For many people, working from home is considered to be an ideal way of working. Swapping your usual commute with a leisurely stroll to your laptop and replacing your office chair with something a little more comfortable, home working gives us a new level of flexibility and freedom. But, while the thought of going through your emails in your pjs might seem relaxing, home working comes with its own unique challenges which can be tricky to navigate, especially for those that are new to it.
From the social isolation and reliance on technology to the lack of structure and added pressure of staying focused, working from home can be lonely, demanding and overwhelming. As a result, home workers often report feeling high levels of stress, despite having more personal freedom than their colleagues who work on-site.
With home working now a new reality for many people, it’s important that they learn how to create a stress-free working environment at home so that they can be productive while maintaining a good work/life balance. To help your remote employees navigate this new way of working so they can enjoy the benefits without any added stress, here are some simple tips you can give them.
- Set up a workspace
By dedicating one specific area of your house or flat to work, you’ll not only reduce your chances of getting distracted by other things (and other people), you’ll also be able to physically disconnect from work at the end of the day, which is crucial for maintaining a good work/life balance. You don’t have to have a home office to do this either, you could set up a workspace in a spare bedroom or on your dining table, any area where you can work from comfortably and productively every day. As long as you have that physical distinction between work and home life, you’ll find it easier to unwind and be less likely to feel stressed as a result.
- Stick to a routine
One of the benefits of working from home is that you have the freedom to set your own schedule. Whilst this flexibility is beneficial, you must maintain a routine so that you keep on top of your workload while also ensuring you don’t overwork. You might decide to stick to the same routine you would have when working on-site, or you might want to change it up a bit to suit you, either way, a routine will help you focus, feel on track and prevent work from cutting into your all-important chill time.
- Take regular breaks
Without the company of colleagues to go on lunch with or the change of scenery provided by physical meetings, it’s easy to spend your whole working day sitting in one spot staring at a screen. But, to create a stress-free working environment at home, regular breaks are essential. Whether it’s a coffee break in your kitchen at 11am, lunch on the sofa at 1pm or five minutes away from your workspace every few hours, regular breaks split your day into smaller, more manageable chunks. Doing this will give you time to clear your head and refocus which will stop you getting bogged down and stressed out by particular tasks.
- Speak to colleagues
Talking is not only a great stress-reliever, it’s key to your social wellbeing. Working from home can be lonely, especially for those that are new to it, so it’s important to make a conscious effort to communicate with your colleagues as much as you can. With so many useful online tools like Microsoft Teams, Skype and Zoom, you can send instant messages, have group conversations and do video chats with ease. It won’t feel the exact same as being in the office, but you’ve still got a network of supportive colleagues at your fingertips that’ll help you feel at ease.
We hope you’ve found these tips useful. The wellbeing of your employees is important year-round, but in challenging times like the one we’re currently experiencing, it’s emphasised just how vital it is for businesses to look after their employees.
Content supplied by Peoplevalue, the Employee Engagement Company