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Reducing Stress in the New Workplace

by
Linda Larkin
|
Apr 30, 2020

Working from home can have its benefits — less work environment stress, more flexibility, less commute aggravation, increased productivity, improved mood levels. But there can also be additional stress and distractions like: 

  • Active in the background roommates, partners, spouses, and children at home  
  • Not having a quiet separate office, workspace or room
  • Household noise from appliances and other conversations resulting in lack of focus
  • The desire to complete personal tasks and to post to social media
  • Personal technology like cell phones ringing while you are trying to work

These tips can assist in mitigating some of the additional stress that you might be experiencing in your "new" workplace:  

  • Create a Schedule – Set a schedule to help create structure throughout your day. Get creative with it — use colored paper, markers, stickers, etc. — and post it in a communal area so that everyone in your house can see what your day looks like.
  • Daily Routine – Create a powerful daily routine. Wake up, make your morning drink, get dressed, workout if possible, and then follow your work schedule until the workday ends.   
  • Quiet Workspace – If possible, dedicate a quiet space in your home solely to work. If you're having to work in a communal area, make sure you're clearly communicating to your roommates and/or family members that you need quiet time for specific parts of your workday.
  • Connect and Communicate – Connect with your manager and colleagues routinely throughout the day to lessen the feeling of being isolated.
  • Healthy Boundaries – Set healthy rules and boundaries with workmates, roommates, partners and family members of what you can and can’t do in order to focus on work.  
  • Mindful Single-Tasking – To ensure productivity, work to focus on a single task instead of multi-tasking. There is pressure to multi-task, however, our brains work better with focusing on a single task at a time. If you're spending more time on your phone than you would in the office, put it in a drawer where you won't be able to see it.
  • Be Gentle Be gentle about your discipline and focus during this time it is not as easy to maintain your focus and productivity. Keep clear work hours and, if needed, cut yourself some slack and then get back to work. 
  • Take Breaks – Ensure that you take breaks and a dedicated lunch hour during the day. You end up being more productive when you take time away from your work.  
  • Get to Nature | Exercise – If it is safe and allowed in your neighborhood, take a walk during your lunch break (make sure to maintain physical distance). Watch for the magic of nature!
  • Watch Your Thoughts – Be mindful of your thoughts and work to refocus negative ones. Not all thoughts are true, so become aware of your thoughts and make sure you question them.  
  • Be Positive You may need to decrease watching negative news and focus on the positive events, stories to hold optimism. Remember that while we have been watching a virus spread, other beautiful events and acts of loving kindness are happening throughout the world.  
  • Go to Music and Art Connect through your creative outlets whether they are cooking, gardening, art or music. Connect here to the Colorado Symphony's Digital Ode to Joy
  • Increase Self-Care – You may need more self-care at this time, more time alone, yoga, hot showers, calming music, or funny movies to reduce stress and anxiety. 
  • Rest if Sick - If you are sick, take your PTO or sick time, as it is better to rest when you are not feeling well than push yourself too hard.
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