Working from home has its own challenges, but it is important to take care of your well-being simultaneously.
Working from home could be a dream come true for many people. Able to sleep longer. No more busy commute. Flexible dress code. And snacks are only a few feet away.
People enjoy it in the beginning, but the challenges start to creep in weeks or months later.
They cannot mentally check out from work. They work longer than they should. There are too many distractions in the house. They are too tired of staring at the same walls. And loneliness starts to crawl in.
As a result, these challenges will adversely affect an employee's well-being. It could be lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, or loneliness.
If you are experiencing any of those, you are not alone. We have got you covered. Here are 4 well-being ideas for working from home.
First, self-reflect on what a workday looks like currently from morning till bedtime.
Self-reflection can determine what went wrong, what went right while working from home, and shed light on how to do things better. An employee might have the habit of checking emails as soon as they wake up. Or they could be too absorbed into work that they forgot to take breaks.
The key here is to visualize how a typical working day looks like and write down every single activity, no matter how small.
Here are a few guiding questions to ask yourself:
Now, the employee knows what challenges they're facing, what's next is to learn some well-being ideas for working from home.
The typical daily routine for those working in the office is:
While working from home calls for almost zero routines: wake up, clean up, and work.
What's missing here is a transition routine that wakes up and prepares the body and mind for work.
When people miss that routine, the mind will not get any 'it's time to work' signals. As a result, people start the day feeling sleepy and groggy. This could cause a loss of productivity and longer working hours.
An effective way to overcome this obstacle is to set a transition routine. It is the transition from the moment you wake up to sitting on a chair and work.
You might ask, "What should I do in the transition routine?"
To reap the best results out of a transition routine, do activities that lift or wake up the body and brain. For instance, activities like exercise, yoga, meditation, reading, listening to podcasts, drinking a cup of coffee or tea, or a mix of all these.
One of our team members in Enjio follows a 20/20/20 formula. It means 20 minutes of intense exercise, 20 minutes of learning, and 20 minutes of self-reflection. By the end of the first hour, she felt energized, refreshed, and pumped up to start the day.
Setting up a suitable transition routine takes trial and error. Be open to experiment until you find out what works.
What is the one activity you would like to do in your transition routine?
When work combines with personal space, people have a natural tendency to work longer. Sometimes, they are so preoccupied with work that they can't sleep or be present with their loved ones.
In a way, they cannot mentally check-out although they stopped working, physically.
It is actually difficult not to think about work when the environment stays the same.
Leaving the office and entering a house is a change of environment that signals the mind, "Hey, you're at home now. You can rest and chill."
But the majority of the people who work from home see the same environment from day till night. So, their mind still thinks they are at work.
The good news is, you can have a dedicated physical and mental space for work.
Home and work, in a way, are states of mind.
People feel like working because they are in a ‘work’ environment—wearing shirts and ties, commuting to work, sitting in cubicles, and the printing machine sound.
People tend to wind down at home because they have a lot of enjoyable memories in it—baking with parents, watching TV, having conversations with partners, and more.
In the end, how people feel about home and work comes down to what they associate it with.
If it’s time to wind down, close the laptop and keep it out of sight alongside other work-related items. This way, you can draw a clear line between personal and work physically and enjoy your personal time.
Then, to create a mental space for home, change into your ‘homey’ attire and do the things you enjoy doing at home such as drinking a glass of wine, baking, playing with kids, or watching TV.
If it’s time to work, do a transition routine, get dressed, or look at your calendar to help you get into ‘work mode’.
This requires some discipline, and there is no shortcut to doing this. To make things easier, set an alarm to remind yourself that it's time to leave the 'mental office' and get excited about after-work activities.
Back in the office, people use calendars for meetings, discussions, and room bookings. But for work-from-home veterans, they use the calendar as a useful tool to organize work and personal life.
Let's take a look at an experienced freelancer's calendar.
As you can see, the calendar is from 7 am till 9.30 pm. The blocks in blue are his personal life, and those in light purple are work-related.
This calendar shows how his day looks from top to bottom: transition routines, work, breaks, meals, and after-work hobbies.
Above all, the check-out time is stated crystal clear, 5.30 pm.
You can use this calendar as a guide and begin planning your week ahead of time, typically on Sundays. Spend a few minutes on Sundays and look through your calendar. Plot the activities, and do your best to stick to it.
When the situation calls, be prepared to be flexible. The calendar is a guide, not a rule.
While working from home has its own challenges, it is possible to take care of your well-being simultaneously.
Doing a self-reflection is a great start to review what went right and wrong so immediate improvements can be implemented.
Some examples of effective measures are:
These tips will not only help you improve your overall well-being, but they also support you being your best self when working from home.
Finding a suitable work-from-home routine is an ongoing process that requires constant changes.
Remember that it takes time and experiments to find out what works and doesn't. So give yourself time to try and fail. Keep trying until you find what's right for you.
Living the digital nomad lifestyle has great benefits - free to go anywhere you want and not bound by work. Along with these benefits, come a set of challenges. In this article, we highlight the top 7 digital nomad challenges and tips to overcome them.
Join a readership of active nomads, freelancers and independent professionals living the new ways of work.