Stress in the workplace is a well-known problem widely written about and loads of material to help people cope, but now people are being advised to work from home where possible; is workplace stress a new negative transferable skill? Have you even thought about how you have just transferred the stress from the office to your home office or kitchen table? Throw into the mix managing the children, and other members of your households also working from home and you potentially have the recipe for disaster!
So how can we manage this and make this new norm workable as sadly it is not going away anytime soon?
What Causes Stress When Working Remotely?
There are several factors that may be influencing your stress indicators when working remotely that are very different from the typical factors you find in the workplace. These include:
- A lack of social interaction
- Lack of space to work – having to keep moving things around to juggle family life
- Working for longer hours
- A blurred balance between work and home life
- Mixing family life with work-life
- Online fatigue
So, how can these stress indicators be managed?
If you’re feeling that you are taking on more work now that you’re working remotely, it’s important to address the issues with someone you trust and value or even better build your own virtual support bubble. If you have a business mentor, you may want to chat through this with them. Whomever you find helpful using a face to face communication method is always better than email. Recognisably seeing each other on a face-to-face basis offers a host of benefits including making you feel connected to the individual in question and improving their ability to relate to you and what you are saying. Your Support bubble will be able to visibly see how this stuff may be affecting you.
Taking A Break
Remote working can provide you with some negative habits including taking your work with you wherever you go. I am sure we all identify with answering work emails whilst entertaining the children; or making phone calls at family mealtimes despite telling the family to put their phones away. You do not have to be a genius to work out when you work in the office, you do not do this because there is a clear line between work and home lives. You need to put this line in place even when you work from home. Set yourself clear times to start and stop work, and make sure that the activities that you would normally enjoy uninterrupted with your family remain uninterrupted, even though you’re working from home.
Making Time to Interact Socially With Others
Social interaction is something that business owners identify as missing from this new normal, finding like-minded people who are in the same boat. There are some things you can do to minimise this feeling of isolation.
Join us every Wednesday at 11am for Virtual Brunch, no agenda, just a chat and support from like-minded people. We all know that Tier 2 restrictions present meeting up in person challenges but don’t forget you can still go for a walk with a trusted colleague or use your virtual support bubble for informal ‘after works virtual drinks’ or even a coffee and a catch-up.
Sometimes a day on zoom, MS teams, Adobe, or a combination of all three is just too much! The last thing you want to do is another video call. Here is a suggestion…use the opportunity to read all those business books you were going to get round to, listen to those podcasts you have been meaning to. Take that walk that you have been meaning to do all week.
Setting Yourself Boundaries
One of the biggest problems of working remotely is setting boundaries for yourself. Many people lack the space at home to set up an office or dedicated workspace apart from children, pets and other family members and this leads to a lot of disruptions and interruptions. A lack of productivity when working from home can lead to a lot of stress, and one of the best ways to relieve this is to have a separate working space that is away from family members. We recognise that space is always an issue and the cupboard under the stairs does not present an attractive work environment.
Using a flexible coworking space is a great solution since it will give you boundaries between home and work and help you to stay productive as you get through your tasks for the day without anyone else butting in. BEC’s coworking spaces are the ideal solution since they allow you to enjoy a fully equipped office environment away from all of the distractions of home. Contact us here to see which of our accommodation options suit you.
Try these top tips to reduce your stress when working remotely, and see the difference that they can make to your mental well-being whenever you work from home instead of the office.