Read-up with RED
Get your WFH mojo back
When life got turned upside down in 2020 and we were all told to WFH, initially it was a novelty. No more commuting, no more work outfits and more time spent at home. That was before we knew almost a year later many of us would still be working from the kitchen table.
With the one-year WFH (working from home) milestone looming, we raise the question: Are you in a work from home funk?
As #zoomettiquette and #zoomfatigue is trending, but WFH is here to stay for quite some time, here are our top tips on how to alleviate work from home stress and get your WFH MOJO back:
1. Plan your start, finish and breaks in between
We no longer have the luxury of compartmentalising our lives as we did before. Working from home makes it easy for the line between work time and personal time to become blurred. Although we all want to work hard and contribute to our company’s success, placing our mental health at the top of the priority list is crucial. If you don’t, you and your company will suffer because of it.
Set your daily start and finish times and stick to them. Not only is that helping you maintain a work-life balance, it can also make you work smarter as you know exactly what time you want to achieve the day’s tasks.
Ensure you schedule time in between meetings for a quick break. This is beneficial for your mental health. Go for a quick walk, have a cup of tea, do some stretches or just spend a few minutes doing deep breathing to reset yourself.
Get outside as often as possible for some fresh air.
2. Spend your previous commuting time wisely
Yes, it may be tempting to lay in bed until the last minute before you need to log in. However, giving yourself the time to transition mentally into work mode will set you up for a more successful day.
Take your previous commuting time, or at least some of it, and do what you used to do like listen to music or read a book. Or perhaps use the time to set yourself up for a positive day, such as exercise, making a super healthy meal or enjoying some quality time with your family.
At the end of the day, if possible, pack away your workstation. Close the laptop and put it out of sight, for example. This helps to set boundaries between work and personal mode.
Commute times after work used to provide a smoother transition to becoming a mum/dad/flatmate/partner after a long day at work. Use this time now to unwind – go for a quick walk, have a shower, shake it off, do crosswords or whatever helps you to get out of work mode.
3. Ditch the video function occasionally
Video chats can often leave people feeling like they must be more ‘on’. We have so much to consider – our backgrounds, how we look, our body language and our family members walking past. This is far more demanding of our energy.
We also have more to focus on when we are watching others on video. Our attention is being taken up by so much more than just the person speaking. Because of all of this, videos are more energetically draining than audio calls.
Freshen things up by ditching video occasionally for audio calls. This means you can focus just on the person's voice which gives your brain a different way to work. You can also take advantage of this and spend some time stretching while on your call. WFH means we’re staying seated more than usual and we all know that’s no good for our health.
If your manager/colleagues/team always use video, they possibly just haven’t considered giving it a break. Suggest audio as a way of reducing #zoomfatigue and refreshing the way of working.
4. Find your motivation
If you’re finding that you don’t have the energy or drive to complete tasks that usually you’d excel in doing (sometimes with your eyes closed), your motivation levels are probably low.
Lack of motivation is a serious issue because the less you get done, the lower your motivation levels then fall again, and the higher your stress levels go.
Speak to your manager or your HR team if you’re struggling to find motivation. They are usually equipped to find ways to support you in this difficult time.
If you’re unable to voice your concerns over your motivations, make sure you try the other tips in this blog which may help you find a good structure for working and set some strong boundaries which will help you avoid WFH fatigue.
5. Connect with your colleagues
No more water cooler chit chat. Cue sad face.
Not many of us realised just how important those spontaneous social interactions were. They provided an opportunity to connect to others in an informal setting without feeling pressured to talk ‘shop’.
We’ve also lost plenty of other opportunities to connect with colleagues such as Friday evening drinks, pub lunches and other work gatherings.
Make the effort to reach out to colleagues for a regular catch up, especially those who lift your energy levels and are supportive. Not only is it great for you to feel connected to your colleagues, but it’s also a great way to check in on them and ensure they are doing ok.
If you can, organise a fun virtual event. There are loads on offer, from cocktail making to escape rooms to make your own pizzas.
6. Look after your wellbeing
One of the most important things we can do during these strange times is to take control of our well-being. That includes all aspects from your physical health to your mental health.
Spend time each day doing something you enjoy – dancing, walking, chatting to a friend, listening to music, etc.
Take the time to exercise even if you aren’t a keen gym bunny. Just move your body for 20 minutes a day to get your heart rate up. This could be yoga, a HIIT workout or an evening brisk walk.
Nourish your body with plenty of clean quality water and healthy nutritional food. Speak to your doctor about what supplements would be best for you.
Nourish your mind too. Let your brain be stimulated outside of work. Play games with your family, listen to relaxing music, read a good book, start a new hobby even.
We hope that implementing these changes will help you find your WFH mojo. If not, perhaps you just need a change of role. If that’s the case and you’re looking for your next SAP or technology job, then get in touch with a RED consultant today.
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