Adjusting to the New Norm

As the country is working in the world of the unknown, awaiting updates each hour on the notorious coronavirus, we find ourselves surrounded by information overload. We’re not only adjusting to working from home, but also the new processes and technologies that come with it. In some cases, we’re playing multiple roles of being an employee, a parent and a teacher at the same time. There is no longer the traditional work schedule or daily schedule that keeps us sane, and the current working structures can take a toll on mental health and wellness during this ambiguous time.

You might be quickly realizing working from home can limit your productivity: your pets want to play, your kids want snacks and homework help, you and your spouse are navigating who works where and when—it’s anything but a traditional workday.

You’re working different hours at home, making it easier to jump on- and offline when you traditionally wouldn’t. Your work is creeping into your evening and weekends more frequently, creating additional stress or burnout. Individuals should keep this in mind and monitor their work habits, while employers should watch to ensure their employees aren’t sending emails at all hours.

Set a time you will stop working. And stick to it. It may be hard to do, but it’s worth it. Set a time that you want to be done working by each day. It may not always be possible to achieve, but it will help give balance to your personal life.

Find winddown activities. Figure out what gets you out of “work mode” and do that after it’s time to sign off. This will take your mind off work and refocus your time and energy to something else.

In general, working from home isn’t always easy to adjust to when you are used to an office setting. Here are a few additional quick tips that can help with the adjustment:

Take frequent breaks. It might be hard to focus at home, as you are thinking about other chores you need to get done. Take frequent breaks to keep yourself engaged. Put your laundry in the dryer, take a walk around the block, play with your pet or call a friend to say hi. Remember, when you’re at home, there are fewer places for you to walk to, so make sure you keep moving around and walk when you can!

Get dressed. It might seem nice to stay in your pajamas all day and work on the couch, but you’ll be much less productive. Getting dressed, even in comfortable clothes, will help keep you to somewhat of a routine.

Identify when you are the most productive. You might be a morning person or evening person—regardless, find the time when you work best and set it aside for your most important projects.

Overall, it’s going to be an adjustment; we’ll get through it but only with the each other’s support. Remember to be flexible while employees are adjusting their new schedule and offer support to your team when you can.

What other tools has your team been using to transition in this uncertain time?