will lead to burn out and may cause issues with your mental health. Even when working in an office, you typically get breaks and a lunch. Make sure to take yours.

  • Move your body. If you find yourself feeling stressed during the day, take a few minutes to do some stretches or sneak in a quick walk. Moving your body is a great stress reliever and may even get you feeling motivated to have a productive rest of your work day.

  • Reach out to friends and family members. The best way to avoid social isolation is to connect with others. Call your parents, FaceTime your best friend, or meet your brother for coffee. Loneliness can lead to many mental health issues like depression, so making sure that you are sneaking in some quality time with a loved one in some way everyday will prove to be very beneficial to you.

  • Take care of yourself. Working from home can be overwhelming, stressful, and draining. Make sure to give yourself a break when needed, get enough sleep throughout the days, eat when you are hungry, and do your best to shut off work mode at the end of your day. We can all fall into the trap of wanting to hustle hard 24/7 while working from home, but it is important to remember that, some days, we just need to get by with the bare minimum and that's okay.

  • Get dressed for the day. You don't have to wear business attire every day, but working in your pyjamas can mess with your brains associations of "pyjamas equal bedtime", which could lead to issues shutting your brain off at night. Getting ready for the day can leave you feeling refreshed and motivated for work.

  • Write down and review your goals often. When your motivation is running on empty and you find yourself beginning to resent your work, writing down and reviewing your goals can help you refuel. You may be dreaming of becoming a CEO one day or buying a house. Whatever your goals are, writing them down will remind you that you are on a path working toward them. This will help you get over your inevitable work slumps.

  • Listen to motivational podcasts. There are many podcasts that will help you feel motivated and productive throughout your work day. You may even find some killer advice to finally get that promotion or apply for that dream gig.

  • Set strict boundaries. When you are working from home, setting boundaries is imperative to staying sane. Set boundaries with your bosses and/ or clients. Set specified work hours, ask them not to call you after those work hours, and avoid taking on an overwhelming load of work. Set boundaries with your family or partner. Let them know not to disrupt you while working and make sure to try to be present with them when you are done for the day.

Working from home isn't all rainbows and puppies, but it can still be a great experience. Taking care to create the best, most productive work and home environments for yourself will help make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

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