Over the past couple of years, there has been an increase in remote workers. Fifty of the biggest employers in the country have no plans to bring all their employees back to the office, and many new businesses are fully remote. Many people have found this to be an excellent solution because it allows them to fit their lives around their jobs. Working from home provides more flexibility and allows you to spend less time commuting. However, working from home or hybrid working can be detrimental to our mental health and digital wellbeing. We must take care of ourselves and ensure that our wellbeing is protected. If you're burned out, lonely, or just trying to achieve a work-life balance, keep reading.
One of the most important things you can do is set boundaries. Employees feeling the need to check their work emails outside of working hours can lead to them struggling to disconnect and ending up burnt out. In 2022, 20% of employees felt like they are doing more work while remote than they would while in the office. Don’t answer any emails or messages outside of your work hours. If necessary, turn off all your notifications and log out of work apps so you don’t feel like you have to answer messages.
Have a Dedicated Workspace
Make sure you have a dedicated work location in your home, away from any distractions (ideally not in your bedroom). Make sure you have a large enough desk to work at and a comfortable chair to sit on. While sitting on the sofa for lengthy periods of time may be tempting, it can bring physical discomfort and pain.
Set a Routine
It’s important to have a good routine in order to prevent the lines between work and home from being blurred. Wake up early in the morning and make sure you have enough time to refresh your mind and eat a good breakfast. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, then go for a morning run. Make sure that once you've finished for the day that you stop working. Don’t check your emails and don’t answer messages. They can wait until the morning.
In 2022, 24% of people felt lonely when working from home, which is an increase of 16% compared to the previous year. You can help prevent this feeling by staying connected to other people. Drop a message to a colleague if you are feeling lonely or even jump on a video call with them to do some work together. Please remember that you’re not the only one working from home alone. Another alternative is to work from a coffee shop. This is a great way to get out of the house for a few hours and be around other people. It’s also the perfect excuse to get a nice coffee (or tea if you prefer).
Take Regular Breaks
Taking regular breaks is important to prevent burnout. Take a 5-minute break now and then to get a glass of water or take a break from the screen. Use the Pomodoro technique to help manage your time. Set a timer for 25 or 45 minutes then use this time to try and complete a task. Once the time is up, set another timer for 5/10 minutes and take a break. This is a good way to allow yourself to focus on each task and help the day pass quicker.
Download a Wellness App
There are multiple apps out there that can help you track your moods and overall wellness from day to day. An app can make it easier for you to manage your well-being and see when your mood is starting to dip. You can then do the right steps to improve before it gets too bad. Some good examples are Headspace, Fabulous and Breeze.
Switch Off From Your Tech at the End of the Day
You could be spending anywhere from 8 - 10 hours of the day staring at your laptop. Don’t jump straight from your computer to your phone. Take an hour to focus on yourself away from tech - go for a walk, cook some food or read a book. It’s important to rest your eyes to prevent strain. The techtimeout10 challenge is a good solution if you have an unhealthy relationship with your tech. Once a day or 10 days, put your phone away for a small amount of time (you can buy a techtimeout bag) and take part in a tech-free activity.
Be Kind to Yourself
The most important thing of all though is to remember to be kind to yourself. Are you always going to be the most productive person? No. Is that completely okay? Yes. Always be sure to set realistic goals and expectations for yourself and make sure you are taking some time to relax once the day is over.