While the outside world is battling the Coronavirus, there’s another battle being waged within the confines of houses everywhere—the workload. It’s no secret that numerous businesses across the country are closing for the sake of public health and safety. However, the work still continues for those who have relocated from the confines of their office to their living room.
The idea of working from home sounds like a dream come true—and it can, depending on the work and living situation—but for many, it can be a real nightmare. Suddenly, you’re working in a smaller environment and sharing workspace not with employees but with family and friends. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t make for a productive experience. Whether you’re an owner of a small business, a clerk working for real estate, or a writer, trying to work from home can be a tedious and tricky thing to accomplish, especially those who have been forced to relocate work-life to home-life. So, as a service to our readers and writers who contribute to the Coastal Breeze News, here are some tips to ebb the stress in working from the confinement of your domestic domicile.
For many, the home is where we expect to be AFTER work; to recuperate before the next day. Now the environment we associate with leisure and rest has changed—especially for those who have to share the space with multiple people. It can be easy to lose focus and become difficult to concentrate, but it’s doable.
What you first need to do is plan exactly where in the household would be the best place to work. The area where you usually read, or handle bills, whatever you choose, it should be in a place where you can work comfortably, have access to the items that you need, and most importantly, an area devoid of distractions. Photos, a television, anything that might make you look away from your work and lead your mind to wander, make sure your work area is free of it. Take it from a Writer/Editor, distractions are the biggest threat to a productive workday.
If you’re sharing the household with family, friend(s), or roommate(s), it’s probably wise to work out a timetable with them. Let whoever is staying with you know where and when you plan on conducting your work. It’d be awkward if you’re on the phone with an important client, or focused on an important page, and then suddenly someone pops in to ask if you know where the remote is. Not only that, but the last thing any of us want to do is create hostility with the one(s) we’re staying with. Communication is the best solution to avoid a confrontation.
As for noise distractions, those are unavoidable. Whether it’s the ones living with you, your neighbors next door, or whatever’s perched outside your windowsill, noises are going to happen. However, there are ways to combat noise distractions. If peace and quiet are unavoidable, investing in pair of headphones would be a wise move—and if you can afford them, noise-cancelling headphones especially. As for whatever you play, that’s your preference. It can be anything from nature sounds to your favorite band. After all, your boss isn’t around to tell you what you can and can’t listen to right? Just don’t play something that’s going to have you dancing on the table. It should be something you can use to filter out noise outside your workspace and aid you in finishing your work without interruption.
Keep Your Workspace Clean
It sounds like extra work, but given current events, a little extra work won’t kill you. In fact, it might save your life.
Whether you’re writing on a notepad or working on a computer/laptop, it’s best to keep your work area clean. This isn’t the office where you have a janitor to pick up after you, this is your home, and even if you’ve scrubbed the place down for the you-know-what-virus, there are still other forms of contaminants in the home environment that can interfere. And the last thing you need right now is to fall ill to some other form of disease.
Sanitation wipes and disinfection sprays are all well and good for tables and utensils, but for sensitive equipment like computers and laptops, you’ll have to use other means. Chemical cleaners like Windex or Clorox can damage and even ruin your electronic devices. When it comes to cleaning computers/laptops, just use a soft cloth—a microfiber cloth would be even better. Just dampen the cloth with a bit of water then wipe down the screen and keyboard. There also exist items like Air Dusters and Electronic Wipes you can invest in as well.
And if all else fails, just remember to wash your hands after you conclude your work for the day. It sounds repetitive, and you’ve probably heard the statement over a thousand times, but it’s a statement that’s bears remembrance.
Remember to Relax
Stress and work is like sweat and heat—we may not like it, but they’re going to happen. And given recent events with the Coronavirus, anxiety is at an all-time high for everyone.
Even if you found the right place where you can work without distractions, lingering in the same spot at home for seven to nine hours can not only be stressful, it can be uncomfortable and unhealthy. Remember to get up every now and then to take a break. Stretch the joints, go for a walk, read a book, or just have a discussion with someone. Whether you’re stretching your muscles, or stretching your mind, do something that will help you recuperate before returning to your tasks.
Work can be stressful, trying to adjust to change can be stressful, and worrying about a virus can be even more stressful. However, you can’t let stress dominate your life. Remember, you can make yourself sick just worrying about getting sick. No matter how difficult working at home will get, just keep telling yourself it won’t last forever. The virus outbreak will end one day, and you’ll be able to return to the working environment you remember.