Work From Home – The Saga Continues
Contributing Author : Eshna Das
It has now been over a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without any preparation or knowledge, the whole world cuddled inside and got locked down. The pandemic deeply impacted everyone and changed the way in which each of us related to and navigated the world. And then came the big and abrupt shift towards work from home!. Initially it seemed great as it allowed people to spend time with their families and loved ones. But as the months went by and the pandemic raged on relentlessly, work from home became hard. Long calls, long hours, working on the weekends resulted in more stress and less free time. Conflicts with family members increased and the feeling of not being able to go out added to the pressure of coping with our everyday lives.
So what do we do? As humans, while we are wired to adapt to adverse situations and make it work for us; many times we feel pushed to the far end .
In 2020, Oracle conducted a study of 12,000 employees in 11 countries all over the globe. The findings of the study showed that 85% of the employees reported that their mental health issues were causing sleep deprivation, poor physical health, reduced happiness at home, suffering family relationships, or isolation from friends.
This study showed employers all over the world must take the employees mental wellbeing into account and improve their overall working environment.
To stress or not to stress, that is the question
With the pandemic still raging in different parts of the world today, work from home aparently became the new normal or ” abnormal”. After the initial euphoria settled work from home began to become stressful .
So, let us delve deep into this situation and get a better understanding of Why?
All work and no play makes jack a dull boy
With companies trying to come up with innovative ways to progress in this world, the employees are under immense pressure to perform. Long hours, working on the weekends have become a part of our lives and have made people more stressed, leaving very little time for self or family time.
Humans are social creatures. We love being around people and interacting with them. Working in an office setting allowed us to interact with various people on a daily basis, fostering social bonds and meeting our needs for connection. Working from home has isolated everyone from that social connection and interaction. Video calls and phone calls are the way to go but nothing beats meeting your friends for a cup of coffee or going out for dinner with your family.
Lack of routine
With the days merging with one another, day becoming one with the night, it has thrown many people’s routine out of the window. An office life allows people a sense of routine and structure, a start and a finish. But with everyone working from home, it has become extremely difficult for people to keep a routine.
Home is where the heart is
Work from home is going to continue for a while as the world finds its footing in this pandemic ravaged world. How can we make work from home fun and amazing? The stress of work cannot be taken out completely but we can ensure that there are different ways to tackle the stress of working from home.
Create a routine
At the cost of making sounding like a cliché, A Routine works wonders! Create a routine by waking up and going to sleep at the same time, eating lunch at the same time, putting in some time for physical exercise. If you need to get your tasks in order of priority, do a to-do list and list out the tasks of absolute importance. Having a routine makes you feel more organized and allows you to go about your day comfortably
Spend time connecting with your friends
I know work from home has been really hard for everyone and it makes you miss your family and friends even more. Take this opportunity to call them, video call them and connect with them. Play games with them, chat about movies, anything to stay connected to your loved ones and make yourself feel warm and fuzzy.
Spend some “Me” time
After you are done for the day, take some time to de-stress and let some steam out. Watch that tv show you have been waiting to watch, cook that dish you have been wanting to cook or read the book that is sitting in your reading list for years. Do the things that make you happy and help you relax to get out of that work zone.
Engage in physical activity
Devote 10 to 20 minutes a day to any form of physical activity. It can be yoga, weight lifting, free hand exercise or doing your house chores. Keep your body moving to get your boost of endorphins and keep your body active.
Say no to distractions
How do you do that you are wondering? Silence Your Phone, listen to relaxing music while working or keep yourself engaged in work every hour and take a break for 10 mins. This will allow you to get less distracted and be more productive.
Seek help from mental health professionals
If the stress of working from home and everything is getting too much, you can always reach out to trained mental health professionals for help. This pandemic has brought mental health to the forefront and there is nothing wrong if you speak to a professional for help.
While the world still continues to work from home and struggle with it, do not let that put you down. Take account of all the stressors in your life and focus on de-stressing yourself. Since you cannot take the stress out of life, focus on taking the stress out of you!
About The Author
Eshna is a corporate maverick by day and a dreamer at night. She has experience working in the best startups in India and a masters in psychology. When she is not working, she is reading anything she can lay her hands on, cooking up a storm or bingeing on crime thrillers on Netflix.