What once may have sounded like a dream (No commute! Conference calls in pajamas!) may now sound like a bit of a Groundhog Day-esque nightmare (Limited human interaction! Zero boundaries!). Before the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home was a once-in-a-while luxury for many computer-bound employees, but after eight months of couch-based computing, some of the novelty may have worn off.
While there are certainly plenty of perks to home-based employment, there are a fair amount of challenges as well, and as the pandemic rages on, some people are beginning to experience serious work-from-home fatigue. According to a recent survey from benefits management platform, Hibob, more than half of employees (55%) want to work in an office environment again. 42% of those employees said their primary reason for wanting to return was to resume everyday work routines, like face-time with colleagues. Isolation, monotony, and a lack of boundaries between personal and professional life are taking a major toll on many employees physically and mentally.
You may not be able to predict what your work life will look like in the near future or whether a return to office culture is in the cards, but you can address the obstacles you’re currently facing at home and implement strategies to overcome them so you can be as productive as possible while remaining happy, healthy, and sane. Here’s how:
Let’s face it: your home was made for cozy Netflix nights on the couch, not 8 a.m. Zoom meetings with your boss. There are so many obstacles and endless distractions that may be impeding your productivity, so first, give yourself a break. Are you sharing the house with your partner, kids, roommates, or anyone else? You may love them (and any furry friends who share the space as well), but they may also be making it tough to focus on the tasks at hand.
Maybe you’re a parent who’s suddenly been put in the position to supervise homeschooling while trying to juggle deadlines, or maybe your noisy neighbors are blasting bass-heavy beats at 3 in the afternoon. Whatever the reason for your lack of focus, remember that you’re in a tough situation and you’re doing your best. Here are some ways to address those obstacles:
There is certainly something to be said for declining social invitations in favor of at-home safety and self care, but round-the-clock isolation can take a toll. As you might expect, researchers found that loneliness levels increased during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have warned that the stress of the pandemic itself (not to mention the implications on work, family, and life) can contribute to the development or worsening of mental health issues like depression and anxiety. If you’re feeling suffocated at home and finding it hard to maintain a work/life balance, here are some strategies to consider:
Maybe you used to walk to the office or hit the gym before work. Invariably, your fitness regimen has shifted in some way, shape, or form since you transitioned to working at home. While it can be tough to stay motivated without external factors like fitness coaches or workout partners, you can find plenty of ways to get and stay fit at home:
While remote working may be your reality for the foreseeable future, you can still find success in your professional pursuits while maintaining your physical and psychological well being. Try out the tips here and just remember to make your own health and happiness top priorities while you crush your work goals from the comfort of home.
Editor’s Note: Ethos has been working fully remotely since March of 2020, with plans to continue well into 2021 and beyond. We’ve deployed some of the tips above to help our employees stay productive and healthy, both physically and mentally. Employees receive a bi-monthly stipend to make sure their workspaces are fully equipped with everything they need. Team bonding isn’t limited to the office, either. Since becoming fully remote, we’ve had weekly events like game nights, cooking classes, and team offsites, all done virtually. We’ve learned new recipes, discovered the myriad of hidden talents that our team members possess, and welcomed new Ethosaurs. Learn more about our culture and current openings here!