One of the changes that the COVID crisis has introduced in a lot of companies is remote work. The ability to do your job while remaining safely at home is a game-changer, but it hasn’t made us immune to all issues.
At WaySeven Technologies, we aren’t new to the remote mode of work. However, even though we’ve always had the option to work from home, this is the first time we had to practice remote work on such a large scale. With the whole team fully remote for almost 2 months, we’ve all had to adapt our work routines and habits in various different ways, just like the rest of the world.
With so much change and so much focus on the possible negative effects of coronavirus on our physical health, it’s easy to lose sight of ways it affects our mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s natural for everybody to experience different levels of stress and anxiety these days, and not all of it has to do with the virus itself.
Your home is a safe space, but that doesn't keep it from feeling like a prison sometimes.
Working from home, there are a lot of potential sources of stress. Just think about it: distractions seem to be popping out of nowhere, everyone’s dealing with lack of structure and some of us are still struggling with setting up a functional workspace.
And that doesn’t even begin to cover Zoom meetings and their issues. Based on our own experiences, we’ve decided to put together some suggestions on how to manage your stress levels while working remotely.
1. Take good care of yourself
Besides making sure that you remember the basics: eating as healthy as possible, drinking water and getting enough sleep, try to pay attention to your emotional needs as well. Check in with yourself regularly to see whether you need to take a break or do something just for yourself. Think of an activity that you wanted to pursue for a long time but never had quite enough time for – and go for it! It can be as simple as building a Lego fort. And some days, it’s enough to just take a few deep breaths throughout the day.
2. Carve out some time to get your body moving
Whether you exercised somewhat regularly before the lockdown or haven’t moved your body in a while, this would be a good time to do so. It doesn’t need to be something hard or complex – you can try simply stretching your body first thing in the morning or going for a walk during the lunch break. Sometimes even taking minibreaks to get away from the desk to walk around and change your position can make a huge difference.
3. Develop a routine that allows you to escape it
Since we’ve all been thrown out of our regular routines, it’s crucial to try to establish healthy new routines and stick to them. However, they should include time dedicated for rest and hobbies as well. We all need structure, especially in these times of uncertainty, but we need some time to recharge too. Setting clear boundaries around work and home tasks can help prevent becoming overwhelmed from both sides. Allow yourself to relax and consciously make time for yourself. Discover your own ways to experience dolce far niente – the sweetness of doing nothing.
4. Connect with your team members on a personal level
Although you should be practicing social distancing, that doesn’t mean that you should be isolating yourself from your social circle, including your team members. We’re very social beings and when we connect, we thrive. You can stay virtually connected by trying to check in on each other’s welfare - pretend you’re gathering in the break room or going out for coffee. Plus, there’s always meme therapy.
5. Accept the situation as it is and acknowledge the benefits
It’s easy to get our heads wrapped up around all the obstacles of the situation we’re currently in. Yes, the situation is a completely unnatural state for us to be in. However, it feels very rewarding to take some time to think about all the benefits and really appreciate them. It can be really helpful to try to make a shift in perspective. So even though we can’t make good out of a bad situation, we can focus on what we have instead of what we have lost. If anything, we got more time to learn to take better care of ourselves and a chance to spend more quality time with our loved ones.
Don’t forget: the situation is difficult, but not permanent. And hey, at least we'll have a handle on remote work in the future!