Coping with the overwhelming stress caused by the work from home model for employees as well as business leaders

According to a YourDOST study, 58% of Indian working professionals report a significant rise in their stress levels during the pandemic due to a loss of work-life balance.

“Man, the traffic was so bad today, I was stuck for almost an hour!”

Missing such conversations?

Well, fortunately for us, Work from Home has entirely eliminated our daily commute to and from the office. But is that really a good thing? Well, maybe not. Surprisingly, the time that people are saving on commuting is going into doing more work instead. Again, how’s that a bad thing? Well, it’s bad if it’s contributing to elevated stress levels and a decline in mental health of employees, isn’t it? That’s exactly what’s happening. In fact, according to a YourDOST study, 58% of Indian working professionals report a significant rise in their stress levels during the pandemic due to a loss of work-life balance.

This does not bode well for us, especially since it looks like Work from Home is here to stay. How then, would we go about making it a pleasant, stress-free experience?

The answer lies in building boundaries between work and home.

Research shows that employees who engage in setting boundaries between work and home experience several positive effects, such as greater self-control and reduced work-family conflicts during the day. And the best way to establish such boundaries is by mimicking your office routine.

A simple technique to start with is faking your daily commute.

This entails waking up a few minutes early and venturing outdoors for a short walk. Not only do we reap the benefits of exercise, but it also gives us plenty of time to think about our workday. Experts suggest repeating the same exercise at the end of the workday as well.

But the balancing act does not stop there. A study conducted by The Wall Street Journal found that dressing up in the morning exactly the way you would for office can trick your brain into thinking that you actually are headed out for work. And this can give an incredible boost to your performance.

Another simple trick to establish boundaries is to use a ‘transition song’ in the mornings and in the evenings. Simply allow yourself the length of a song to get into the work-mood. Repeat the same routine in the evening as you wind down from work as well.

And last but not least, drink some coffee with your colleagues! We are talking about taking virtual coffee breaks of course. You might be surprised to find that such breaks can actually lift your mood, help you unwind, as well as increase productivity!

Speaking of breaks, however, you also need to keep in mind not to indulge in long and leisurely lunch breaks. Taking breaks is good, but not if it extends your workday by hours in the evening. The rule here is, if you are not doing it at the office, then don’t do it at home either! Prepare your lunch in the morning itself, as you would for a normal workday, and take half an hour off during your workday to enjoy your pre-prepared lunch!

While there are plenty of ways in which you can bring a work-life balance back into your daily lives, these are some simple and hassle-free habits that can be easily incorporated into your routines. What do you think? Would you try them yourself?

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