The pandemic brought many changes in our work-life, some more agreeable than others. One of the many changes was the introduction of remote work.
Many office-based professionals rejoiced at the opportunity to work from home. It meant a drastic reduction in commuting and saving time as well as money that could otherwise be spent on taking care of yourself and your family.
Like most things, remote work also comes with disadvantages. One of the major downsides of the new work arrangement is it blurs the line between work and life, creating a little distinction between time spent working for your employer and clocking out.
With emails, SMS, and phone calls coming in 24/7, we sometimes end up compromising our boundaries and putting our physical and mental health at risk. How do we undo that kind of damage?
Here are a couple of ideas that can help:
#1. Take Frequent Breaks
Remember, working from home gives you the flexibility to work in spurts and take breaks as necessary. As long as you don’t have a scheduled meeting, your time is yours and it’s up to you to get up from your desk and do something else for a few minutes or even seconds.
Staring at the screen for long hours strains our eyes and causes stiffness in our neck and head. Make it a point to schedule a 20-second break every 20 minutes to give your eyes a break from all that screen time.
Avoid using your mobile device while you’re on a break to maximize the benefits. Instead, focus on an object and try to clear your mind while taking long, deep breaths. Alternatively, you can also stroll around the room.
#2. Limit Meetings
Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself: “Can this be done through text or email?” If the answer is yes, then type away and hit send.
If the answer is no, try to minimize the total meeting time by focusing on the important aspects of the meeting instead of things that can be easily solved and analyzed through text messages. Invite only those who really need to be there. This will help you keep the discussions brief and to the point.
If a long meeting is inevitable, schedule periodic breaks. It may not seem like much but it will give attendees time to regroup and refresh themselves.
#3. Stop Multitasking
For years, we believed that working on multiple things at the same time improved productivity. Unfortunately, we carried this belief with us when we started working remotely. In reality, multitasking overtaxes our brains, causes confusion, and reduces the quality of our work.
Contrary to what multitaskers claim, the best way to get something done is to just focus on it. Reduce distractions, plan how to prioritize your tasks, and keep working on a task until it’s done.
#4. Be In Tune With Your Body
Are you a night owl or a morning person? Whichever you lean more towards, use it to your advantage. Many types of remote work can be done at different times of the day and free us from the nine to five grind.
Remember that the next time you’re typing away at your keyboard and forcing yourself awake at an hour when you’d rather be sleeping.
By being in tune with your body and capitalizing on when you’re at your best and most energetic, you’ll also be able to limit your caffeine intake.
#5. Keep In Touch
Remote work does away with commuting but it also limits our interactions with people. However, people who have healthy interactions are much healthier and well-adjusted so don’t forget to reach out to your friends even if you’re limited to online meetings.
If you and your friends or family can’t find a common time to meet in person, schedule Zoom meetings, host online parties, or send care packages to maintain relationships.
This will help you catch a breather, build stronger bonds, and maintain a healthier work-life balance.
Fatigue from remote work can take its toll on our physical and mental health. Despite the fact that where you work and where you live now overlap, it’s more important than ever to strike a balance.
One of the main benefits of working from home is it affords us greater flexibility. Let’s take advantage of that by being more flexible in our schedules and kinder to ourselves. Take breaks when necessary. Focus on one task at a time. Limit the number of meetings we commit to and stay in touch with the people we care about.