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How to Avoid Work-from-Home Anxiety and Stress, Part Two

As we continue to work through this pandemic, we need to balance our professional and personal life. In Part Two, we continue to add tips and tricks to your toolbox for staying productive while you #WFH.

  • Communicate your needs with the family.
    Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re home. Make sure any roommates, siblings, parents, spouses, and dogs (well, maybe not dogs) respect your space during work hours. If anyone else is going to be at home when you’re working, they just have to be clear that when you’re in your ‘office’ (in my case, my signal to the family is having headphones on), you’re working — even if it looks like you’re hanging out at home.
  • Save calls and emails for a scheduled time.
    Turning off those dinging notifications can help you stay on task. Many people find that having scheduled times for email and phone calls helps them to ‘dive deep’ on larger projects. Remember: You’re working from home, not the moon. Interacting with other people during the day is allowed, even if they’re not your coworkers. In fact, it’s a good idea to see another face during the day when most of your work day is solitary. Find a human to interact with — it will help keep you sane.
  • Interact.
    Remember: You’re working from home, not the moon. Interacting with other people during the day is allowed, even if they’re not your coworkers. In fact, it’s a good idea to see another face during the day when most of your work day is solitary. Find a human to interact with — it will help keep you sane.
  • Plan out what you’ll be working on ahead of time.|
    Spending time figuring out what you’ll do today can take away from actually doing those things. And, you’ll have planned your task list so recently that you can be tempted to change your schedule on the fly, adding unnecessary stress. It’s important to let your schedule change if you need it to, but it’s equally as important to commit to a work plan. Try solidifying your schedule the week or at least the day before, making you mentally prepared to do it.
  • Connect with the home base.
    Working from home can be isolating. Instant messaging and videoconferencing tools can make it easy to check in with coworkers and remind you how your work is contributing to the big picture. Checking in allows you to commit, change course or share challenges, and get help from your colleagues. Find the best apps and tools to keep you and your team connected.
  • Take breaks.
    It can be easy to get distracted when you work from home. Don’t let that prevent you from taking five (or 15) minutes to relax. Rather than just opening Facebook, however, use your breaks to get away from your desk. Go for a walk outside or spend time with others who might also be in the house. Breaks, like making and eating lunch, can recharge you to do better work and can provide much-needed anxiety relief. Don’t assume you need to be working 100% of the time while you’re home to be more productive.
  • End your workday – every day.
    Act as though your work-life balance is a battleground (it is!). You should carefully guard both worlds. Working from home can be productive but you can also get so caught up in your activity that you lose complete track of time. Set a time at the end of the day to end your workday. Put away your work files and shut down your computer.

We hope these tips and tricks have been helpful and if you would like to read more on these strategies check out this document.

Written by UF/IFAS Extension Agents; Alicia Betancourt, Linda Seals, Ramona Madhosingh-Hector and Carol Roberts