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As convenient and beneficial as working from home can be, it can also prove to be damaging to health and productivity. Working from home stress is the new epidemic that is threatening the health of so many women.
The trouble is, up until now, you’ve associated your home as a space for relaxing. So, it can be difficult switching to a more productive mindset when you’re in the comfort of your home.
The good news is, there are ways to minimize working from home stress and boost your productivity when remote working. Here, you’ll discover some of the best ways to stay productive when working at home.
Minimize Working From Home stress – Declutter Your Workspace
You’re going to find it hard to stay productive if your workspace is cluttered. So, before you start, take time to clean up the area you’re planning on working in.
Get rid of any clutter and organize the desk space. The cleaner and tidier the space is, the easier you’ll find it to focus on your work.
Take Breaks & Get out in the Yard to Reduce Working From Home Stress
Suddenly being cooped up in the house all day can be detrimental to productivity. It can cause issues with low mood and leave you feeling less motivated to get through your workload.
By taking regular breaks and making time to get out into the yard, it can really boost those productivity levels. Spend just 10-15 minutes gardening or relaxing outdoors to help refresh productivity levels.
Always prepare for the day ahead
When you go out to work, you know there are things you need to do to get ready for the day. You have a routine which prepares you for work. However, when you start working from home you don’t really have that.
Rather than thinking you can now work in your pajamas all day, make the effort to get dressed. Create a morning routine which sets you up for work. That way, you’ll find it much easier to stay productive if your mindset is geared towards work.
Utilize the power of nature To Tame Working From Home Stress
Did you know that plants and flowers can help you to feel more motivated? Adding them into your workspace can help to brighten up the working environment. Numerous studies have shown how effective greenery can be within an office environment. So, if you want an easy way to stay productive, add a few live houseplants and flowers to your home office. If you prefer a low/no maintenance, nearly natural plants try these.
You can also utilize the power of scent too. In some countries, workplaces spray citrus scents to boost employee productivity. Try experimenting with different scents to see which ones make you work more efficiently.
Stress management while working from home isn’t always easy but it is doable. But you can lower stress and increase productivity by using some of the methods mentioned. Taking regular breaks away from your computer are important, not just for productivity but for your health too.
Setting Up a Work at Home Office
If you want to lower working from home stress and boost your productivity levels, it helps to set up an office. Having an area purely dedicated to working will help you to separate work from leisure.
The question is, how can you set up an effective home office environment?
Consider How Long You’ll be Working From Home
The first thing you need to think about is how long you’ll be working from home. If it’s only a very short period of time, it would be pointless investing in an entire home office set up. In this situation, it would be better to invest in just the essentials.
However, if you have the budget it could be worth setting up a permanent home office. That way, you’ll always have somewhere set up to work at home if needed.
Making sure you have the right equipment
You’re going to need some level of equipment to work from home. At the very least, you’re going to need a laptop or desktop computer and a desk. If you need a book cases, filing cabinets, desk lamps and other home office furniture, you can find great choices here.
If you’re not setting up a permanent home office, you can use things such as the dining room table or a makeshift bedroom office. Some people are even getting creative and using an ironing board as a stand-up desk option.
Other things you’re going to need include a good internet connection and online security.
Ensure the Space Has Plenty of Natural Sunlight
When you’re stuck indoors, you won’t be getting as much natural sunlight as you usually would. This can have an impact on how productive and motivated you are. Numerous studies have revealed the damaging impact limited natural daylight can have on worker’s in an office setting and the same applies at home.
So, make sure you’re going to be working in a part of the home which benefits from a lot of daylight. If there isn’t a space available, you might want to consider investing in a daylight bulb. These are designed to replicate natural daylight.
Focus on Comfort
Your home office should be a comfortable place you can work too. This means, investing in a good chair that provides plenty of support for your back.
If you aren’t comfortable, you’re not going to get much work completed. You’ll also find it beneficial to surround yourself with things that make you happiest, such as photos of the family and plants or flowers.
These are some of the basics you should consider when setting up an home office and lower working from home stress. Whether you’re setting up a permanent or temporary office space, you need to ensure it has everything you need and it’s quiet and comfortable to work in.
Tech That Can Help When You’re Working from Home
When you’re working from home, there are a lot of challenges you need to contend with. Reduced productivity, time management and motivation can all be problematic when you’re trying to get work done. However, the good news is there are things available out there which can help.
You can invest in a lot of different technology these days. When implemented correctly, the right tech can make working from home a breeze and significantly reduce working from home stress. You need to know some of the top tech to invest in when working from home.
A decent router
As you’ll be relying upon the internet to work from home, it’s important to make sure you have a good router. If you’ve had your existing router for a while now, you might want to consider upgrading.
The more reliable and modern your router is, the less likely it’s going to cause issues when you’re working from home. So, if your router is pretty old, consider asking your provider to send a newer one. Or, you can invest in one yourself if need be.
Another thing you’re going to need is network security. This is especially true if you work within a data sensitive industry. At the very least, you’ll want to get a VPN set up so you can work privately away from the prying eyes of hackers.
You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got good virus protection in place. The latest internet security will help to keep you safer while working from home.
Noise cancelling headphones
Noise can be a real problem when you’re trying to work at home. So, to block it out you might want to consider investing in a pair of noise cancelling headphones. This will help you to better focus on your workload and drown out any distractions such as the TV.
Obviously, it’s going to be hard to use noise cancelling headphones if you have kids to look after. However, you could always use them while the kids are busy watching a film or having a nap.
Did you know there are some great online tools you can use when you’re working from home? Task management software is especially useful, and you can use a lot of it absolutely free.
You have a number of options when it comes to task management software such as Asana, Basecamp and Trello. Make sure you compare the different tools available before choosing the best one for your needs.
These are some of the top pieces of tech you’ll need to work from home more effectively with minimal stress and overwhelm. You don’t need a huge budget. Know where to spend on quality and where you can cut back, such as with free online tools.
How to Deal with Distractions
One thing you’re going to have to master when you work from home, is minimizing distractions.
There are a lot of distractions you need to contend with such as household chores, the TV, social media and YES…your kids. So, how exactly should you deal with these distractions to ensure you can work more efficiently?
Minimizing working from home stress requires learning and using some great tips to help you deal with distractions.
Use the distractions as a reward
Distractions don’t have to be a bad thing. They can be used to reward yourself after completing work tasks.
For example, if you love nothing more than to curl up in front of the TV watching your favorite shows, allow yourself the opportunity to watch something after completing a project.
Similarly, you could use social media in the same way. Once you’ve completed a task off your to-do list, reward yourself with a short period of time on your social media channels.
Using distractions as a reward can help to keep you focused and boost your motivation to get your work done.
Consider working in various parts of the home
It’s common to set aside just one place to work from. However, did you know you may find it more productive to work in various areas of the home?
It’s all about adding variety into your new working environment. Some days, the spare room may be the best place to get work done. Other times, you may find it more beneficial to work on the dining room table or in the back yard. Don’t limit yourself to where you can work, mix it up and watch your productivity levels increase.
Add a little background music
This tip might not be useful to everyone, but many professionals claim working with background music on can limit their distractions. You’ll want to focus on calming music, rather that something that makes you want to sing along.
Alternatively, listening to podcasts and audiobooks in the background can also work well. So, if you struggle with productivity and stress management while working from home, try adding a little background noise and see if that helps.
Check emails sparingly
Checking emails is important when you work from home. However, it can also take up a lot of time. So, you’ll want to limit how many times you check them during the day.
Ideally, you’ll want to check them first thing in a morning, then after you’ve completed each task you’re working on.
Turn off notifications
Finally, a great tip is to turn off those notifications. Social media, news and app notifications can all prove really distracting when you’re working from home. So, turn them off until after work to boost productivity.
It’s not always easy limiting distractions when you work from home. But you can use the tips we shared above deal with the distractions that may crop up.