Managing the Stress of Working from Home in the New Normal

man working remotely

The pandemic has forced businesses all over the world to change the way they do business. Digital transformation initiatives, safety protocols, and workforce solutions have all been part of our new normal. Households have also been affected, sparing no individual. Adults transitioned into work-from-home setups, and children have needed to migrate to online learning.

Having been forced to spend the better part of a year indoors has turned our homes into makeshift offices, classrooms, gyms, and recreational spaces. It’s become quite common for us to mix up which spaces we associate with rest and which spaces we leave to productivity. Employees burning out was already a trend before the pandemic. Isolation merely exasperated it.

Staying inside and seeing the same four walls has cause heightened feelings of stress and anxiety for most people. As economies begin to open up, we’re slowly going into the age of the new normal. However, our homes serving multiple purposes such as work and leisure doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

Companies that successfully transitioned into work-from-home settings have cut overhead and logistical costs associated with physical offices. Working from home also isn’t all bad. Expenses concerning vehicle maintenance and public transportation have dramatically decreased. Cutting the long commute out of our routines has also resulted in slower mornings and more mindful days.

It’s crucial to concentrate on improving our physical health and our mental health during this new normal. Being conscious of any unhealthy habits we might have formed during isolation is the first step to addressing them. Here are tips and tricks to better overall health during these difficult times.

Separate your spaces

Make sure to designate spaces in your home for specific purposes. Bringing your work into areas meant for decompressing, like the bedroom or living room, will have you feeling unproductive when resting in these spaces. It gets difficult to determine where work begins and relaxation ends. Establishing a space in your home to serve as your home office better helps you disassociate after the workday.

Sharing spaces with other individuals at home can also be problematic. Sharing work areas with your partner can also lead to stressful situations. The same principle applies to sharing spaces for your children’s online learning setups. Though separating these spaces might not be possible in all cases, optimizing different rooms throughout the home for each task is best.

woman updating her calendar

Set up a routine

Establishing a routine when working from home is essential. It’s even more critical when considering multiple individuals. Personal activities can now easily overlap with your working hours, and keeping a structure to your day can sometimes get very difficult. Your breaks are now also less structured. The coffee break you used to take in the afternoons can now transition to any time of the day.

Though some thrive in the freedom¬†of working from home, there are also a lot of those who find this constant overlap ultimately tiring. Taking other individuals’ schedules is also essential. Different working or study hours can lead to distractions and poor performance. Manage these stressful factors by organizing a shared agenda for individuals in the home to be transparent about each other’s free time. Shared mealtimes can also be easily scheduled when others are aware of when you’re able to socialize freely.

Keep the bedroom for relaxation

Your bedroom should remain a safe space for you to unwind in at the end of a stressful day. Taking care not to do any extra work inside your bedroom keeps the space associated with feelings of comfort and ease. Partners who share different schedules can sometimes find this problematic as spending time together in the bedroom while still keeping up with other responsibilities can be difficult. If you share the space, you can also make sure that it caters to your individual needs.

Different nightstands or lamps can help your partner rest as you’re still unwinding. Different curtains on different sides of the bedrooms allow one partner to rest as the other starts the day. There are even split comforters designed for couples who like to sleep at different temperatures. Personalizing the room to optimize restful conditions will help you recharge for the next day.

These are just some examples of how we can make the best of our home situations despite the effects of the pandemic. Mastering the work-from-home scenario can result in better productivity and monetary savings. Staying aware of other individuals in the home helps create a healthier environment for everyone concerned. It’s easy to get on each other’s nerves when you’re all doing everything in the same place.

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