Before the pandemic came along I think most people used to think of working from home as ‘the dream’. Everyone had these images in their heads of working from their sofa, staying in their PJs all day and generally feeling pretty relaxed while getting things done.
After the past year though, with so many people suddenly having to make working from home their reality, a lot of people have realised it really doesn’t match up to that dream.
There are loads of benefits to working from home, and it can be the perfect solution for getting a better work/life balance, especially if you used to have a long commute to an office every day. But it can also bring a lot of stress for a lot of people.
If it’s looking like you’ll still be working from home for a while, and you’re finding it quite stressful at times, then these 3 tips should help make life a bit easier.
Set clear boundaries
One of the biggest issues people face with working from home is finding that your work life and your home life sort of blur into one another. It can be hard to make a clean break from your working day when your office is the kitchen table.
So do whatever you can to start creating boundaries between your working day and the rest of your time at home.
Set clear times for when you’ll start and finish work each day, and then stick to them (no more ‘quickly’ checking your work emails from your phone in the evenings!).
If you miss the way that your commute gave your some down time to move from work mode to home mode, then try popping out for a walk round the block when you sign out for the day. Or create a new habit like popping the kettle on and having a particular type of tea at 5pm to mark the end of your working day.
Get everything in good working order
If you’re going to be working from home for a while yet, then it’s about time to deal with any little niggly issues you have with your home working set up.
Most of us rely on the internet to be able to get our work done, and a slow or unreliable connection can make things really stressful.
If you don’t think you’re getting the internet speeds you should be from your provider, then try using a company like SpeedCheck to see what speeds you’re actually getting. If you’re not getting what you’re paying for then have a chat with your provider and ask them to sort it out for you.
You can also look into getting a signal booster to make sure your wifi reaches all the different corners of your home, so you can still check your emails on days you want to work from the bedroom.
Now is also a great time to look into getting a decent desk chair and making sure your desk is set up properly to look after your back.
Manage your time
Chances are you’re being left a bit more to your own devices while working from home, without your manager wandering round the office and checking in quite so much throughout the day.
So take a bit of time to properly plan out your day and make sure you’re managing your time as best you can.
This could include things like using the pomodoro technique to work in timed blocks and then making a point of taking a quick break to stretch your legs, get a drink, or have a chat with a friend.
It’s also really important to make sure you take a proper lunch break each day. Move away from your workspace to eat and, if you can, get a little bit of exercise. Just a 10 minute walk after you’ve eaten can make a big impact on how good you feel.
It might not always be easy, but planning out your day, setting clear boundaries around your working hours, taking regular breaks, and sorting out your kit can really help ease some of the stress of working from home.
Do you have any other top tips to make working from home easier?