Tips for a better work-from-home routine in 2022
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, remote working was quickly adopted and enhanced by bringing comforts from the workplace into our homes, such as purchasing ergonomic keyboards, and high-end espresso machines to use at home.
But when the boundary between work and home became blurrier, will the remote working style remain the future of work for many employees in the foreseeable future? For some employees, work-from-home is comfortable and enjoyable, while some of them still need a long time to get used to things. Still, this means that employees can take advantage of it to stay agile and keep trying new ideas for remote collaboration.
With the continuous impact of the COVID pandemic and new strains of the virus emerging, many big corporations have stated that remote workforces will be continued or permanently welcomed.
According to Havard Business Review, there was still some hesitation from remote managers about how this workforce shift (from office working to remote working) would affect productivity at the start of the COVID pandemic. For example, working parents would have been too preoccupied with helping their children with their studies; or employees might use their working time to binge-watching some Netflix shows while working on their tasks.
Still, a new study finds that the majority of workers have higher or the same productivity during remote working, increasing the productivity in the U.S. economy by 5%, mostly due to savings in commuting time.
This article will provide some ideas and advice about remote working that can help you keep up with dramatic workstyle shifts and rise to the top.
#1 Have healthy boundaries between work and home
For starters, stay away from Zoom, working emails, or Microsoft Team messages when it is not during your work hours. There is also a recommendation that you should not check or use your work laptop when your workday is over. Separating your work tools from personal tools is just as similar as having different environments for work and personal life.
#2 Turn off work notifications
Don't let your work notifications bother you at night or on your weekends, turn them off to enjoy your leisure time and give your brain a good rest. Setting boundaries and following them strictly are recommended by the HR expert.
To prevent yourself from communicating 24/7 with your teammates and dealing with stress, set a specific time to end your work hours and draw a line with your team. Your work emails are most likely to be able to wait for you until the next day. Make sure to allow your co-workers to contact you only when a true emergency occurs.
#3 Take annual leave as needed
However, while some employees state that remote work can help them increase their productivity, there are simultaneously some employees that find remote work exhausting and frustrating. According to a survey by Monster.com, burnout is experienced by more than two-thirds of employees during remote work.
Moreover, although these respondents are burned out, they choose not to take any time off: 59% said that they took less time off compared to the time when they work at offices, and some were not planning any time off to take care of themselves.
Don't be afraid of taking time off when you feel overwhelmed or tired. It is crucial to recharge yourself, including having enough sleep, so that you can produce impactful yet intentional work. During COVID lockdown, it is surely not easy to travel to fancy landscapes to unwind; however, you should utilize your annual leave for a restful staycation at your own house.
#4 Have your after-work schedule
We tend to overwork for more hours since we are all stuck at home. Your working hours can easily shift from eight-hour of work to a ten-hour of work. To avoid stressing yourself out after a tiring day of work, there should be a schedule after work.
Thus, having after-work activities are more important than ever since it can help you to get rid of being stuck at overworking. Make a plan for your dinner, enjoy a good book, or watch a show on Netflix. This can help you stay away from stress and avoid burnout from overworking.
Improve productivity with technology
In 2021, we could see that despite bringing many profits, remote work can result in overwork and burnout since our working devices are right within our living environment, 24/7. If you want to increase your productivity and stay away from potential burn-out that might occur when working from home, follow these steps to get ready for a more healthy 2022 work year:
Have An Online Schedule/Calendar
Inform your co-workers about your schedule/working time and stick to them. Once your schedule is in place, make sure to set your work calendar availability accordingly, so that you will not receive calls or meeting invites outside of business hours.
Utilize the calendar to save time
Once you're stuck in the constant loop of notifications and messages, it's not easy to get any task done. You should use a calendar to solve this problem. With the help of a calendar, you can save time between meetings, communications - allowing you to work on your tasks as planned. If you are required to attend a virtual call while you are working on your plans, reschedule the meeting if possible. A calendar and simple planner can help you do your job more efficiently.
Remind yourself of taking a break after staying on top of your workload
A short break can help a lot, for example, it can lower your stress levels and improve your productivity, especially when some tasks drain you out. Therefore, you should add some short breaks into your calendar in case you forget to take them. Remember to relax your eyes from concentrating on your computer's screen for too long. Additionally, your brains also need a rest, especially when your mind starts wandering during your workday.
Remember to switch off
Set an alarm to remind you of switching off when your workday is over. Shut down your work devices and applications and enjoy your personal space after working from home for a whole day. This should be treated as your new daily routine to separate your work time from your leisure time.