Reducing Stress When Working from Home

Following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, many people found themselves working from a new office—home. And while the idea of working from home sounds incredibly relaxed, many of you have probably found it comes with its own laundry list of stressors. But never fear, there are many who have blazed the trail before you and are here to help. In this guide, we’re going to look at how to reduce stress when working from home.

  • Set Boundaries with Your Family
  • Compartmentalize Effectively
  • Evaluate Your Workspace
  • Invest in Your Technology Setup
  • Optimize Your Schedule
Desk and home office

Set Boundaries with Your Family

Your spouse, your kids, and your pets are probably pretty excited that you’re now working from home. And while this is certainly great, it’s important that they realize that you still have a job to do. With more accessibility comes the need for more boundaries to make sure your family is taken care of and your job requirements are satisfied.

What does this have to do with stress? If you’re constantly having to juggle your family and your job without fixed constructs, it’s going to be a tough time.

  1. Make a list of your job requirements and your family requirements.
  2. Develop a plan of action complete with the boundaries that need to be in place.
  3. Call a family meeting to share the information.
  4. Share with your family why its important to get the buy-in and support you need to succeed.
  5. Schedule follow-up family meetings.

Compartmentalize Effectively

While we’re on the topic of setting boundaries to reduce stress when working from home, it’s equally as important that you compartmentalize your work and family life. When the office is only a few feet away from your home life, it’s easy for the two to bleed together causing unnecessary stress.

Set a schedule and put safeguards in place to keep your work life and your home life separated. Additionally, focus on resisting the temptation to run back to your computer if something comes up after hours. If you wouldn’t jump back in the car and drive to the office to take care of something, then it can wait until tomorrow.

Evaluate Your Workspace

Your environment has a massive affect on your comfort, relaxation, and stress level. Take a few minutes and assess where you have your workspace set up. Is it the best area for clear focus? Are you somewhere that there are a lot of distractions? While you are limited in your options by what you have available at your house, you do want to make sure you’re in the most optimal spot to mitigate any unnecessary stress.

Additionally, look at how your set up looks. Do you have a lot of distracting things all over the place? Is the workspace clean? Are things organized well? Simple organization and cleanliness can really help to lower your stress when you’re working from home (just as it would at the office).

Invest in Your Technology Setup

It’s generally worth the money to invest in your home office set up to help reduce your stress. If you’re used to using double monitors at work, you might want to pick up an extra screen for the house. If you’re used to having a comfortable office chair at work, sitting on a bar stool or a fold-up chair might not be doing the trick.

Simple investments in yourself can go a long way in lowering your at-home work stress. And depending on what company you work for, you may be able to get some or all of the costs covered by the company.

Optimize Your Schedule

While everything we’ve said so far seems to go in the face of the perceived advantages of working from home, it doesn’t have to be that way completely. It’s okay to enjoy some of the benefits and flexibilities that come without needing to commute. Additionally, if your office allows you to have a more flexible schedule, take advantage of this.

Just make sure that you dedicate some effort to developing a schedule that you can stick to. If you make a schedule but you don’t stick to it, you lose the benefits and start to induce more stress.

Putting it All together

Working from home can be rewarding when it comes to flexibility and making your life easier. But you do need to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to stay on top of your responsibilities to keep your stress levels low.