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Work From Home – and Enjoy It, Too

Over the past few years many of us have gotten tired of the refuge of our homes, a place we once looked forward to going back to after a long day. With a large majority of working Canadians continuing to work from home, feelings of exhaustion are no longer quelled by the comfort of our homes, as our homes have become our new workplaces. For a lot of people, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to unwind and relax after their workday, causing perpetual feelings of tiredness and burnout. So, with working from home becoming the new normal, how can we combat all these negative effects?

We can start with how we are working from home and make a few simple changes to create an atmosphere where work and homelife remain separate. Dedicate a space free from distractions, in a quiet area of the house (or invest in earplugs / listen to ambient music through noise-cancelling headphones if you’re unable to find a quite space). Try to work in an area of the house that is not commonly used, or an area set up like a workspace – such as a home office or dining table. When designing your workspace, be mindful of how you organize things and choose furniture that will make working easier. For example, opt for a Sit-Stand Desk versus a regular desk, and work in intervals of sitting and standing, or if you prefer to sit go for an ergonomic option in order to properly support your back and encourage good posture. Even small changes, like keeping the underneath of your desk neat and tidy by using Cable Clips and/or a CPU holder can make your space less cluttered and allow yourself to focus on more important things. By doing this you are setting up spaces that are separate from the “home” or relaxing areas within your house, creating boundaries that make it easier to switch from a work environment and mindset to a more relaxed mindset. While you are working try to refrain from entering your ”home” spaces. If you feel the need to take a break, opt to stretch your legs and go for a quick walk around the block, or grab a snack and bring it back to your workspace. The idea is to only allow yourself to conduct tasks you would be able to do within an office environment, to foster an environment in which is it easy to work.

Once the workday is done, remove yourself from the “work” environment and return to the “home” environment. Because your work and home environments have been separated in every way, you will be able to still feel the switch from work-mode to relax-mode. Another thing you could try is to ‘reset’ yourself after work somehow – have a ritual to indicate that the workday is complete and home time has begun. This could range from taking a shower/bath, getting some fresh air by going for a bike ride, or getting a quick workout in. You could also engage in a fun and creative activity to unwind, such as creating a sculpture from modeling clay or coloring a page of a coloring book. The key is consistency – once you have a ritual or two in place make sure to complete them every workday, and soon you will begin to feel the benefits.

We understand that many people do not have the luxury of creating a separate space to work in, but by engaging in after work rituals the transition between working and relaxing becomes much easier over time. It can be frustrating to feel like you no longer have a place free of work distractions, but by following the suggestions outlined above you can keep the two separate and still enjoy the comfort of your home.

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