With lockdown measures easing, for many employees their work environment may not be the same as pre-pandemic. Many organisations like Facebook and Google, have extended their working from home policies; with Twitter announcing that their employees can work from home indefinitely.
Whilst working from home does have it’s benefits; no more commuting, cuddles with the family pet all-day, as well as the opportunity to work in your pyjamas, it also comes with its own challenges. People now working from home as a result of the current pandemic have found their work-life balance difficult to maintain. In fact, one study of 2,000 employees discovered that 42% said their work-life balance had worsened because they were unable to go into the office. The lack of an office environment has led to this need to be continually productive, in order to show colleagues that we are working, because they are unable to see that we are working.
Not having to commute back home has made it easier for employees to stay connected to their work long after their working hours have finished. Thoughts like; ‘I’ll just send this one email’ and ‘This won’t take too long’, have meant that people are still working well into the evening. As a result of this constantly ‘switched-on’ mentally, one study found that 36% of those surveyed reported not being in an office environment made them feel unable to take a break, in addition to this 80% of respondents stated that their mental health had been negatively impacted as a consequence of working from home.
To help offset this ‘switched on’ mentality and get you to relax after a long day of working from the settee, we’ve listed some activities that will get you ‘out of the office’.
Complete a Task
This can be something as simple as making yourself a cup of tea. As long as it is not work related and it gets you out of the position you have probably been sat in for at least the last couple of hours. Focusing on something other than your computer will help you to disengage from work and concentrate on other things, perhaps you have a few household chores that need completing?
As previously mentioned one of the main benefits that working from home offers, is the ability to have cuddles with the family pet all day. Now, to help you unwind after a day of remote working, take that pet for some exercise (can you tell that I have a dog and not a cat). Alternatively if your pet doesn’t need a walk, go on one away.
Multiple studies have shown that regularly partaking in exercise increases your mental wellbeing through the release of endorphins, helping to reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, researchers at Stanford verified that being surrounded by nature – whilst completing the aforementioned walk – for 90 minutes can increase feelings of happiness. Helping you to relax and switch-off from work.
Put On A Tune
Some people have found that in order to concentrate whilst working from home, playing background office music can be very effective, as it helps to reduce the feeling of isolation that remote working can generate. On the other hand, playing music at the end of a long day working from home, is a great way to unwind and disconnect from your workload as well as ‘the office’.
Pick Up That Page-Turner
Last, but certainly not least, find that book you’ve always wanted to read and start. This is probably one of the most effective activities for reducing feelings of stress and relaxing. A study by the University of Sussex, found that just six minutes of reading reduced stress levels more so (68%), than walking (42%) or listening to music (61%).
Doing all or just one of these activities, should help you to relax after a day of remote working, and offset that constantly ‘switched-on’ mentality.
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