Working at home is appealing to many. There’s no dress code, no supervision, and little commute time. Employees can decide when and how to work. However, working from home stress is becoming a huge issue. Therefore, it’s important to learn the warning signs and what you can do about being part of a hybrid workforce.
Research of Work from Home and Stress During the Pandemic
Some people are quite surprised by how much work-related stress they feel when the excitement wears off. The challenges pop up, and these stressors can be just as debilitating as those that come with long commute times or always being around someone. Here are some of the research statistics from those who work from home:
Roughly 41 percent of employees who work from home more are highly stressed, which is compared to 25 percent of employees who only work onsite.
About 42 percent of people working from home report that they wake in the night frequently, while only 29 percent of people working in the office report this.
Employees working from home could experience a blur when it comes to personal and work boundaries.
Those who work from home may have a harder time unplugging at the end of the workday compared to those working in an office setting.
Signs of Stress when Working from Home
Signs of remote work stress can include:
Having trouble concentrating on tasks
Not being able to sleep at night
Feeling depressed or sad
Being tired or overwhelmed all of the time
Burnout from work
Feeling anxious, nervous, or uncertain
Being in denial or feeling anger and irritation
What Employers and Employees Should Do to Deal with Stress
Remote worker stress can come from various things, such as:
No Structure – There could be a lack of structure that causes your working from home stress. You could have trouble getting going or officially ending the workday. That throws off the work-life balance.
Distractions – Stress when working remotely typically comes from distractions throughout your day. This can include caring for pets, receiving deliveries, taking care of children, dealing with sounds in the neighborhood, and more.
Inability to Create Boundaries – Remote worker stress can happen when you have trouble setting boundaries. The neighbor might see your car and want a chat, not realizing that you’re still working.
Social Isolation – Though you may initially like not being bothered by coworkers, that social isolation can impact your motivation with time.
Less Physical Exertion – You may no longer go to lunch or take a walk around the building because you’re at home. Try to get more physical exercise throughout the day by using a standing desk.
Stress when working remotely is commonplace, but these tips can help manage stress for the employee. These include:
Create a Routine
You can choose to create a hybrid work from home schedule to get you motivated to work each day. Set aside break times, and have a morning routine to get you going. At the end of the workday, make sure you avoid work-related activities.
Working from home stress can happen when you don’t have a set routine. When you go to the office, you know you have to be up by a particular time to get there. If you’re experiencing any signs of remote work stress, it might be time to set a schedule for yourself. You can:
Create one ritual that marks the start of the day – This can include going for a walk, stretching, or enjoying a hot cup of tea/coffee.
Mark the end of the workday – This could include putting away work materials so that they’re out of sight, lighting a candle, or staying out of the home office.
Set an alarm – If you wake up every day at the same time, you can prepare to start working.
Set a lunchtime – Taking lunch at about the same time each day gives you the break you need. Completely unplug from work before lunch so that you’re not contributing more stress when working remotely.
Move around – You can walk around the house, go for a walk, or take breaks to stretch the body.
Prioritize – If you can choose what to do and when you try doing the hardest ones first. That way, you’re not overwhelmed later.
Have a Dedicated Workspace
While you might be able to work anywhere, it’s better to have an ergonomic home office space that is just for your job. You can keep all your materials there. Also, when you walk in, you know it’s time to get to work.
Though a standing desk can be beneficial, you may still sit most of your day. Therefore, it’s a good idea to invest in an ergonomic office chair. That way, you can sit up straight. Working from home stress could be caused by you having poor posture. That’s a way to be comfortable and still be productive.
Connect with Your Friends
Whenever you experience signs of remote work stress, connect with your friends. If you’re not able to go anywhere, try calling or using video messaging. That way, you can see them and feel connected.
If you have many friends, try a group chat to keep in touch with everyone when possible.
Make sure to put your phone on silent and turn off other notifications if they aren’t work-related. That way, you’re not sending texts to friends instead of working. Most people find that stress when working remotely happens because they don’t feel like they can get everything done in one day. If you stop to think about how often you’re grabbing your phone and on social media, it can help you realize where those distractions are.
Focus on Self-Care
Prioritize what you need for your body. That could mean doing yoga, exercising, listening to music, or taking a nap. As long as you get your work done, there’s no need to feel guilty about having downtime.
Working from home stress is a huge concern because you want to do good at your job and be allowed the flexibility of remote working. Therefore, it’s a good idea to watch for the signs of remote work stress and use these tips to help deal with it or prevent it from happening.
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