Unfortunately, your mental health and emotional well-being can be neglected when working at home since you are not under the observation of managers, supervisors, or colleagues. It is up to you to ensure that you are managing your workload and stress. Finding an emotional balance in your work life isn’t simple, but it’s not an aspect that should be ignored for results or productivity. Keeping yourself healthy emotionally and physically is integral to maintaining a positive working environment.
Finding the Balance
Both benefits and drawbacks come with working from home, just as there are for working in a traditional setting. Every individual will find different elements of home-working easier and more complex than others. Still, once you’ve identified your weak points, you can start to build safeguards and techniques that will help you cope with each challenge. Frequent emotional concerns about working from home include feelings of isolation, exclusion, or a lack of social life.
The Pros and Cons of Social Media
Another way to keep connected is via social media. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that social media activity is often a time-draining method of procrastination for those who work at home. Social networking can be both a valuable tool and an utter waste of time; let’s look at the pros and cons.
The Pros of Social Media
- An easy way to connect and communicate with colleagues, clients, and prospective customers
- Essential for internet marketing, customer service, and web visibility
- A valuable resource for customer acquisition and business networking
- A helpful tool for determining your business’ reputation and for competitor analysis
- A suitable method for keeping on top of trends, news, and the latest information within your industry
The Cons of Social Media
- A notorious timewaster
- An informal and potentially damaging place to do business
- Not necessarily a reliable source of information
- Not always as effective as more traditional methods of communication and marketing
- Not as professional as the use of email or the telephone
- Everything you post on social media is public, so bear that in mind before you put anything on display that could affect your business!
If you plan to use social media for business or during work hours, be mindful of its dangers and negative attributes, and ensure you are using it for the right reasons and not simply as a handy means of distraction.
Looking After Yourself
Working from home comes with considerable pressure – the responsibility is on you to meet your deadlines, organize your workload, deliver results and run your department or business with little or no supervision. Therefore, it’s imperative to take good care of yourself, both physically and mentally, or your work and health may suffer.
Use technology to connect with others or consider seeking a community of other home-business owners for like-minded discussion and support. There are plenty of online groups and forums dedicated to life as a home-worker, and you may even be able to find or create a local group in your area that can meet up regularly for social time and mutual encouragement.
If you find working from home is making you physically unhealthy, for example, eating poorly, gaining weight, or hardly leaving the house, then it’s time to revisit your schedule. Make time to go outside each day, even if it’s to do a quick errand, take a walk around the block, or have a coffee with a friend. Try to exercise at least three times a week, either at home, at the gym, or as part of your ‘commute’ to an alternative workspace.
Many home-workers find they end up eating lunch at their desk or perhaps indulging in more snacks and unhealthy foods than they might if they were in a traditional office. If this is a particular problem for you, try changing your routine to keep your mealtimes and work time separately. For example, take time away from your desk for breaks and lunch – why not use the opportunity to meet up with colleagues or your partner while they’re on their lunch break or to take some time outside to clear your head?
Taking short breaks is another important way to manage stress. A break from work is vital, but it’s not always easy. You can take a walk to clear your head or take a short break to read a book, play a video game or watch TV.
Take naps. It is important to get quick naps over lunch hour simply to reenergize and make you look forward to the afternoon tasks. Taking a nap over lunch hour ensures that you don’t feel sleepy in the afternoon. Try it—it works.
Regardless of what you do, you need to get away from the job from time to time. Try creating a ritual to help yourself focus and remain calm. You can also practice mindfulness to keep your mind sharp and focused.
Feeling fit, healthy, and clear-headed makes a huge difference to your ability to work effectively, and when you work at home, it’s up to you to make it happen.