Teleworking is an increasingly common practice, especially after the crisis experienced worldwide by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But working from home has a series of effects that not everyone experiences the same and that can have certain repercussions on several levels, including psychological. Therefore, in this article we are going to explore the positive and negative parts of teleworking, as well as various psychological tips for working from home in a way that is viable and does not generate burnout.
Teleworking strongly enters the labor market
New technologies are making it easier to telework, and this is a trend that many companies have been adopting in recent times . The coronavirus crisis experienced as a result of the coronavirus has only accelerated this process by leaps and bounds, as many companies have found themselves in the position of choosing between giving their employees the possibility of being able to work from their respective homes, or suspending the activity of the company until it is possible to return to the offices.
Faced with this dilemma, logically many companies have opted for the first option and have provided workers with the means to carry out their tasks from their own homes, a situation that in many cases has also been imposed by the need to take care of young children , as all educational centers are closed due to confinement in Spain and many other countries, so that a huge number of families have had to balance their parental and work obligations.
Many people have sought psychological advice to work from home, as a result of this situation, and it is that, in not a few cases, it has been a totally drastic change that has completely modified people's routines , and this has caused a series of effects on people at a psychological level. Some of them have been positive, while others have meant a change for the worse. The first case does not imply any problem, but in the second it is convenient to look for alternatives to improve.
The 5 best psychological tips for working from home
As we saw in the previous point, if teleworking has caused a disturbance to the person's life, the best thing to do is to benefit from this list of psychological advice for working from home. In them are the main keys to be able to carry out work activity at home without this causing a disturbance in our mood.
To maintain an ideal mental stability it is highly recommended to maintain a series of routines even if we are working from the comfort of our home . Just like when we had to go to the office or to the workplace of any kind, we must proceed with the same actions before starting the work day, and this includes cleaning routines, breakfast (assuming that work is in morning shift) and clothing.
This last point is important, since many people are tempted to take off their pajamas for their work activity, for mere comfort. On a psychological level, it is important that we change our clothes, not necessarily to put on a suit, a shirt or an elegant dress, but a different clothes from the one we use to sleep, even if it is a simple tracksuit, to make a difference at a psychological level between personal and professional life, even if they take place in the same place.
In some professions meetings are common, which in this case will be done through video calling platforms. Some workers choose to change their clothes only on the days that they have one of these meetings, but this is not enough to generate the routine we were talking about. Therefore, it is advisable to have an outfit for work hours , because even if other people are not going to see us, we are going to see ourselves, and that is the most important thing.
Another of the psychological tips for working from home has to do with the workspace. It is clear that the personal situation of each one limits the possibilities in this regard, as there will be people who have a room set up expressly as an office, with all the necessary elements to be able to carry out their work without problem, while others will live in small study and obviously they will have more complications when it comes to finding the right space.
Therefore, we must adapt to the options we have available , assuming their basic limitations. If we do not have a large space, we can always enable a small workspace with a chair and a table, always avoiding the temptation to work from the sofa and much less from the bed. The question of the chair is especially important, and it is preferable that it be a swivel chair, with wheels, although sometimes we will have to settle for a conventional one.
However, we must bear in mind that we are going to spend many hours sitting on it , over many days, so, whenever possible, it is worth making a small investment to obtain a desk chair, if not we have one, since using other seats will most likely end up leading to muscle aches, tension and therefore psychological effects such as bad mood, or even anxiety-depressive symptoms, due to prolonged discomfort over time.
Teleworking has some obvious advantages, such as the fact that it avoids any type of displacement, so in this new situation, the worker recovers a part of his time every day (in some cases we are even talking about hours) that before he lost only in the transport to their workplace and on the way home, in many cases crowded in public transport or enduring endless traffic jams in the private vehicle, with all the stress and mental negativity that this supposed on a psychological level.
By not having to leave the home, this dynamic is completely suspended, which is positive. But, in return, other issues arise that are important to take into account. Therefore, one of the psychological tips for working from home is to disconnect. And it is not uncommon that, taking advantage of the fact that the line between home and workplace is diluted, so do the schedules of private and work life.
Therefore, and to avoid possible psychological damage (stress or anxiety, among others), we must be decisive when establishing a clear work schedule and not overreach , so that, once the working day is over, and at just as if we were in the office and went home, the work-related activity has to end. If we enter the dynamic of extending the day or performing tasks at times that do not correspond, we will be setting a dangerous precedent.
If we do not generate a disconnection once we have concluded our working day, we will run the risk of diluting the border between the work part and the part of leisure and private life in general , having the constant feeling of not leaving the job, with the corresponding mental wear and tear that this is going to generate. Hence the importance of strictly complying with certain schedules, except for force majeure at some specific time.
One of the great dangers of teleworking is the huge number of distractions that we have at home . From the computer itself (assuming you do not have limited access to certain connections only for work activity), mobile phone applications, visits to the kitchen, etc. Of course, if there are other people at home, especially children, the situation becomes even more uncontrollable, so it will be important to set certain limits.
One of the psychological tips for working from home is to be disciplined when it comes to eliminating distractors, and for this we can use simple tricks . For example, if we cannot avoid looking at the phone every few minutes to check for new notifications, the best we can do is leave it in another room so we do not fall into the temptation. We can also establish specific times for breaks and for lunch, so that we do not waste time with continuous assaults on the coffee maker or the refrigerator.
5. Leave home
The last in this list of psychological tips for working from home is essential, and often forgotten. It is, neither more nor less, to leave the house at least for a while every day. And is that, when we unify the place where we live with the one we work, we run the risk of falling into extreme isolation that can take its toll on a psychological level.
That is why we must go outside, either when we finish the day or in one of the breaks we do, so that we can receive sunlight (essential to generate vitamin D), breathe fresh air, walk and also see and interact with others people. They are a series of essential elements to maintain a good physical and mental state, and we can obtain them simply by going outside.