Due to COVID-19, more professionals are spending their workdays at home as part of the remote workforce. While this was initially thought to be short-term, it’s clear that it may extend for months more as time has passed. For some, it may even be permanent.
Most professionals had little time to adjust to the idea of working from home before it became their reality. As a result, many were ill-equipped for the transition. While it may have been enjoyable at first, poor habits have heightened stress and rising fatigue, making the remote-work life increasingly unpleasant.
Luckily, with a few simple adjustments, you can make the most out of working from home and bring balance back to your life. If you don’t know where to begin, here are some common issues and how to overcome them.
Video Meeting Fatigue
Meetings are often draining under the best of circumstances. Once they all became virtual, many found them even harder to bear.
Remaining focused during a lengthy group Zoom call isn’t easy. As a result, during the call, a wave of fatigue usually strikes. By the time the meeting comes to a close, you’re exhausted.
Usually, the best way to beat video meeting fatigue is to keep meetings to a minimum. Instead, everyone needs to consider whether an issue can be discussed effectively in an email or over the phone and, if the answer is yes, go that route instead.
Otherwise, spacing meetings out as far as possible can help. Back to back video calls will only make a challenging situation worse, so try to schedule a decent amount of video-free time between calls.
Working from home can be, in a word, lonely. The socializing opportunities you find in the workplace aren’t there, and it can leave you feeling detached.
Make sure you take time to connect with others. Call friends and family regularly, or reach out to a coworker for a simple chat. If your place feels too quiet, pick some nice instrumental music to play in the background, allowing it to fill the space a bit and make it feel less lonesome.
When your desk is always a mere few steps away, you may feel like you can’t put it down. Working through breaks and lunch or handling tasks late into the night destroys work-life balance, and it will wear on you.
Make sure to set boundaries and reclaim your time away from work. Put breaks and lunch on your calendar. Completely sign off when your day comes to an end. Keep your work relegated to your office or designated workspace (and off your phone, kitchen table, or anywhere else). That way, you can relax regularly.
Distractions are common when you’re working from home. Email or Slack notifications draw your eye while other household members call for your attention. With all of that, staying focused may seem impossible.
However, if you adopt the right technique, you can reduce the impact of distractions. Choose a task and dedicate yourself to it for 20 to 30 minutes. While you’re working, silence all notifications, close your office door, and do anything else to eliminate distractions. Once that 20 to 30 minutes passes, take a short break. Then, make sure you haven’t missed anything important, and, if not, restart the cycle.
Most professionals have heard that productivity often rises when people work from home. At times, this can lead to a feeling of pressure where, if you aren’t excelling at every moment, you’re somehow failing.
Make sure to set those feelings aside. While you certainly want to exceed expectations, understand that meeting expectations is technically enough. You don’t have to be a superhero at every moment. So, breathe, relax, and cut yourself some slack.
If you’d like to learn more about how to make the most out of working from home, the staff at The Squires Group can help. Contact us today.