While working from home may sound like a piece of cake, most remote workers would probably say otherwise. Remote work comes with its fair share of stressors — and in this article, we’ll discuss the top remote work stressors and how to avoid them.
Top Remote Work Stressors
You can’t just shout across the office or call for a team huddle any more. Your team meetings these days are probably slotted within a packed schedule. This could mean that you won’t be communicating with your team as often — a reality that sometimes comes with communication issues. You might be stuck on a task that you wish you could ask your manager about ASAP. Or you could have shown up for a meeting in the wrong timezone (happens to the best of us!) These small communication errors do add up and hinder not just your productivity but also your happiness.
No Work-Life Balance
It seems almost ironic that working at home encourages less work-life balance. For some, this means throwing themselves into work — even after office hours and during the weekend. For others, this could mean spending too little time working. After all, your couch and Netflix are just a walk away. Either way, over-working, and under-working are huge stressors. Overworking means that your house is no longer a safe space and you’re conditioned to work most of the time. That’s exhausting! On the other hand, those who feel drawn to distractions might be frustrated by their lower performance.
Remote work is much more isolating than the traditional office experience. There are no more impromptu lunch breaks, water-cooler chats, or happy-hour drinks. Instead, you’re limited to scheduled zoom meetings and Slack messages. Spending so much time alone could cause stress and frustration, impacting both your mood and work performance.
How to Avoid Remote Work Stressors
That being said, how should you avoid or tackle these remote work stressors?
Tip #1 Reach Out When You Need Help
While communicating with colleagues is less accessible than before, you always have the opportunity to reach out. You just need to take the initiative to speak up. When you’re stuck on a problem, feel free to reach out to your colleagues for help over Slack! If not, you could try scheduling a Zoom call with your manager as soon as you can. While working from home is tough, we are more interconnected than ever with technology. Use this to your advantage to communicate with your team and minimize communication errors.
Tip #2 Plan Your Day
Plan your day to clearly demarcate work and relaxation time. This works even better when you work in an allocated space every day. This way, you’ll only feel like you’re “in the office” when you’re in your workspace — the rest of your house is home!
Tip #3 Pursue Your Own Happiness
Tackling the stress that comes with remote work is a decision you have to make. Find some time to integrate human interaction in your day — whether it’s scheduling Zoom wine tastings or a socially distanced picnic with some vaccinated friends. You could also pick up mindfulness to find more comfort in yourself. Using a handy mindfulness tool like a Timeqube, you can pick up yoga, meditation, or simple breathing exercises.
Give these tips a go and reduce your remote work stressors today!