WFH: How to Cope with its Challenges
Updated: Jun 15
Working from home (WFH) has brought several benefits for many individuals, such as achieving a better work-life balance and having more time for relationships, hobbies, healthy eating, exercise, and sleep. It has also prompted people to re-evaluate their priorities and reconsider how they allocate their time and energy.
However, prolonged WFH can present challenges that may impact individuals' emotional well-being, especially when combined with the heightened anxiety and stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To manage these challenges effectively, it is important to be aware of common issues and implement strategies to minimise their negative impact while maintaining productivity.
Video Call Fatigue: Frequent video calls, although helpful for communication and social connection, can be mentally draining. To alleviate this fatigue, try to limit the number of video calls each day. Consider alternative communication methods such as phone calls, which allow you to take breaks from screens and move around.
Flexible Working: With the disruption of established routines, it may be necessary to be more flexible in work schedules. Adjusting start and finish times, taking breaks at different intervals, and incorporating refreshing activities like midday walks can improve concentration and overall well-being. Communicate with your manager about your desire for flexibility and how it can positively impact your emotional well-being and productivity.
Overworking: Working longer hours than necessary can increase stress levels and potentially lead to burnout. Examine the driving factors behind overworking, such as high standards, worries about others' opinions, or a lack of alternative activities. Recognise the need to balance work with other meaningful areas of life, such as relationships, hobbies, and emotional well-being. Focus on self-validation rather than relying solely on external validation.
Social Interaction: Maintaining social connections and a sense of belonging is crucial. While work tasks may demand attention, make an effort to prioritise team bonding. Regularly interact with colleagues through video calls, and consider arranging virtual lunch or coffee meetings to fulfill the need for social connection.
Annual Leave: Despite the limitations imposed by lockdown, taking annual leave remains important. Extended periods without breaks can negatively impact well-being. Consider spreading out your annual leave and taking time off to recharge and rejuvenate.
Acceptance: Acceptance plays a vital role in managing the frustration and disappointment that may arise from changes in job roles or postponed promotions. Reflect on the aspects of work that align with your values and focus on applying your personal qualities. Redirect energy from struggling with circumstances beyond your control towards gratitude and appreciation for what is going well. Maintain open communication with your manager to gain clarity and understanding regarding future prospects while acknowledging the broader challenges faced by the organisation.
Creating the Right Environment: Ensure your workspace is comfortable and ergonomically optimised to minimise physical discomfort. Create a calm and organised environment by decluttering your work area. Avoid working in your bedroom to maintain a clear separation between work and personal space, which can help preserve sleep quality.
Self-Care Outside of Work: Prioritise emotional and physical well-being outside of work hours. Engage in activities that bring you joy, connect with others while adhering to social distancing guidelines, spend time outdoors, exercise regularly, maintain a balanced diet, and prioritize sufficient sleep.
Remember, navigating the challenges of WFH is a common experience, and it is important to be compassionate towards yourself. Prioritise your emotional well-being and make adjustments as needed to ensure a healthier and more fulfilling work-from-home experience.
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