Now that we’ve been working from home (WFH) for more than a month, you may be starting to feel the effects. The combination of isolation and uncertainty about the prospects for returning to normal – whatever that might look like – are weighing on most if not all of us.
Right now, some degree of a sense of isolation is nearly universal. Zoom meetings are fine, but they lack the nuance and personal interaction of being in the same room. And those of us at home with family members are discovering that it’s possible to simultaneously feel loneliness and a lack of privacy … strange but true.
And there’s the issue of the boundaries between home and office that have pretty much evaporated. We’re finding it hard to focus on work with all the at-home distractions, hard to step away as the hours and days run together … or both.
What to do? First, know that it’s okay. Whatever you’re experiencing, you have plenty of company. While there’s nothing normal about our current situation, the feelings you’re having are widely shared. Having said that, here are some strategies for coping in a WFH environment:
Set boundaries: Create a schedule for work … and a schedule for non-work activities also. This will help with the never-ending workday. Physical boundaries help also: give yourself a private work area to the greatest extent possible.
Get away from the screen: Screen breaks are important no matter where you’re working, but never more vital than they are now. We’re bouncing from computer screens all day to our phones to Netflix all night, and our eyes and brains need a break. Walk outside, work on a jigsaw puzzle or read a book instead of playing a game on your phone. And schedule this time too, with alarms to remind you to step away.
Move: Any kind of exercise helps with stress and anxiety. Schedule a daily walk at the very least, and if there’s a place nearby where you can take that walk in the woods, so much the better. Bad weather? Make an exception to the screen-time rule and dial up any number of workouts for all fitness levels on YouTube.
Connect with your tribe: Zoom isn’t just for business meetings. You can – and should – connect with friends and family on a regular basis. No, it’s not the same as being together in person, but it’s far better than not connecting at all. You can even combine your video chat with any number of online games to make it really fun.
No one knows when this situation will pass, but it will be gradual, and your workplace is likely to be different when you do return. Develop the habits now that will keep you in a better place while we all ride this out together.
Questions about technology and working from home? Contact Hill Tech Solutions.