For those who can do it, working from home presents a romanticized view of the average workday. People generally (though not always) will say that they would prefer to work from home, as opposed to commuting to an office and going through the typical daily grind.
While working from home can work out well for some people, it can often be every bit as stressful as an office job, though for different reasons.
Focusing on your work and meeting deadlines at home can be tough. People don’t typically associate their home with their work. Rather, their home is a place to relax, unwind and engage in non-work related tasks.
As a result, getting in “work mode” at home can often be pretty difficult. Add the distraction of kids and the typical menial tasks that come up at home, and you’ve got yourself a fairly stressful work day, even if it’s in the comfort of your own home.
So, while working from home might not be for everyone, there are definitely some advantages to it, and if we value those perks, we should put some effort into reducing the work-from-home stress that can often creep up.
Here are a few ways to reduce stress during your home-based workday.
1. Get up earlier. Because you are working from home, your schedule is probably a little more than a formality. A job that is flexible enough to allow you to work from home is probably going to be more inclined to measure your progress by your production and not simply your hours.
If you have that flexibility, take advantage of it by getting up earlier and starting work.
Mornings are typically quieter, and if everyone else in the house is still asleep, you can have an hour or two of complete peace and quiet to get things done without risk of interruption.
2. Normalize an office space. Even if you don’t have a designated “office,” you should make an effort to set a spot aside that you can view as your workspace.
This spot should be in a place that is as quiet and office-like as possible, and it should be the spot where you work every day. Moving from one place to another within your home can make it tough to feel like you’re at work, and can cause you to become distracted and unmotivated.
Having a spot that you know is only for work will counteract that thought process and make it easier for you to get things done.
3. Try to make things quieter. If you have kids and pets, getting a moment of peace can be difficult, but do your best to keep things as quiet as you can during the time you’re working. Even though you’re working from home, it still doesn’t mean that your employer is fine with you being constantly distracted by things that aren’t related to work.
If you have to close the door, put the pets in a designated room and consider hiring a sitter for your kids; make the effort to quiet things down while you’re working. You might also want to think about investing in a pair of sound-reducing headphones.
4. Clear the air. You can use incense, candles, or a vaporizer as aromatherapy in your home office. In an office with other people that might not be an option, but at home you can utilize aromatherapy to relax without running the risk of giving someone else a migraine.
Aromatherapy can help you to relax and even focus more on what you’re doing, while just making your workday more pleasant overall.
Setting Up a Work Environment
The overall goal should then be to setup a viable and practical work environment, where you can feel like it’s possible to be productive and put in a full work day. It might take some time and tweaking, but it can be done, and the rewards of working at home are definitely worth the effort.
Marcela De Vivo is a marketing professional from Southern California whose writing specializes in business organization, social media and technology. As a home business owner, she is able to stay productive throughout the day by incorporating these tips while in the office.
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