Our August 2020 focus on working from home
Hi, I’m Acha. I am a socially conscious foodie, basically a Gen-Xer Bringing you researcher insights with city-country insights on real-world issues, come-on climate change and inequality.
Hey, it’s Acha
As the pandemic is reaching it’s 7th month, I know a lot of us have been finding it hard keeping a good work-life balance while working from home. So this week, I’ve got some helpful tips to help keep us sane…
How to switch off
The unexpected shift to remote working during COVID-19 is taking a toll on workers’ mental health with many unable to find respite, even in the comfort of their own homes. The pandemic has triggered stressors in careers, personal finances, and family life with nearly 70% of workers citing COVID-19 as the most stressful moment of their career—even more stressful than other major events like 9/11 and the Great Recession of the late 2000s. The culprit? The 24/7 “always-on” culture that has emerged from hyper-communication. Digital connectivity is at an all-time high, which is helping businesses adapt, circumvent, and respond to the disruptions waged by COVID-19. But, suddenly, work meetings can take place at any time of the day without warning and instantaneous responses have become the expectation and the norm. Recent data shows that remote workers are likely to clock an additional 60 hours a month as a result of COVID-19.
Since it doesn’t appear that the “always-on” culture will be switching off any time soon, here are key strategies that can help safeguard your personal life, promote well-being and maintain high productivity levels during this critical time.
Intentionally disconnect: let airplane mode be your friend
Visualise how you would like to spend each day and what would make you most productive. As Stephen Covey prominently said, “The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.” Start making small, deliberate changes that allow you to uphold your priorities and get them done effectively. You should think about other priorities that are important to you such as family dinners, video calls with friends, reading, exercising, etc. Proactively put each of these into your calendar to block the time and effectively schedule your priorities.
Delegate workflow for “off-hours”
If your team is seriously incapacitated when one person is unavailable, there is a resource issue to address. No one function should suffer from someone’s absence. Making arrangements for how communications and workflow are handled off-hours can establish expectations for employees—and help companies better navigate the new environment of hyper-communication.
Mind your physical health and don’t forget to laugh
The body and mind go hand in hand. When stress disturbs the brain, the rest of the body suffers. The good news is that exercise can help alleviate this cycle, as physical activity has a positive impact on the brain and lowers stress levels. Exercise has been shown to cut the tension, stabilize mood, improve sleep, and raise self-esteem. It can even stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
A healthy diet can also help counter the impact of daily stress by lowering blood pressure and fortifying the immune system, which are especially helpful given that COVID-19 is linked to these. But there are further comprehensive benefits associated with eating certain foods. Magnesium deficiency triggers headaches and fatigue so foods rich in this essential mineral, such as spinach and nuts, can ward off common symptoms of stress and even depression.
With all of these tips, we are hoping working from home becomes easier and more effective for you, allowing you to be as productive and healthy as possible and still getting to put your feet up after 9-5, just like Ms Parton.