Working from Home: Pandemic Edition
Written by: Amanda Levison, M.S., LMHC, LPC, CCBT
The pandemic has thrown many people into an unknown working situation with many new adjustments. Some lost their jobs or got laid off, and others were fortunate enough to begin working from home. Each of these come with problems or adjustments for everyone. Here are some ways it may be a breeze for one person but difficult for another.
Balancing the needs of work and home in one location and meeting the needs of children and family, as the kitchen table has now become the office.
An employee who strives in the office but becomes easily distracted at home.
The person who feels as soon as they leave their laptop, cellphone, tablet, or any electronic device they will be needed and in trouble for not being available at that moment.
As these are just some issues and concerns, many of these can be reasons employees become burnt out and overworked while working from home. Now, let’s focus on the benefits of an employer’s role in modeling a work/life balance for their employees:
At first, employers may appreciate the extra work and productivity, but quickly employees will become burnt out.
Which will lead to employees becoming moody, lacking sleep, a weakened immune system, becoming more easily distracted, and an increased lack of motivation
Promoting healthy boundaries forces employees to recognize when to start and stop working, especially when the kitchen table turns into dinner conversations.
In the end, working from home and overworking can negatively impact others in the house who are also working from home or who are home while you are working. While they may set a schedule, if you do not because you have no start and stop time, you will continue to put yourself first, want few distractions, and push away your family, which can impact how the family goes about the house and how they are treated by someone who feels burnt out. All of these factors can cause anxiety, depression, and a lack of motivation for your job.
How do you avoid overworking?
Setting a schedule for work with start and end times for that day.
Locate a place inside your home that is designated for your work only.
Setting a boundary with work by turning off notifications and emails and other work-related situations outside of your working hours.
Take a break! Step away from the laptop, tablet, cellphone, or any electronic device.
Get outside and engage in activities that promote mental clarity.
At the end of the day, those dinner conversations and times spent with your family are the memories that will impact you forever. So take time for yourself and be honest with your boss and coworkers. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance and creating a set schedule to maintain your mental health will set the foundation for other coworkers to realize they can nurture their mental health as well.