Coronavirus: how to work from home without stress


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Tips to combat the stress of working remotely due to the coronavirus.

As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to spread around the world, more and more people are starting to work from home. Among many companies, Google and Microsoft have shown interest by suggesting or requiring employees to work from home, offering more vacation days or maintaining wages despite reduced hours.

After all, working from home is nothing new. According to studies, the global number of people working remotely has doubled in the last 10 years. It has also been proven that 76% of employees prefer to work from home, especially when they need to concentrate on a complex project or a demanding task. As you may have noticed, in the office you are interrupted too often! In fact, you spend an average of 11 minutes on a task before you are interrupted. And then it takes you another 25 minutes to get back to where you were before, with more chances of mistakes being made. So you'd better stay home!

It is important that we do everything we can to help businesses and workers, each in their own way. Working remotely can lead to isolation and living in uncertain circumstances is stressful. I would like to stress that its successful implementation requires two important factors: a) the availability of modern productivity tools and b) the creation of a culture of responsibility and trust.

That's why the following tips will be very useful.

  1. Read the messages well
  2. Build trust
  3. Schedule collaboration hours
  4. Find time for short breaks
  5. Create an after-work ritual
  6. Avoid distracting activities
  7. Make time in your calendar for exercise
  8. Keep in touch with your colleagues

Before we begin, it should be noted that not we can all work from home. For those who can't, please observe the rules of hygiene, keep your distance and don't touch your face.

As appealing as it sounds, the flexible working style requires a change in mindset that employees must be ready to support. Am I autonomous? Am I focused on the goal? Am I delivering results? Am I able to manage my time in the best way? Can I resist situations that distract me? These are questions we need to be able to answer for ourselves before we can start working from our own space.

If you are one of those who can work from home, then:

  1. Read the messages carefully.

    Reread what you have written before you send an email to make sure that your message is clear and in the right tone, thus bridging the gap between you. Sending "let's talk" when you mean to say "these are good suggestions, let's see how we can implement them" is vague and will cause the recipient undue stress. If you are worried about how your tone will be perceived, call. Your colleague (who may also be working from home) may welcome the opportunity for a chat.

  2. Build trust.

    Things that are taken for granted when people work side by side in a virtual environment should be explicitly stated and accepted. Agree with your manager's and your team's expectations of your working hours. Openly share any family needs that require you to leave a meeting. Let your manager know immediately if you need more time to complete a task. In short, manage expectations about time and what needs to be delivered. Open, transparent communication is the only way to build trust.

  3. Schedule times to work together.

    When we work remotely, we miss moments with our colleagues that lead to good ideas: chatting before and after meetings, talking at lunch, etc. When meeting by phone or video call, schedule time for informal conversations at the beginning and end of the meeting. Also, remember to be more present. Don't be afraid to join the meeting, share information, present your point of view, and discuss your ideas.

  1. Make time for short breaks.

    Getting away from your desk, even for 5 minutes, helps you to relax and stay focused. A break is suitable to do some stretching, walk or change your posture. The Pomodoro technique also helps to manage your time better.

  2. Create an after-work ritual.

    It's easy to increase your working hours when you don't leave a physical office at a certain time each day, making it especially important to set healthy boundaries. Your brain will benefit from a command that tells it "work is done." Some ideas: meditate, listen to music, read a magazine or lift some weights (some research shows that weight training boosts your mood more than aerobic exercise). Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, ends each day by collecting scattered notes in a central file, saying the phrase "The day is done." "This is my rule," he writes, "After I've said the magic phrase, if a work-related topic comes to mind, I react in the following way: I said the completion phrase."

  3. Avoid distracting activities.

    In addition to family, employees who work from home are more prone to distractions when they are online. Web browsing and social media is a fact that reduces productivity. Therefore, try to check social media only when you have extra free time. At the same time, the multiple activities you do when you are essentially working can also reduce your performance. Many remote workers say they try to combine their work with some domestic work. Avoid mixing work time with other activities. There is separate time for work and other time for your other responsibilities.

  4. Make time in your calendar for exercise.

    Need ideas on how to exercise from home? Try a 7-minute program, or just put on your favorite song and dance. Better yet, video call a friend, pick a fitness playlist and work out together.

  5. Keep in touch with your colleagues.

    This can be done by arranging virtual meals with your colleagues. Video calls don't have a schedule, colleagues can simply talk to each other about their family, hobbies and favourite shows.

Working from home can sometimes seem lonely and isolating, but when done right, it can bring multiple benefits to everyone. It's convenient, it saves time from commuting, gives us the flexibility to combine work and personal life responsibilities, helps us focus on the most important tasks and reduces stress. Remote working is the future - not so far away. A future that we need to embrace responsibly with an open mind, with meaningful communication and a culture of accountability and trust. If you are looking for such a mentor and are looking for a job that fits you, start career counselling with the help of LeadCompass.

Looking for a job to work from home?
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Career Counsellor / Career Guidance
Member of the Greek Association of Consulting, Coaching & Mentoring-HCCMA

After completing my studies in Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Athens, I attended seminars in Customer Service, Public Relations and Sales in order to add more value to the services I offer. In recent years,I started a new chapter in my life through Life Coaching and Career Counseling and my Vision is to help people have a successful career path combined with balance in their personal life.

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