Home has just had another definition. It is where the heart is as a lot of us have known over the years. And as telecommuting (or working from home) has become quite popular, home has also been defined to be one’s main office – where the projects you want are done in your own time, allowing yourself the chance to do things at will and then some.
But after some time you find yourself feeling a bit dissatisfied and lonesome. Why? In spite of the benefits you get from working at the very comfort of your home, there are quite a few things that could still make feel burnt out, depressed, frustrated, and less driven.
Reports had it that behavioural science experts have explored and talked about this matter. According to reports, these down feelings are often associated in working remotely as well – even though we mostly thought that there’s really no pressure with freelancing.
But how do we stay in-tune with positivity while driving towards productivity and efficiency in working at home?
Let’s have a look at some of the recommendations.
Working Too Hard Can Bring You Down
What has attracted a lot of us to working at home is the potential to balance our careers and our personal lives at the same time. However, despite the idea that we are in charge of our own work schedule, we still tend to do more work even during breaks as our personal and work space seem to be very hard to tell apart.
Even during our “free hours” we seem to think that we can quickly reply to emails and have a look at a file or two without noticing that it’s taking up too much time. We tend to do a chain of work-related stuff thinking that it’s not too much then realise that we really have not taken a break after all because of it.
Being caught up with the less-time-critical work stuff during break can lead to stress, and it is quite true that it’s hard to separate the work hours from the breaks especially when we’re comfortable. We often will ourselves to work on a schedule and take a break but it often does not take place. It is important that we stick to whatever schedule we planned to reduce the stress of overworking.
What we can do is to examine our time table a bit to find out at which hours we have been doing too much work. It also takes discipline to follow a reshuffled work-break schedule. We need a constant reminder that it is all right to reduce work at a given time to have a break for an hour or two, do non-work related stuff, and offset them later.
Being Away and Isolated From The Real World
Working at home means we don’t get caught up with the distraction we see in a conventional workplace. There are no people milling about, trying to snatch you away from an important task or report. Then again, it might also lead us to going astray from the social connections that come naturally with colleagues. The isolation from the “real world” can give us that depressed feeling unless the virtual team we work with allows us to virtually mingle and socialise with each other once in a while.
If all we do with our remote team/organisation is meet and discuss work-related stuff, these meeting can add up to what causes the down feeling. There has to be a balance between setting an online meeting to talk about work and occasionally have some “ice-breaker” conversations.
Non-work related banter with the team should be initiated and encouraged, especially by its manager. This allows everyone to get to know more of each other and pave the way for a more harmonious collaboration – not to mention learning a thing or two about the other person’s country, culture, and then some, particularly if the people involved come from various countries across the globe.
Getting To The Bottom Of Feeling Dissatisfied
Even if we tell people how much we love what we are doing, we still tend to get that feeling that there are things not going very well in our favour at the end of the day. This could be the result of the fact that there’s nothing else to see but our own work. There’s nothing else to compare our work to as we are “alone”, whilst if we were in an office environment, we can gauge the quality of the tasks we completed by having a look at our colleague’s or even just discussing it with them. We feel the lack of accomplishment even if we know we did right.
This throws off our sense of fairness, leading us to become quite uncomfortable about the quality of work we have accomplished, as we have no idea what the rest of the team did compared to ours.
What we can do to address this is to just let it go.
Evaluating the quality of our work depends on our boss/client/project manager and our teammates have little to do with how excellent or poor we may have done, unless it greatly affects the output their supposed to deliver. We need to stop worrying about it as it can tend to be a little too trivial to even be concerned about.
On the other hand, remote team managers and the clients can directly play a role in encouraging our “satisfaction” over the work we did. While some managers will just confirm receipt of the output we delivered and not say anything about its quality, it is strongly encouraged that we receive feedback, too: the strong points of the completed project; its areas for improvement; and what we could do to make it better. It goes the same with the rest of the virtual team. When our task is directly related to what a teammate did, it will be great if we send them a quick email of how great they did and how much it will help the completion of our part of the job – and vice versa. Complimenting each other’s work makes us feel a part of a team, and it makes us work together with no hassle at all.
Giving Ourselves A Break
We all know this by know – taking a quick break after having done some work is important. The technique depends on us. If we want to take a two-minute stretch, or walk, just getting off our desk every half hour of work done, it should do the trick. Quick bits or power naps can also help us refresh our senses, leading us to focus more on what needs to be completed. They also, scientifically speaking, help our brain neurons to consolidate the bits we have learnt.
Getting distracted for a bit is just as important as concentrating. It gives us the chance to let go for a short while and allow other thoughts to come in, making our mental activity more geared up for increased learning and productivity.
In a nutshell, while we all think that working from home gives us more benefits compared to being surrounded by colleagues in the office, we don’t really talk about how much stress we experience while at it. But surely, there are ways that we can deal with them and make ourselves more productive and feel utterly satisfied in the long run.
If you ever felt the “downs” while working at home and found a way to make it better, feel free to share them in the comments section.