When Working Remotely and Social Distancing Get Old
To everyone who has always said that they’d love to work from home – your wish has been granted. As we head into our second month of quarantine, some employees might be loving it, while others struggle with their new work-from-home lifestyle and social distancing.
If you’re among the latter, you’re not alone. Studies show that 82 percent of remote workers burnout. While some once dreamt of more freedom, sleeping in and no commute, many people simply aren’t designed for living in restricted circumstances, social isolation and extreme routine. In fact, we all have certain needs for control and social connection, and when those needs aren’t met, we get stressed, disengaged and anxious. But don’t worry, once you recognize which needs aren’t being met, the fix is easy.
With a few tweaks to your environment, habits and mindset, you can erase the burnout and replace it with a renewed passion for work and life. In fact, thriving during this time of social distancing is easier than you’d think. Try out one or all of the following four strategies and you’ll be feeling energized and inspired in no time.
Switch It Up!
Routines are a double-edged sword. Our brains love routines because it makes things easy, while our body dislikes routines because it decreases our energy. If you’re feeling dull, uninspired or even a little depressed, change up your environment. Our environment plays a major role in how we feel, and in turn affects how we work. If you need to reignite your brain, try doing one of these tasks:
- Rearrange your space
- Paint or find another creative outlet
- Turn on some tunes
- Work outside
One of the reasons why remote working has taken such a toll on us is because we are all just sitting around and WAITING – to return to work, for our kids to go back to school, for life as we know it to go back to normal. However, there is a bright side to this crisis: the possibility of new opportunities.
It’s time to stop waiting and start planning for what you want in the near future. Those who seek to leverage these new opportunities will find this time of being “safe at home” passes quickly and creates a more positive outlook on what’s comes.
Break Up Your Day for Personal Rejuvenation
One of the best perks about the remote work experience is the ability to take better and more meaningful breaks. At home, we have more flexibility and variety at hand. The important thing is to get out of your chair and take advantage of it!
Think about what you do to center yourself when you’re tired or stressed. Maybe you read, meditate, do yoga or go for a walk. Whatever it is, allot some time for activities like these that take your mind off work and help enable you to come back to a project in a calm and refreshed state. Once you return to work, you’ll feel renewed and ready to tackle what’s on your plate.
Be Proud of the Resilience You’re Building
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. And, it’s completely true.
This is an unprecedented time, and everything you do today is building strength: strength of character, mental grit and emotional resilience. As you move beyond enduring and begin THRIVING through the storm, you’ll become a better, more capable version of yourself than you ever thought possible.
And, like a rubber band, once we are back in our boardrooms and office spaces, we will retain the strength we built during this time. Let this knowledge inspire and motivate you to take full advantage of everything this quarantine provides.
You’re Doing the Right Thing
It’s important for us all to do our part and partake in social distancing. Perhaps you aren’t at risk, but people around you are. So, do the right thing and stay home if you can.
No one knows exactly how long it will take to control and slow down the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’re probably still at least several weeks away from any changes to our “safe at home” status. Instead of letting this projection overwhelm and depress you, think about the points above and focus on the possibilities of what you can achieve, as you continue working remotely – then get moving!
Rearrange things, reach for the stars, get out of your chair and reflect on the great person you are. With vibrant and optimistic energy, you’ll be an inspiration to your family, co-workers and friends long after social distancing is over. While you might be working from home, always remember that you are not alone. We are all in this together (time for a High School Musical dance break)!
This guest post was authored by Kimberly Gerber
Kimberly Gerber has empowered thousands of leaders at brands such as Verizon Wireless, Starbucks Coffee, ACCO Brands, Revance, Allergan, Whirlpool, USC, Lexus, Blizzard Entertainment, COOP, Wescom Credit Union, So Cal Edison, UCLA and more. As a communications, leadership and branding expert, Kimberly’s innovative approach to executive strategy has successfully led multiple Fortune 500 leaders and their companies to achieve transformational results with highly specialized guidance to help them succeed.