Jump to content

Working from Home: Gift or More Stress

Updated | Published

Specializes in Wellness and Coaching for Women in their Third Act. Has 54 years experience.

How is working from home going for you?

Transitioning from working “at work” to working at home can be a joy and a curse at the same time. Read on how you can make this transition go more smoothly.

Working from Home:  Gift or More Stress

Have you been relocated from your usual work space to your home turf and still have to do your job? How has that been working for you? I made the transition years ago and at the time it seemed great, but then I realized I missed all my work mates and was really lonely. Plus all the distractions at home affected my productivity. Yes, transitioning from working “at work” to working at home can be a joy and a curse at the same time.

So I decided to interview some professionals who are meeting that challenge every day to see how they are managing. Time to pull back the curtain and see what is really going on in their work lives.

From a Director of a Family and Children’s Center

Tips for Employees:

  • Keep a regular schedule
  • Stay connected with co-workers
  • Stay strong – use self-care strategies
  • Limit contact with others
  • Exercise
  • Go outside
  • Stay informed
  • Limit media consumption
  • Set boundaries for work schedules – it’s easy to work too much
  • Redirect from distractions – like doing laundry
  • Get creative – new ideas always Spring from challenges

Tips for Managers:

  • Be honest
  • Communicate how you manage your own mental health and stress levels
  • Practice and commit to healthy working norms
  • Normalize the challenges that come with working virtually
  • Be present and listen actively
  • Reassure employees – they are a value to your business
  • Be transparent in communication
  • Be flexible and accommodating
  • Be as generous as possible
  • Be human

From a Rural Programs Coordinator

She felt inefficient, unproductive and reactionary

Instituted a schedule:

  • Start, stops, break times
  • Even told family “Bye – I’m going to work now.”

Created a specific work space

  • Follows a dress code – still has casual Fridays
  • Limits how she interacts with her work space as to not work during personal times (even using a separate phone number)
  • Not overlapping personal tasks with work (ex: laundry during phone calls, etc)

From a Human Resource Professional


  • At home all the time (along with all of my colleagues)
  • No travel for foreseeable future
  • No interaction in-person
  • Major increase in screen time
  • Disruption of regularly scheduled plans/activities/engagement
  • Don’t feel the same pressure to have “immediate” answers
  • Some days have more urgency than others
  • The pace from the beginning has changed along with the response time
  • Letting go of our plans to start fresh with new needs
  • Giving space to mourn those losses

Things are still really hard.

  • Video meetings ARE really draining, and being on many calls in one day can be too much,
  • It’s difficult to plan for a world when you don’t know what it will look like in a couple of weeks
  • I miss going places and seeing people – it changes my productivity
  • Hearing about the loss and pain from downtowns and businesses is devastating
  • Reminding myself that we’re working during a pandemic and that our behaviors and emotions aren’t business as usual

I’ve given myself more flexibility:

  • Go on a walk when the sun comes out
  • Work a longer day and then take time the next day for myself

From a Leadership Trainer

The Basics:

  • Have a routine with a set schedule: start, stop, breaks, lunch
  • Get dressed for work even if it just means brushing your hair
  • Have a dedicated space for work
  • Have a “Do Not Disturb” rule and make people and animals follow it – hang a sign on your door
  • Get a backup Wi-Fi connection and beef up your home Wi-Fi – a new router, faster service from your provider and a hot spot can save you

Work during normal work hours

  • Honor work/life balance - avoid doing work into evening/weekend hours unless that’s normal for you
  • Create a task list for the day and check things off – distractions are many at home and this can help focus
  • Use a time-tracker to check in on yourself – Rescue Time, Toggle, Top Tracker all have free versions that can help keep track of how you spend your day.

Understand remote meeting technology – especially what it sees and hears

  • Computer microphones are far more sensitive than you realize and pick up home sounds that don’t seem loud to you
  • Just because you can’t see yourself on the screen doesn’t mean others can’t see you
  • If you share your screen they can also potentially see all of the tabs you have

Get out of the house.

  • Sounds simple but easy to forget to do
  • After working from home all day make sure you are presentable when you go somewhere else

From a Business Owner

  • Have compassion for yourself - you don’t have to be perfect
  • Combat loneliness
  • Find ways to be connected
  • Work in 1-2 hour bursts then take a break
  • Lock pets away to decrease distraction
  • Rank tasks
  • Complete 3 critical tasks each day
  • Take time for yourself
  • Honor good weather – when the sun is out get outside for a break
  • When you complete a task, celebrate with a break
  • Create rewards for yourself when you compete a task
  • Look for the positives in working from home
  • Play games with yourself and give yourself prizes
  • Schedule self care in your day first
  • Schedule virtual un-meetings as excuses to connect with no work
  • Coffee with friends
  • Play a game
  • Birthday Party
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Happy Hour

Hopefully you got some great insights and ideas from these women. I really appreciate their honesty about their work lives at home and how they are adapting to their new reality – for now. Stay tuned as every day seems to bring new challenges during these unusual times.

Please share how you are doing.

Inspiring Role Model for Women in their Third Act

94 Articles   205 Posts

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Register To Comment