Our quick guide for stress-free working from home
Over the next few months, you will be spending a lot of time with yourself ‘at work’. This is a quick guide on how you can make this situation as stress-free as possible:
1. Take in the view
If you can, set up your work station where you have a nice view. Having something calming to look at when you take a break from your computer screen will definitely help reduce any stress you may be experiencing during this period. Greenery is perfect.
If you cannot look out over your garden then at least ensure the window is in sight. Or if that’s not possible, place a plant or herb near your work area.
2. Clear your in-tray
Now that there are no distractions, you can get on with all those tasks which just seemed too onerous in the office. With no ringing phones and impromptu meetings with your manager, this is your perfect opportunity to clear your in-tray in a stress-free manner. It will all be spick and spam when real life resumes.
3. Use technology to stay in touch with others
The online world has a multitude of platforms now for staying in touch with colleagues, friends and family such as Zoom, MS Teams and Skype. Plan to call people or send instant messages or texts. Set up a video call and feel your stress levels diminish. Just remember to ditch the dressing gown if it’s a work meeting.
4. Create meaningful breaks from work
Try to follow your ordinary routine as much as possible. However, working from home means you will not have the natural breaks from work that occur in the office such as when you discuss last night’s TV with Debs from Marketing. So, you will have to create these for yourself! Making the journey to your kitchen to make a cup of tea will feel like circumnavigating the globe.
5. Learn to love email again
There was a time in the dim and distant past when email was new and fresh. Now when another electronic missive pings into your inbox you can immediately feel your stress levels rising.
Well, in these new times these little pieces of text are your portal to the outside world. Start to love them again. Imbue each one you write with as much interpersonal warmth as you can. When this is all over our emails will sing and office speak will be banished forever.
6. Don’t forget to get out of your chair once in a while
Remember to take a break for some exercise from time to time. Possibly at a point of the working day when you feel you might be waning such as after lunch or at the end of the day as something to build up to. Or after a few hours at the keyboard, maybe venture into the garden to do some weeding for half an hour.
7. Build in treats
No longer can you rely on the witticisms of Chris from Accounts to get you through the day. So once again you must be creative! Online sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, drawing, listening to music or even meditation. The world is your oyster.
8. And finally…bask in the freedom from office politics
Now that you are alone in an office of one, there is no longer any need to endure the stress of office politics. Hooray! However, the flip side of this is there is no longer anyone for you to blame your mistakes on. Solution? Create an imaginary colleague and blame everything on them. Just don’t get into any stressful office politics with them.
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