The idea of working from home sounds wonderful at first. You avoid the nerve-racking rush hour traffic on the way to the office in the morning. You can organize your time freely, sleep a little longer if necessary and have breakfast with your family in peace. And you work in your own four walls.
What at first glance seems to offer numerous advantages has become an enormous challenge to many people, especially in recent months. After all, if you want to manage the balancing act between pajamas and pantsuits, work efficiently from home and still stay mentally fit, you've got your work cut out for you.
Regardless of the industry, position or tasks, working from home brings with it a blending of private and professional boundaries. Video conferences in the living room, childcare and homeschooling next to the desk etc. often lead to exhaustion, stress and depression. To help you get the maximum flexibility out of your home office, here are the 10 most important tips for improving your productivity and mental health while working from home.
Staying Mentally Healthy While Working From Home
Mental fit bleiben im Homeoffice - 10 Tipps im Überblick
- Consider Basic Needs
- Pajamas vs. Business Clothes
- Set Up Your Workspace
- Find Your Rhythm
- Develop Individual Routines
- Separate Private And Professional Life
- Take breaks
- Show Empathy
- Stay Connected
- Call It a Day
Staying Mentally Healthy While Working From Home
1. Consider Basic Needs
According to the U.S. psychologist Maslow, in order to be able to work creatively and remain mentally fit in the classic office environment or in one's own home, basic needs such as eating, sleeping and drinking must first be met.
What many do not consider: Only with fully charged batteries your body can perform at its best.Restful sleep, regular exercise and fresh air provide the basic framework for a successful workday at home. In addition, you should not forget healthy snacks, water or a relaxed lunch at your desk at home.
2. Pajamas vs. Business Clothes
Working at home may tempt you to make yourself comfortable. But watch out! If you continue to wear a feel-good sweater and wool socks after waking up, you may not get into the desired work rhythm mentally.
In addition, a particularly casual outfit does not leave a professional impression, especially at upcoming video conferences and team meetings. Therefore, find an outfit that bridges the gap between working from home and everyday office life.
3. Set Up Your Workspace
Those who work at home quickly find themselves caught between household and office tasks. It's not uncommon for an untidy living room, playing children or the long overdue washing up to distract from the actual work. To master working from home with flying colors despite these (visual) challenges, it's a good idea to choose a quiet place where you can work without distractions.
If you have enough space in your home, it's ideal to set up an office area. Here you can leave your office utensils where they are. And you don't have to run cables every morning or set up you desk daily.
Especially if your goal is to increase your productivity, it's important to increase your comfort first: an ergonomic chair prevents back problems and a good external lighting not only makes you look good in Zoom meetings, but also solves concentration problems at the same time.
The most common cause of headaches while working from home is poor lighting, so invest in a good and adequate external lighting,to minimize fatigue and especially to improve your well-being!
A simple solution is a LED ring light. With a cell phone holder and an extendable tripod, the ring light is the most mobile option in our range, ideal if you don't have a fixed workstation.
If you want to set up your own permanent workspace, we recommend the Elgato lighting. You can easily control the Elgato lighting via app and thus precisely adjust it for you according to your wishes.
Thanks to the special opal glass, the Elgato Key Light Air light provides even illumination and is a real eye-catcher as a modern desk lamp on your desk. If you prefer a more space-saving version, the Elgato Key Light Professional can be attached to the side of your desk with a bracket.
4. Find Your Rhythm
Are you an early bird or do you find it easier to work in the evening?
While working at home, it can be beneficial for your mental health if you pay attention to these things. As long as you are not bound to fixed office hours, Zoom meetings etc., you can flexibly arrange your workday as it suits you best.
In order to stay mentally fit and maintain your mental health while working from home, increased effectiveness and the feeling of having accomplished something are particularly helpful.
5. Develop Individual Routines
Even if you work from home, you should try to develop work routines. Set yourself clear goals, determine working hours and try to implement your new home office routine as consistently as possible.
If you receive an e-mail shortly before the end of your working day, or if the mountain of tasks to be completed is still astonishingly high, it can be helpful to clarify clear limits. Instead of working overtime at home, it's time to turn off the computer and switch from the home office to the living room for a well-deserved break.
6. Separate Private And Professional Life
What applies to the classic office routine should also be maintained in the office at home. Separate your private and professional life in order to stay mentally fit during the quarantine. So don't try to manage your office life and your household at the same time.
Try to take time for your professional as well as family tasks and activities. If you try to do justice to your partner and children during team meetings, Zoom etc., you will quickly become frustrated. Instead, clear dividing lines also help to increase your own quality of life while working from home.
7. Take Breaks
Breaks are important so that the head functions properly and the body does not start to ache. This is just as true in the office as it is in the office at home. So if your attention starts to wane at home or you notice your body getting tense, you should take a break.
It's important to remember that breaks should not be used to complete tasks at home. So you should neither do the dishes nor empty the dishwasher. Instead, enjoy a good cup of coffee, do yoga, or take a moment out in the garden to get some fresh air.
Extra tip: The color green is known for its stress-reducing effects. Schedule time for walks in nature or put some plants at your work desk. Especially in video conferences, sufficient breaks are necessary to reduce stress and the so-called "zoom fatigue".
Extra Tip: The color green is known for its stress-reducing effect. Schedule time for walks in nature or put a few plants at your work desk.
8. Show Empathy
Just as your working from home routine affects your mental health, your colleagues and team members may also struggle with trying to balance home and office life. So be considerate, respond to requests or special questions, and stay flexible.
9. Stay Connected
Under no circumstances should working from home lead to social isolation. Instead, you should definitely try to stay in regular contact with colleagues, team members and superiors. Video conferencing software like Zoom, Webex and Officery CONNECT are useful possibilities.
To be able to participate in video conferences without stress despite the chaos at home, virtual backgrounds are particularly useful. You protect your own privacy and at the same time you can give a neat and professional impression.
Make your virtual conferences more professional and use the various tools to make your communication with colleagues or potential employers as easy and effective as possible.
In addition to a regular and professional workday, you may even be able to take advantage of new career opportunities while working from home.
10. Call It a Day
What sounds simple is usually the biggest challenge when it comes to work from home. What do you do if the work at home continues to pile up even after the workday is over? If you want to stay mentally fit, you have to draw clear boundaries here.
This means that you should turn off the laptop even if the inbox is not yet completely empty. Keep to your working hours and enjoy the well-deserved end of the day.
If you follow these 10 tips, you can stay mentally fit even when working from home. Instead of burnout and depression, the home office then even offers the opportunity to increase your own quality of life and possibly take on professional challenges that would have been unthinkable in the classic office environment.