When we used to think of the concept of working from home (#WFH), we used to associate it as an exciting occasional opportunity that allowed us to be comfortable and take a break from the chaos of the office. However, now with the threat of COVID-19, many are shifting to working from home for the foreseeable future, until the worse part of this pandemic passes. But this switch isn't as simple for everyone as it may seen, especially for those who have no prior experience with the new habits, workflows, and challenges it brings. Adjusting to the work-from-home life and managing the anxieties begins with acknowledging the following: Being able to work from home is a privilege, especially during a time period where others are losing their jobs, but it comes with it's own set of hurdles. Communication with team members and managers often changes from being able to get quick or immediate answers to waiting for email or text replies. The workday itself blends in with the rest of the day, often making it difficult to keep a separation between work and personal time. On top of that, it takes a whole new level of self-discipline to stay on task when normal home duties and entertainment beckon us at every moment. Fortunately, this shift in work structure is likely temporary, and it will be uncomfortable, but it's a necessary hurdle that will also help ensure the safety of our coworkers and their families as we try to decrease the rate at which many are getting infected by COVID-19. This is important to internalize because reminding ourselves of the purpose of this change can help make the challenges a little more bearable.
Ultimately, working from home will be different for every individual. For some it's easier than for others to deal with working in isolation, especially when even in our down time we don't have the luxury of getting out to clear our mind. Even without the isolation, there's the matter of staying productive that can be challenging depending on what the work consists of. Regardless of who is going through it, there are a few things that can help anyone adjust a little more easily.
For some, the biggest issue isn't necessarily working from home. Instead, it's actually not being able to leave the home that causes the greatest amount of stress. Here are some tips that might come in handy to make it manageable.
Even with all of these suggestions, working from home will still be a challenge for many of us, but the important thing to remember is to not just check-in on others, but ourselves as well. Take some time to self-reflect on how you're feeling and what is really vital for your mental and emotional health and stability and don't be afraid to ask for help and support from others to get it.
If you have any other suggestions on how to deal with #wfh, please share them with others in the comments below!