With no dress code, no commute and more time at home with loved ones, you may assume that working from home is more relaxing and less stressful than working in an office setting. You may also think that being at home makes it harder to get work done, but in actuality, none of that is the case.
Per Business News Daily, employers are finding that remote workers are significantly more productive than their in-office counterparts, putting in an additional 1.4 days of work every month. That’s more than two additional weeks a year! And while all that productivity is great for business, it can take a toll on those hard workers. Working from home can actually lead to increased stress levels and put you at greater risk for job burnout.
Before that happens to you — or even if it has already — here are a few ways you can breathe new life back into your work-from-home experience, courtesy of executive coach Erin Owen.
1. Create a More Positive Work Environment
Clutter and disorganization in your workspace can lead to frustration, anxiety or other negative emotions. Create a positive atmosphere by keeping your office clean and well-organized, air it out, and ensure the space will energize and motivate you throughout your day. You might want to add a few houseplants to boost your mood and clean the air, and consider opening your curtains for some invigorating sunshine.
2. Get Out of Your Chair
If your job requires hours at your desk and on the computer, schedule regular breaks and be intentional about getting up, stretching and walking around. If possible, get outside during your lunch hour (yes, you should take one) to get some fresh air, exercise and soak in a little Vitamin D. Some telecommuters find incorporating yoga into their daily routine helps both body and mind from slipping into an inactive rut.
3. Develop a Healthy Work/Life Balance
As Industry Week explains, people who work from home often struggle with finding balance because the boundaries tend to be fluid and somewhat blurry. Though it’s not necessary to always draw a hard line between the two, keeping your job and home responsibilities separate will benefit both areas.
Burnout is a particular threat when you are on calls and checking emails during what should be family or personal time. Likewise, too many personal or family interruptions during work time can lead to both job and relational frustrations.
4. Have a Support System
Job responsibilities and workload can seem especially burdensome when you feel isolated and lonely at times. Networking groups or meetups organized around common interests are excellent resources for socialization and connection for both personal and professional relationships. An executive coach can help you process your job or life experiences and discover ways to develop resiliency, mindset growth and that all-important work-life balance.
5. Be Mindful of How You’re Eating
The major downsides of working from home — not leaving your desk for hours on end, hazy work-life boundaries, the increased stress and feelings of isolation — all tend to impact how you eat. You might be more likely to snack on junk food while sitting at your desk, skip meals or feel too depleted at the end of the day to prepare healthy dinners. But an unhealthy diet can sap your energy and leave you feeling on edge or depressed.
Keep a basket of healthy snacks in your office or even better, get a mini-fridge so you can keep fresh food close by. Planning and preparing meals for the week ahead of time can help you make healthier choices even if you need to grab something quick while you’re working, too. A big pot of soup, healthy casseroles frozen into meal-sized portions, or simple-but-yummy sandwiches can help you stay on track both with your work and your diet.
Even from the comfort of your own home, it’s still possible to overwork yourself. Putting a few safeguards in place will protect you from burning out and help make your work-from-home experience what you always hoped it would be.
By Marissa Perez of businesspop.net