In these unprecedented times, we have to alter our usual routine for the benefit and safety of the larger community. Telecommuting or working from home (WFH) is now the new normalcy. It may sound pleasant to be working from the comforts of your home, but this arrangement might bring along its own set of challenges.
Individuals working remotely may experience additional stress when they are expected to be productive round-the-clock. This is especially so when they are unfamiliar with the various tools and applications. Back-to-back online meetings, calls and accumulation of emails may also affect one’s mental well-being.
With just a few steps away from your workspace, it is even harder to draw the line between work and rest. When work materials are easily accessible from home, it may lead to longer working hours as compared to physically present in the office. Telecommuting can make one feel disconnected and drained when one is devoid of socializing with colleagues.
How to take care of your mental health when you work from home
1. Create a routine
Create and stick to a schedule as of normal routine office hours. Make time in-between work for small coffee breaks to give yourself a much needed rest.
2. Know your boundaries
Discuss your boundaries of your workload and schedule with your team. If you are overloaded, you can communicate this to your team and seek support from those around you. Remember to make use of your annual leave to take a day off after the peak period if you have been working longer than your usual working hours. Seize this opportunity to take some time off work and engage in self-care since we are less likely to clear our leave for travel this year.
3. Be empathic and understanding
Everyone experience working from home differently. While some may be able to focus without distractions, others may need to juggle between work, child care and/or elder care duties.
Be understanding during this period if your colleague is taking longer than usual to respond or having difficulties meeting deadlines. Check in with them constantly if they need help and work out an arrangement that can help the team to function effectively and productively.
4. Be social
Last but not least, you and your colleagues may be experiencing a similar sense of stress and loneliness if your entire company is working remotely. Do set aside some time to plan virtual lunch gatherings or short chit-chat sessions to catch up with one another. One will feel less lonely and supported when there is constant sharing of concerns and worries amongst peers.
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