In the past year, many of us have had to make the switch from working in the office to working from home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Adjusting to this new way of life may have had its benefits, but with this also comes a lot of cons..
But while some will be trying to negotiate fewer days in the office with an eye on their long-term health, for others losing the routine of an active commute or a structured day has had a negative impact on their well-being.
Pro’s of working from home
- No commuting to the workplace- which means money saved on travel
- Breaks at home
- Work anywhere from the comfort of your home
- More time for exercise- e.g, going for a run on your break or home workouts
- Ideal if you require childcare during the day
Con’s of working from home
- Disconnected from work colleagues
- Lack of concentration
- Inability to switch off from work as home feels like the new workplace
- Little to no routine
Lots of employees have struggled to find well-being benefits in their changed work patterns. Even the daily commute was a source of fresh air, exercise and routine for many, which they took for granted. The biggest change is missing the support from work colleagues during the day.
Many companies are allowing their employees to return to the office slowly, or by introducing part-time hours for working at home. If you’re struggling to adjust to working from home full-time, speak to your manager about the possibility of introducing a part-time return to the office.
How to keep work-life boundaries in place…
The Pomodoro Method is recommended if your work is office based, to contain level of productivity. This means to set a task and work on it for 25 minutes without any distractions, then give yourself a 5 minute break once completed.
Our brains are not wired to stay focused for 8 hours non-stop, so taking these regular breaks will help increase our productivity.
Establish a routine
Establishing a structured daily routine is key,” says Brendan Street, psychotherapist and head of emotional well-being at healthcare charity Nuffield Health.
“Decide your working hours and stick to them. At the end of the day, switch off your computer, mute alerts and tidy away papers to maintain clear work hours and balance professional and personal time.”
Put your phone away
One of today’s biggest distractions. Put your phone in a drawer or out of sight during a busy period of work, and only allow yourself to check it once you’ve completed important tasks.
Stay in contact with loved ones
If you live alone, don’t forget to connect with family and friends before and after work. Having time alone is great for productivity, but connecting and socialising with others is also a great mood booster- especially after a bad day.
Set goals to stay on track
Each day, create a to-do list to ensure you’re maintaining productivity and have goals to aim for. Once you’ve completed large tasks, reward yourself with a mini break.
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