Some people are still adjusting to working remotely for the first time and while they may have felt not going into the office would be a breeze, a lot of them are finding it can be the opposite. Research from Microsoft shows people are staying logged into work longer than before. They reviewed usage of Microsoft Teams software for March and found that the average use increased by over an hour during the month.
But just because they’re working longer, doesn’t mean they’re getting more done, just that their work days are stretching longer. It’s tougher to disconnect and have a work-life balance while working from home, but therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists say these things can make it mentally easier.
- Create a set workspace- Working in the same space you relax in can spill work-related tension into your time off, so try to find a way to make a separate work area for yourself, no matter how small your place is.
- Recognize that you have limits- Juggling your job, kids, and whatever you’re trying to tackle these days is a lot. There’s only so much you can do and that’s okay. Figure out what you can and can’t realistically manage so you can adjust your expectations and mindset.
- Schedule in breaks- Whatever schedule you were following pre-coronavirus probably doesn’t work for you anymore. So while you’re figuring out your new routine, make time for food and mental health breaks, as well as breaks for just moving around.
- This includes going outside- Sunshine and vitamin D are good for your mood, so get outdoors regularly.
- Create boundaries and stick to them- If you let your work hours be any time, you’re basically always on the clock and that can cause anxiety and overload. Be aware of your schedule and try to make a point to put work aside at the end of your workday and then move on to non-work activities you enjoy, like watching a movie, cooking dinner, or working out.
- Try not to overdo it- The high unemployment rate is scary and some people feel they “owe” their employers extra since they still have a job, but it’s probably unnecessary. A lot of employers are understanding about how we use our time at home and if you’re not sure what’s expected of you these days, try asking your boss when they want you to be available.