Shifting to remote work can be a challenge. This change of environment can have a large impact on a worker’s mental health.
The 2019 State of Remote Work report by Buffer indicated that while remote workers enjoy the flexible nature of working from home, 22% of workers have difficulty unplugging after work, 19% feel lonely, and 8% lose motivation.
Take care of your mental health while working from home with these quick tips:
1. Create a Routine
It may take some time, but establishing a routine is key to a healthy state of mind. Find what works best for your productivity levels, responsibilities, and familial duties and develop a routine around that.
Remember, it takes 21 days to form a habit, so don’t fret if you break your routine a few times!
2. Establish Boundaries
One of the main issues remote workers face is feeling the need to work all the time. Be sure to identify and enforce your boundaries so that you’re not doing work too late into the evening. For instance, if enjoying the night with your family is important to you, try to sign off after 5:30 pm, if possible.
In some cases, your company may also set aside time within the workday to take a break and reconnect over video. Host a virtual happy hour or game (charades anyone?) for employees to sync about what’s going on in everyone’s lives.
3. Listen to Your Personal Needs
Listening and acting upon your personal work needs will help you stay productive throughout the day. For instance, if you’re the type that needs social interaction, hop on a video call with your team.
Or if being inside day after day is taking its toll, get outside to clear your head. Just be sure to let your supervisor know ahead of time. With so many free workout programs available, now is the time to get some fresh air and get active. Go on that walk, practice some yoga, build some muscle, go for a bike ride or join an online gym class. Get those endorphins flowing!
4. Daily Check-Ins
It’s all too easy to fall into a rut as a remote worker. While routine is key, it can also become monotonous. Have a daily check-in with yourself by asking: “How am I feeling today?” “What do I need to be productive/creative today?”
5. Communicate Often
When partially distributed teams fail to communicate with their remote workers (and vice versa), it creates feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Communicate as much as possible with your team. For maximum productivity and efficiency, speak through instant mediums such as a video calls or chat.
6. Take a Mental Health Day
While you might not feel comfortable flying or going on previously planned vacations, taking a day to make a mini vacation or “staycation” can help you reset and recharge.
How Employers Can Help
Companies can help their employees maintain a healthy state of mind while working from home by:
- Conducting regular check-ins with their team
- Offering access to mental health resources
- Identifying the signs of burnout
- Being understanding and flexible during the COVID-19 pandemic