Many people make the switch to working from home because they want more relaxation and flexibility. They don’t want to deal with supervisors or coworkers who breathe down their necks or steal their office supplies, and they don’t want to drudge through a long commute either. Some people would rather stay in the comfort of their own homes where they decide their dress code and work environment.
However, as most people make this transition, they discover that working at home has its stresses and hassles as well. Some people even find working at home more stressful than working in the office.
If you are one of these people, have a look at the information below. We’ll tell you how to identify your stressors and find ways to mitigate them.
Why Working at Home Causes Stress
Your new work location and schedule could make you stressed for a variety of reasons:
- You spend more time online, which overtaxes your eyes and mind. And the more your senses and mind feel overtaxed, the more tired your body becomes. Yet you still have to work the same number of hours, so you feel more exhausted and stressed by the end of the day.
- You spend more time around your family, and their needs mingle with your work responsibilities during the day. As you scramble to get everything done, you feel more stressed.
- You have no escape from home or work responsibilities. When you work at an office, you can escape problems at home and think about something else for a few hours. You can also escape the office at home and forget you have a boss or customers for a while. However, when you work from home, you have to deal with all your problems at the same time, so you feel more frazzled.
- You may end up working longer hours because you don’t have a steady paycheck. Freelancers have to take projects and money where they can get it, so you may have to stay on task later or longer to make ends meet.
However, if you don’t have any family problems or exorbitant expenses, working at home likely won’t give you more stress. Highly organized individuals and millennials have little or no trouble blending work also do well blending work and home life. Some people like the flexibility of working on personal and work issues in the same hour.
With this in mind, if you don’t like changing tasks quickly or if you have a difficult domestic life, you may find you feel more stressed than ever. Make working at home as relaxing as you hoped it would be by using the tips in the next section.
What You Can Do to Become Stress-Free
Mitigate your stress by using the tips listed below.
1. Identify what stresses you.
Your stressors could include the issues we discussed above, or they could include a particularly nasty client who has nothing good to say about you. Find what causes your stress and decide if you can cut it out of your life or if you have to deal with it. If you can cut it out, do so. You’ll feel less stressed immediately.
2. Make boundaries between your home and work life.
Don’t just work from your kitchen table. Turn one of your rooms into an office, and put a lock on the door. Tell your family members that unless an emergency occurs, they shouldn’t disturb you. An in-home office gives you the same physical separation you enjoyed while working in an office building, but you still get to choose your own wardrobe.
3. Take breaks.
If you feel tired, take a nap. You work from home now, so you won’t get in trouble if you close your eyes or get up to eat a snack for a few minutes. Try taking a break for five minutes once every hour, and remember to give yourself an hour break for lunch.
4. Do things you enjoy when you feel stressed.
Meditation, exercise, time with friends, or soaking in the tub can help you decompress. If you feel so stressed that your body tenses, you get a headache, and you feel irritable, stop working and do something enjoyable.
5. Watch or listen to something funny.
Laughter can dissipate stress in seconds. Watch clips from your favorite comedian or have a funny movie playing in the background while you work. You can also read comics and jokes on your breaks.
6. Listen to music.
Nobody can tell you to turn your music off or down when you work from home. Listen to music that calms you or inspires you as the occasion demands. Create helpful playlists so you can leave them playing in the background. You can also use internet radio stations like Pandora that let you choose a musical genre or theme.
Working from home can help you develop and grow in ways that working in an office never could. However, it still has stressors that could ruin your productivity. Use the tips above to stay stress-free and keep your productivity high.