How to Handle Working from Home Stress

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Work from Home Stress| How to Handle Working from Home StressWere you one of the 49% of British workers who worked from home during lockdown? If so, you might not be heading back into the office just yet.

For some workers, moving to home turf to do the day job has been a largely positive experience. However, for others, this shift has had a negative impact on their mental wellbeing, causing stress levels to rise and an increase in feelings of isolation – and these feelings are nothing new.

According to a 2017 study by the United Nations, which looked at 15 countries including the UK, US, and India, 41% of employees who mostly worked from home said they were highly stressed. And in his 2014 report, ‘Wat als we Nieuw gaan Werken?’ (What if we Start Working New?’), Belgium-based academic, Henrik Delagrange found that there is a higher risk of burnout for those who work longer hours remotely.

While the stats are negative here, there are ways to find the balance. If we’re feeling overwhelmed while working from home, here are some ways to handle those stressful feelings.

Have something to look forward to

When did you last book a holiday? Lockdown has meant that many of us aren’t taking the holidays we usually would, but it’s important to have a break, even if you’ve not got anything planned.

Also, there are some big events coming up that can help to restore some sense of normality. Halloween and Christmas are just a few months away so why not start shopping for these? Have a look at sweet treats, such as Christmas chocolate hampers, to really get into the festive spirit.

Take a time out

It can be easy to not take any breaks while you’re getting through your daily to-do list. But walking away from your computer and doing something unconnected for 10 minutes can help you switch off for a while. By doing this, you are resetting your mind and you may find that you’re able to focus on what you’re working on in a more productive way.

Set a schedule

We’re connected to work 24/7, thanks to technology. This makes it increasingly difficult to switch off our computer when the working day is over.

However, if you’re finding that your work life is creeping into your downtime, it might be worth setting yourself a schedule – and sticking to it. Decide on what you’ll be doing at 9am, 11am, and after lunch so that you have tasks to do and a rough time to complete them by and this will allow you to methodically get through your to-do list and give you the chance to plan ahead for the rest of the week.

Download an app

There are lots of mindfulness apps that are available right now, and, while they’re all slightly different, their common aim is to help you feel calmer and less stressed. Calm, Headspace, and Aura are just some of the apps that are available on iOS and Android devices, and as they’re designed for your phone, you can take them with you and access them when you need a break or are starting to feel overwhelmed.

Speak to someone

If you’re finding things tough, speak to colleagues or, if you feel you need to let your manager know, arrange a meeting with them. Your manager should be able to offer some advice or point you in the direction of support services.

Should you feel that you need professional support, there are lots of services to help. Mind has a lot of resources online that can help you take the steps to manage stress.

Working from home doesn’t have to have a negative impact on your wellbeing. It’s important to know that you’re not alone.

Protection From A Fall, Coming In The Fall

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Business Protection|Protection From A Fall, Coming In The FallIf you have survived so far as a business, you may be in for another shock. Due to the lockdown, so many companies have had to let people go and some businesses have even had to close down. But for those businesses that have survived and began to go back to normal trading days, you may still be in for an uphill battle. Scientists are now saying that during the fall, there will be an ever-greater threat of getting coronavirus. It’s a strand of the flu virus, so it can survive in colder temperatures. So, professional bodies are guessing that during the fall, many more people will get the virus and thus, workers will be forced to stay at home once again.

At-home working infrastructure

Taking a survey of all your employees that are able to work from their own homes, is vital at this point in time. Make sure that you are asking these types of questions.

  • Do they have good internet to make sure they are staying on top of their emails, correspondence, conference call schedules, etc?
  • Are they able to use similar or the same software they would normally use in the office, but at home? In other words, is their computer capable of doing the work they would normally do?
  • Do they have an ability to store their work in the cloud, but also, at home? This would entail that they need to have a hard drive of some sort.
  • Do they have recreational space? Remember that working from home can sometimes feel like being trapped. So make sure that they have a space they can use for a lunch break, or talk a walk to the local park.

Protect your business

You want to also be careful about your own business and that it doesn’t get shut down or closed by a governing body. You should tell all your employees to be careful and do not bring the virus to work. However, if there is a positive case in your office, you may be told by the authorities to close your business while it is still a haven for the virus. Speak with tried and trusted insurance brokers who can find you the best and most modern business insurance plan. Check out their business interruption plan as well. This will allow you to recoup some of the losses from no longer being functional, so you can continue to pay bills and the rent, etc.

A reporting method

Coronavirus tests are relatively cheap. Every employee should be asked to buy several tests and make sure that they are testing themselves once a week at home. This allows them to tell you, every Monday, whether they can come to work or not. This prevents them from bringing the virus to work and keeps your business flowing.

As business owners, we have to prepare for the worst, so we may stay active and keep our clients and customers happy. Using these methods, you can keep your employees safe, your business flowing and planning for the fall and what it could bring.

Solutions For When Cabin Fever Sets In At Your Home Office

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Home Office|Solutions For When Cabin Fever Sets In At Your Home OfficeWorking from home is a great way to run your own business, enjoy a better work/life balance, save business costs and more. With more and more people adapting to home working as a result of COVID-19, it could soon be the new normal for a lot of people.

But despite the many benefits of working from home, it can be difficult to focus at times. It can also become difficult to separate your work and home life, creating an imbalance that can be hard to break. So what can you do when cabin fever sets in at your home office? Here are some things you can do to shake things up.

Move into a bigger space

Sometimes a home office can be a temporary solution, or you can soon find yourself outgrowing your space. Expanding your office or moving to a different space can help make things feel more permanent, as well as make your office better fit for purpose. If you’re looking for a larger space, why not convert your garage into a home office? You’ll be away from the house itself, putting a bit of distance between your work and home life. From your garage, you can benefit from some peace and quiet, helping you enjoy a more productive workday.

Consider a co-working office

It’s easy to miss the office environment once you start working from home. One way you can solve this is to use a co-working office, even if it’s only a couple of days a week or month. By renting an office, you could meet some like-minded people, benefit from some great facilities and enjoy a break from your home office. Co-working can be an affordable solution for freelancers and small business owners, working as a great alternative to renting a space full time.

Improve how you manage your schedule

If you’re struggling to find a work/life balance when working from home, you might need to look at your schedule to see if you could work more productively. From choosing different working hours to making sure you take a break during the day, you can change your routine to help you find the right balance.

Lighten your workload

If you find yourself working late into the evenings or having to work weekends, your workload could be too much. In these situations, outsourcing some of your work could help make things more manageable, freeing up your time to focus on running your business. You can outsource admin, accounting, and other business functions, helping you to do the best for your business.

Your home office can be an excellent way for you to work, giving you some freedom and flexibility. But when things get too much or you need a change of scenery, it’s good to know that you’ve got options. Reevaluate your home office space to see how you can improve your work environment to help you work more effectively, and get to make the most of your life outside of work too.

Here’s What CEOs Say on Working From Home Without Compromising Productivity!

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Working from Home|Here's What CEOs Say on Working From Home Without Compromising Productivity!How many of us realize that we are experiencing history? This is the most unprecedented and unforgettable time of our lives. The outbreak of the pandemic has left for us nothing but experiments, challenges and learning opportunities. Mid May Twitter announced its employees can work indefinitely from home, being the first big tech company to come up with such a policy. For over a long time, a lot of employees who thought of #wfh as a luxury are now compelled to stick to it overnight for the time as long as eternal.

Amid this crisis, a lot of CEOs are coming up with various ideas and offers for their employees to not only ensure their productivity but also their mental well being.

1.Stay Organized: It Is Going to Help in the Long Run

Having a fixed schedule and creating boundaries between professional and personal life is the key to maintain productivity and be efficient when working from home. It is comprehensive that one needs to look after their home and work simultaneously in this tough situation. It is important that people identify when to work and where to work without being pulled into domestic chores or personal matters when working from home. If you start your day with a proper schedule and stick to it strictly, you would surely be comfortable with the new normal.

Do Not Just Work! Work! Work!

Plan your breaks too as you would at the office premises. But remember not to leeway and stretch these breaks.

2. Have a Plan Before You Begin

Well moving your workstations overnight to your home was surely a big thing to do. It is important for the organizations to gather a cross-functional team that includes business-line leaders, IT, HR, communications, and facilities, to plan for the worst and the good to come. It is important that the business is least affected by the employees working remotely. A lot of software development firms that had been providing remote services had an experience of handling clients remotely, but handling the teams remotely is a completely different chapter. Also, it is vital to ensure that employees have a good infrastructure back home to support their tasks and meet the business process.

Lack of communication is going to be a major drawback here. It is important that your team bridges the gap between them and doesn’t let its productivity be affected. Trusting the team in such times is very important. Provide your team members guard rails with the flexibility to deliver their defined targets in the defined time.

3. Short Breaks and One at a Time Approach

It is crucial to take care of your mental well being when working from home. Taking short breaks while staying connected to your colleagues always helps in remote working culture. This is not the time to take it all together. Understand this is not a productivity competition. This is pandemic and not regular work from home exercise. With no domestic help and lots of things being messed it is always difficult to find the right schedule, In the initial days experimenting a little is cool. No one knows how long we are going to stay out of the office, so making temporary adjustments won’t help. Employees and even the managers and leads need to have a plan where they can easily connect and enjoy their work. Enjoying your work is the priority here. Push yourselves and enjoy your work, maintain your productivity and keep calm.

4. Millennial Workforce Are the Key Drivers

The on-the-go technology helps the millennials be more productive and available all the time. They have better ideas to stay connected and hold meetings. With various apps put to function, we can easily predict their productivity. Working from home is quite beneficial for employees as it eliminates their daily commutes. It also helps them to lead a better and healthier life with their family around all the while. A lot of employees relish the model for the flexibility it has to offer. It is always a great choice to work when you are comfortable. This adds to productivity and better results.

A lot of millennials are making the best of the opportunity by joining e-learning classes and certification courses. They are making the most of their time and coming up with some great ideas to hone their skills and contribute to the organizations.

5. Discipline and Dedication Drive the Results

When at home, many of the employees go lethargic with their work. It is important to put your laziness in the backseat and work in a disciplined manner. It is always important to have a balance between work and personal life. Remote developers and other employees often struggle with a stringent deadline. It is important to deliver your customers a world-class service you are available as per their ease and strictly stick to the deadline that you have asked them. This not only makes you look professional but reflects your sincerity for your work too. To make sure you stick to this, the magic trick is to have a well-designed work set up and be dressed smartly. If you take things seriously and work dedicatedly the work hours at work from home won’t be as long as at the office because of the cozy set up and support of being at home. Initial work from home is going to be all kinds of a mess, taking more time than ever, but once you adjust to it, you will realize how easily you can be through your day.

6. A Separate Work Station Gets You Halfway Through

This advice actually works wonders. Get a separate work corner for yourself. This makes it easier for you to realize what and where you need to focus. Keep all your work-related documents, notes, and other accessories together so that you don’t waste hours looking for them each time you want to use them. Add some beautiful quirky elements in the place to ensure that you like the place and it helps you stay concentrated. A cool workstation is always an inspiration to work well and work hard. It becomes a little corner that you would always want to be at. Be at your office on time, take short coffee breaks, and don’t let the pandemic affect your productivity.

7. Trust Your Team

A lot of organizations that have experience in providing remote IT consultation service and development services understand how important it is for them to trust their team in the situation. The head of mobile app development team at A3logics quotes,

“We have been providing remote services for over two decades now, and we never had complaints from our clients’ end. We thought working from home would be the same, but it wasn’t. When in office the team was available on the go and discussed ideas and we knew we were all working. Being home made things a little uneasy initially. But gradually we realized it is almost similar to working remotely where our clients trusted us to deliver their projects. When working from home we need to trust each other that they are dedicatedly working on their parts and things would be in line. This small shift in thought process has actually made working from home quite easy.”

The Final Words

With the outbreak of the pandemic, we have experienced the world’s largest Work From Home experiment. Maybe the organizations won’t go 100% work from home forever but they will certainly enjoy much support from the virtual environments. With so much good and bad going around the business leaders are expected to support their employees and show some empathy towards them. Surely, this is the first time most of your employees are working from home and are connected virtually, but if this works then you are surely going to appreciate the way the results turn out to be with a happier workforce.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Scarlett BrownScarlett Brown is associated with the Content Writing team at A3logics for over a couple of years. She has been working on projects related to mobile app development and closely follows the trends in the field. She loves to read about the technical advancements and incorporate them into her work. She has been publishing a few articles on employee well being and work from home productivity hacks lately. When not at her writing desk she is often found enjoying her coffee in the nearby cafe and enjoying some storytelling shows.

How to Harness the Opportunities of Home Businesses in 2020

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Home Business|How to Harness the Opportunities of Home Businesses in 2020Home businesses are growing in popularity. This could be due to the ability to avoid most of the issues that have hampered the expansion of the retail and the hospitality industry. If you want to base your next business from home, and if you can see the wealth of opportunities that this can offer you, here are the next steps that you should take to move your plan into action.

Consider the Best Home Business Ideas

There are many home business ideas that may be appealing to the seasoned entrepreneur, and you should consider the viability of each of these in reference to the current market. For instance, many small home-based businesses sell small-scale manufactured items, such as home crafts and furniture. Not only this, but you might consider selling products online, such as boutique clothing or even items for other businesses that are currently seeing success. You should also consider this in terms of the type of business that will suit your home environment.

Get the Resources That You Need

Once you have decided on your business plan, the next step that you need to take to harness the opportunity that you have spotted is to invest in the correct resources that you need. For instance, epoxy resin suppliers are popular with home businesses who work to produce furniture and who conduct other creative projects, as they will be able to fulfill all of your adhesive and laminating needs. You may also need to invest in the appropriate gadgets, such as a Wi-Fi booster and a business laptop in order to connect with the outer business world.

Know the Benefits

To truly harness the opportunities of home businesses, you need to understand their benefits, and how this can make home ventures viable. For instance, there are many tax reductions available to businesses that operate out of their home, including the fact that you will be able to say that a percentage of your home’s mortgage and bills are a business expense. Additionally, home businesses have an increased amount of expenditure, including the fact that you will not have to spend a large amount of your profit on rent or employees.

Be a Great Leader

If you have a large home business, you will know that the success of this still relies on the capabilities of your team. The fact that you will be managing team members remotely, though, means that you need to have excellent and clear communication methods and that you are able to delegate and motivate your team effectively.

Network with the Wider Professional World

However, just because your business is operating out of your home, there is no reason why you cannot be part of the wider professional world. In fact, to be successful, it is paramount that you are able to attend virtual networking events and communicate with other businesses online through professional social media platforms. This will enable you to form partnerships, conduct research, and make sure that you are able to put your stamp on your industry.