After the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic, the world around us has changed tremendously. And so is the life of the people working in corporate jobs or any other job that is still fully functional and requires you to work for the same working hours or more. Yes, it is imperative to be grateful for a job even in these hard times.
But, there are some issues faced by the employees who are doing work from home.
Loss of personal space
When you’re working from home, it is very tough to create a balance between your private life and work life. You end up working too much on some days, even when you know you could have done something the next day and sacrifice your “me” time for work.
Fear of losing the job
In earlier times, you might have argued with your manager regarding the working hours or your shift timing. But when you hear that people are losing their jobs in the pandemic, it scares the hell out of you, and you don’t want to give your employers any reason to fire you. While some companies being very generous, did not fire any of their employees, a lot of them did. And that creates a lot of anxiety among the current employees and they kind of burn themselves up. They live in the fear of losing their jobs and work relentlessly. It might save their jobs, but it steals their peace and balance in life.
Difficulty in working without proper guidance
A lot of times in office, you might have taken help from your seniors or your peers while working, and you might have gone to their cubicles and sat with them to understand something. But now it seems like a distant reality. It is tough to work on new aspects sometimes. You might get help, but it is not as effective as it used to be sometimes.
Difficulty creating boundaries
It is quite similar to the first point, but here the difference is, you want to create some boundaries between your work and personal life, but have to work for long hours even after your usual shift timing. That is one of the cons of working in the corporate companies or in a non-satisfying job. You work for more time and yet you remain unhappy with your employer. And that sucks! You might not be getting the appreciation you deserve even after going to that extra mile. It is terrible, and you feel exploited in the name of work ethics.
These are a few issues. There could be a lot more than these. But the question here is how to overcome these? What can you do so that you remain productive at work and also get ample time for yourself? Here are some tips:
1. Get up early
I know the Netflix show you’re watching has got an engaging plot, and it makes you end up binge-watching it all night. And if you love waking up late, then you should probably consider that late-night time as your “me time”. That is perfectly fine.
But, let me tell you some perks of getting up at least 2-3 hours before you start working.
Firstly, you have a fresh mind, and you can take up any activity of your choice. Like if you wanted to read the novel you purchased, or wanted to do that online course on your favorite subject, or wanted do that workout routine, you saw online. It could be anything for which you wanted time. And unlike your evening hours when you are mentally exhausted from work and cannot take up a new course or lessons, morning hours can help you do them with more concentration and enthusiasm. You could do all the things before your work hours, and you will not complain about the work anymore. Sleep a bit early to wake up early. This habit formation might take some time, but it will be so much beneficial in the long run!
2. Meditating and relaxing before and after work
That doesn’t sound very appealing at first, but once you’ll start doing it, you will understand what you have been missing from your work life. It is necessary to have a calm mind before work because there are going to be a few surprises on a few days. You might get told to do something extra and submit some work before the deadline. It can cause distress and anxiety. You need to be calm to think in such situations. Or even on usual days, a positive mind impacts your work positively.
Meditation after your working hours is also crucial because you don’t want to go to bed with all the stress and hustle of the day. It helps in maintaining an effortless sleep schedule.
Meditation is one of the nine techniques for managing your stress and anxiety, which we have discussed in one of the previous blog posts.
3. Learn to say no
It is imperative to say no to that extra work, and it is even more important not to feel terrible about that. With that said, sometimes it is okay if you’re working more, especially when some client request is involved and the task is crucial, but this should not be the case every day. It is okay if you need a break, it is fine to look for balance in work life. You can always approach your project manager or HR manager if you’re feeling that you’re working more than you should be. Appreciation for those extra hours is not worth if you get it at the cost of your mental or physical health. Success comes with balance. And even if after all this you are still working for extra hours frequently then you should finish anything you wanted to do before your work starts.
4. Scheduling regular breaks
When you used to work from office, you went for lunch breaks in the afternoon, coffee break before evening or snacks break. Also, you might have gone to talk to your colleagues in between your work.
So, think of the breaks you want to take now as those you used to take earlier. It is not good to sit at one place all day long. This can affect your physical health and posture.
Ideally there’s nothing wrong with taking some time off from work and resuming after a break.
The key is to schedule these short breaks at the same time every day, so that they don’t affect your work, and you don’t have a burnout while working non-stop.
Remember you can still work diligently and meet deadlines and create time for yourself.
It is all about having a routine and planning.
Here is an informative video on How To Manage Your Mental Health While Working From Home on YouTube by Everymind at Work.
I know a lot of people out there have lost their jobs and you should be grateful to have a job during this pandemic. But, these are a few challenges which working people are facing all over the world. Stay grateful but don’t be a fool. Prioritize your mind and body before everything else.
With that, we are nearly at the end of this series of blog posts. Next post will be about key-takeaways of this series and related aspects.