Okay, let’s state the obvious: since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, the number of people working from home has increased greatly.
This is not without its benefits. Companies moving to a work-from-home model are able to hire the best talent from all over and aren’t restricted to those nearby. Folks who work remotely can live in areas with better cost of living, near support systems or in places that encourage greater work/life balance for them as individuals.
But working from home can also be an isolating endeavor. It can be more difficult for people to make friends without the natural relationships that come from coworkers. And it’s not surprising 41.6% of work-from-home respondents to a Qualtrics survey reported a decline in their mental health over the last year-and-a-half.
The work from home blues are a real thing that anyone is at risk for. We talked with some of our coworking members who have been working from home for a while now to see how they combat the work from home blues when they sprout up.
1. Get outside when you can.
This is great advice for anyone, whether you work in a traditional office or from home. But it becomes even more important when you’re working from home because you’re not getting the same change of scenery as those who leave their house for the work day.
There are tons of easy ways to do this: take your lunch break outside, go on walks during your business calls, do your workouts outdoors… the list goes on. A little sunshine does wonders for the work from home blues.
2. Create a dedicated work space.
We definitely do not recommend working from your bed or your couch where you spend a lot of your free time. It’s helpful to leave your work at a dedicated space in your home, whether that’s an office or even just a table or desk in one of your main areas. This will help you define your work boundaries at home and establish good work/life balance.
3. Make sure you’re doing other things to take care of your mental health.
This can look different for everyone. It might be getting set up with a therapist (even if you’re not in a crisis, therapy can be a great way do some inner exploration or talk through life’s everyday difficulties). Maybe it’s taking time each day to journal, read, workout or meditate. Maybe it’s something as simple as going on a walk with your dog. Whatever makes you feel good and helps you recharge, make sure you prioritize it.
4. Find ways to switch it up.
Part of the reason working in an office space is helpful for so many is it breaks up the monotony. Even if you’re going into the same workspace every day, it’s unlikely you’re always sitting at your desk. Maybe you do some collaborative work in a conference room, maybe you snag lunch with a friend. We might be creatures of routine, but breaking up that routine occasionally is what keeps us sane.
So if you’re working from home or remotely, head to a coffee shop or a coworking space every once in a while. You’d be surprised what the change of scenery can do for you and your creativity. Even getting out of the house and working in a different space 1-2 times a week can be a game changer.
Not to toot our own horn here, but *toot toot* coworking spaces also offer other perks that might be helpful to you in your work from home endeavors, like unlimited coffee, free printing and the opportunity to meet others in your area who are working remotely. If you’re not sure how to make friends as an adult, this is it.
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