Due to COVID-19, many industries have been put on pause in an effort to slow down the spread of the pandemic.
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Millions of people have been laid off from their jobs as a result, leading many people to turn to freelance as a way to make money.
Additionally, the businesses that have managed to remain open for operation are only able to do so by relocating their staff to a remote work environment, since most office spaces are tight-knit and employees would not be able to maintain a safe, social distance.
In either case, we’re witnessing a dramatic increase in the number of people who are working remotely from home as they shelter in place. Whether their boss told them to, or they’ve become their own boss, thousands of individuals are experiencing a new lifestyle—one that forces them to spend a lot of time by themselves.
For some, this type of solitude may sound like a dream come true; they no longer have to deal with the loud colleague who sits their desk, or struggle to find parking before work each morning. You can work while wearing pajamas from the comfort of your bed, and no one will notice if you take a peek or two at your social media accounts to chat with a friend.
However, as we settle into this new way of life, more and more people are discovering that remote work is not as glamorous as they envisioned it to be. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing business online, and as it turns out, working from home can be rather stress-inducing.
But what makes it so difficult?
Consider these caveats:
- You can’t have social interaction with coworkers.
- Managing a remote team and tracking time is difficult from afar.
- There are many distractions that don’t exist in a professional setting.
- You need reliable access to the internet.
- It requires will power and self-motivation to manage your own schedule.
- Conflicting deadlines and priorities may arise.
- Independent contractors are required to withhold and pay their own taxes.
- Having no social interaction or gathering to call out for.
- No subjective boundaries between work life and home life.
- Working long hours to meet the project deadlines for some bucks.
- Thinking that you are emotionally stable at home, unlike at office.
These are just a few reasons why remote workers may start to feel pressure while transitioning from their company office to their home office—and the list doesn’t stop there.
Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to help manage the stress caused by working at home. Apply these techniques to your daily life and see what a difference they can make!
1. Establish a Work Zone
It’s pretty hard to be productive when you’re surrounded by so many distractions. From the women’s tennis shoes in your bedroom itching for a run, to the pile of bills cluttering the kitchen counter, everything is begging for your attention. Do yourself a favor by setting up a space in which you can block out the rest of the world to knock out tasks quicker than before.
2. Connect with Coworkers
It’s common for projects to require collaboration between team members, but keeping employees connected in a remote work environment presents a challenge. Your colleagues may sign on and off at different times, so getting the answers you need for a time-sensitive decision could be frustrating. Make sure you have an online messaging system in place that facilitates streamlines communication better than traditional emails.
3. Track Project Progression
When project management becomes nearly impossible to stay on top of, it’s time to turn to software that can help. There are all sorts of online platforms that make it easier to organize tasks by urgency.
4. Take Brain Breaks
You can’t stare at your phone on and off all day, but you can (and should!) take regular breaks to prevent burnout. When writers block begins to set in, take 20 minutes to go for a walk outside and return to your computer feeling refreshed and motivated.
5. Manage Your Sleep Routine
It may be tempting to sleep in all morning and make up the work at night, but this is a big “No” when it comes to protecting your mental health. Be sure to get eight hours of sleep and try to stick to a routine workflow so you can achieve a harmonious work/life balance.
Remote workers don’t have to be stressed! Use these tips to stay on your A-Game and there’ll be no obstacle you can’t overcome.