Our New Normal: Working from Home During The Pandemic

Getting up every morning, early, grabbing coffee to wake up, commuting to work… sounds rough, right? Wouldn’t it be great to work from home?! It seems as though many of us learned quickly that working from home during the pandemic is not exactly the dream situation we hoped for (meanwhile, working in healthcare in a COVID world is not exactly fun either). For many people, working from home caused a lot of unexpected stress.

Being “stuck” at home with your partner was taxing for some, trying to homeschool kids was taxing for others, not having the routine could be difficult, lacking motivation to work when it is so easy to just stay in pajamas all day caused productivity issues for many, the list goes on and on.

What if you’re still working from home after several months? What if this is your “new normal” and you will be working from home for the foreseeable future? How do you cope?

Here are some tips thanks to USAToday.com (2020):

  • Create a schedule for yourself and stick with it! Get up at your normal time, do your normal morning routine minus the drive, during that former drive time you can plan out your day so that when you would normally start work at the office you are starting work from home! By somewhat keeping to your regular schedule, your body (and your cortisol levels!) will thank you for that little bit of normalcy.
  • Separate your work and life activities. While it may be tempting to try to multi-task throughout the day since it feels like “free time”, it is bad for your productivity, your schedule, and ultimately your stress levels. Create barriers (even physical, if necessary) to free yourself from distractions as much as you possible can. With small children, that can be very difficult, but do the best you can to give yourself a dedicated work space with dedicated working hours.
  • Stay motivated! Set productivity goals and work hard during your working hours, but disconnect “after hours”. Just because your work is technically at home, don’t “take your work home with you”!
  • Be self aware. Avoid allowing yourself to make excuses or procrastinate. Avoid working from your bed, avoid regular snacking, set yourself up for success!
  • Be social if you need to be! One major drawback of working from home for many people is a lack of socialization. If you crave those few minutes out of the day for some water cooler gossip, set up a time to call a co-worker or call one of your other friends. Incorporate socialization time into your schedule!
  • Try to stay positive and be thankful. With so many out of work, having a job and being able to work from home is really something to be thankful for. So, it’s ok to feel the stress of working from home, but don’t wallow in it if you can help it. Focus on the positives! And, daydream about a time when we can go back to actual normal, rather than this “new normal” when you can 🙂

 

Bravo, V. & Loehrke, J. (2020). Working from Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic: How to cope. Retrieved from: https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/2020/05/08/working-from-home-during-coronavirus-tips-to-cope-reduce-stress/5177086002/

 

 

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