In the two months since stay-at-home orders took effect across the country, we’ve all wondered whether this is the new normal.
Who knows! But what’s certain is remote work is here to stay for the foreseeable future – likely until Memorial Day and beyond – and so this pandemic will continue to have a big impact on everyone’s mental health.
The challenge of working from home every day can be taxing on everyone at your organization.
After two months at home, some employees will be experts at getting their jobs done – others will be at their wit’s end.
It’s going to take a great deal of mental stamina for you and your team to continue pushing through, and psychologist Darrin Grelle, principal research scientist for SHL, has some great remote work strategies you can pass along to your team to help everyone get through this.
If you have a home office or other private room with a door, work from there, Grelle says. Of course, many don’t have this luxury. Instead of a room, designate a specific area for you to work in.
Your area can be as simple as a spot at the kitchen table or a cushion on your couch. The idea is to have a separate physical space dedicated to work – this will help you to form a mental separation between your work life and your home life.
If you need to do something non-work related during the day, leave your designated work space to do it. This will also help you gain awareness of how much time you’re spending on other activities, Grelle says.
A lot of important socialization and relationship building happens in the workplace. Take that away, and employees might find themselves running out of steam.
To stay connected with everyone, take advantage of the chat system your organization uses, and say hi to those who are available. Your colleagues are likely just as eager for some conversation.
Virtually chatting with your co-workers will help break up the day, facilitate idea sharing and relieve stress, Grelle says.
Working from home can cause you to lose track of time. With everyone at your company on different at-home schedules, it can be tricky to know when to log off and call it a day. With your laptop readily available, you might find yourself working late and checking emails constantly.
This is a recipe for burnout. According to Grelle, it’s essential to have a firm start and stop time while working at home. And when it’s time to sign off, shut your computer down and don’t turn it back on until the next day.
4. Get dressed
Many might be tempted to stay in their pajamas all day, but this can make it difficult to fully engage in your work. Grelle says it’s important to put on something other than pjs.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean you should be putting on skirts or ties – but getting up, getting dressed and settling into your work area will give you a sense of much needed normalcy.
5. Keep moving
Working from the comfort of your home makes it a lot easier to stay seated for much longer than you would in your office chair, which isn’t good.
It’s important to get up frequently and keep your blood pumping. Walk around, do some stretches – even a small amount of activity will help you refocus and concentrate.