This 2021, the new normal has become synonymous with work-from-home for most Filipino companies whether we’d like to admit it or not. More than the question of your business being ready for remote work, a more important (and more personal) question to ponder on is whether your employees are ready for work-from-home and how this can affect their productivity and well-being.
On July 1, Sprout’s HR Experts Webinar tackled just that! Registered Financial Planner Fitz Gerard Vilafuerte of readytoberich.com along with our Rockstars - Shang Trinidad (Head of People Operations at Sprout) and Razor Bucatcat (Sprout Legal Assistant) - talked about the main sources of stress when working from home and how to ensure that you, personally, can maintain your productivity and sanity in a remote work setup.
THE 3 MAIN SOURCES OF WORK-FROM-HOME STRESS
Here are some of the most common sources of stress when working remotely:
What do you do when your comfort zone suddenly becomes your office? One of the main reasons why our employees experience stress transitioning from office to remote work is turning their homes, their safe spaces, into the same place where they work. And no matter how many plants we accumulate, it is a known fact that our homes are not designed for work.
The sounds and smells of home, the people you live with, your pets, or your online deliveries - You name it, we’ve heard all of it over virtual meetings! More than work-life balance, in the new normal, work-life integration has become a thing. Seeing your workmates at home, without their makeup and blazers, has been an enlightening and humanizing experience for us all.
Whether you are an extrovert, an introvert, or an ambivert, one thing’s for sure - working alone for the past year and a half will become lonely. With no supervisor a few work spaces beside you, the temptation to procrastinate and be lazy is heavier than ever. This is not a surprise especially knowing that your bed, your TV, your phone, and your AC are just a few steps away from the same area where you are now expected to work.
So what can you do as an employee to motivate yourself and keep your productivity at a consistent level even with all the distractions and temptations around you?
INCREASING WORK-FROM-HOME PRODUCTIVITY & MAINTAINING WELL-BEING:
- Set up a workspace
More than the aesthetics, setting up a designated work area can help you to set virtual boundaries both physically and mentally. Training your mind to get used to the fact that this is the place where you work, this is the place where you need to be productive, is a big step to maintaining your productivity even at home.
- Follow a daily routine and stick to it!
Create a daily schedule and maintain it! As they say, strength through structure. Start with little things like what time you wake up, what you do before work, and what time you stop from work. This will help you train yourself by preparing your mind for the time you need to be productive through a routine that works for you. However, for a routine to work, you should also designate the time that you have to take a hard stop from work and transition to actually being at home.
- Onboard everyone
Your work space is now not entirely your own. Now we have to think of housemates, kids, or pets walking in the background or suddenly talking to you while you are in the middle of a meeting. One essential step to ensure your work productivity at home is to notify your housemates about your schedule. Politely ask for respect and privacy when you need it. Your housemates are not mind readers - let them know what your schedule looks like for the day so that they also know to not disturb you.
- Dress for the job
Prepare for work as if you're going to the office because, in this new normal, you are. Dressing for the job to mentally prepare yourself for work can mean different things for everyone. Whether this entails taking a shower before going into your first meeting of the day or wearing makeup, jeans, watches, or work shoes, find the best tactic that will work for you.
Here’s some tips to better manage your stress when on a work-from-home setup:
- Conserve your mental energy for things that matter
With mental well-being more at risk than ever, carefully choose where to allocate your mental and emotional batteries. Take breaks when you need to.
- Follow a strict sleep schedule
No matter what age you are, remember that you are more productive when you are better rested. Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday.
- Reach out to your social circle
Remember that we are only physically distancing ourselves but with current technologies, we do not need to be emotionally distanced. Set up a video call to catch up with your friends or better yet host a game night or movie night!
Be aware of your own thoughts and feelings. An attitude of gratitude always goes a long way.
- Exercise and meditate
Take care of your physical and mental health. 10 minutes of mindful meditation will train you to regulate your stress and emotions and have a better sense of your internal well-being.
If you are an HR Professional or a business owner struggling with employees that are feeling stress or burnout while working from home, here are a few things you can do to help them transition better:
- Remove Stigma: Allow your employees to open up and openly express their feelings. Radical candor is a great place to start in expressing your thoughts candidly but also respectfully.
- Get the Pulse of your employees: Surveys or temp checks within your organization can give you valuable insight into which of your employees need help and what assistance will work best for them.
- Have a comprehensive approach in creating solutions: Don’t look for a solution that lasts for only a day or two. In this new normal, it’s important to give your company a holistic and digital wellness solution.
Sprout HR Experts continues to provide relevant industry news and up to date information live via Facebook and Youtube every Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00AM.