8 Workplace Stress Management Tips For Remote Employees

8 min read
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Mar 28, 2024
8 Workplace Stress Management Tips For Remote Employees
There are several benefits to working from home, including no commute, no dress requirement, no in-person monitoring, and the flexibility to choose where you work.
But there are certain notable and unusual difficulties that come with working remotely, and these can lead to a great deal of stress. Make use of practical advice to lower your stress levels related to work and prepare yourself for productive work from home.

At a Glance

While working from home has many advantages, it can also lead to stress. Work from home stress is frequently caused by a variety of factors, including inadequate boundaries, a lack of organization, diversions, and social isolation. There are techniques to assist you manage your stress if working from home is making you feel stressed. A few strategies that can be helpful include maintaining a regular schedule, reducing outside distractions, making time for friends, and taking regular breaks.

What Is Stressful About Working at Home?

According to research, working remotely can really lessen stress reactions in the body and mind. However, after the novelty of working from home wears off and obstacles become more evident, several people are shocked by the amount of stress they experience.(1)

These stressors can nonetheless have an impact even if they might not be as bad as long commutes or the sensation of always being alone.

Research indicates that people who work from home frequently express significant levels of stress.(2)
  • Compared to 25% of workers who exclusively worked on-site, 41% of employees who worked from home more frequently than on-site said they were extremely anxious.
  • Only 29% of office workers reported frequently waking up in the middle of the night, compared to 42% of people who work from home.
  • The lines between business and personal life may become more hazy for employees who work from home, particularly when using smart gadgets.
  • Those who work from home might find it more difficult to shut down and conclude their workday than those who work in an office environment.
For some people, using the many technology required to work from home can also be stressful. Stress might be increased by having to set up a new workstation at home and finding it difficult to unplug after work.(3)

Challenges That Add to Stress

There are certain unique difficulties that come with working from home. These are a few typical stressors that a lot of stay-at-home workers deal with.
Challenges That Add to Stress
Challenges That Add to Stress

Lack of Structure

You could experience a genuine lack of structure when working from home. You could find it difficult to start your day, conclude it formally, and schedule in breaks and lunchtime for yourself. Your work-life balance may be affected by this.

Too Many Distractions

You could run into interruptions and distractions during the course of the day when working from home. Among the possible diversions are:
  • Receiving deliveries
  • Getting non-work related calls and texts
  • Spending time on social media
  • Watching television
  • Caring for pets
  • Managing the sounds of the neighborhood (garbage trucks, gardeners, etc.)
You have creature comforts at home, which can be very alluring. In an office situation, for example, you have to accept the negative interactions you have with clients or management and carry on with your daily. You can truly take a break and go play video games till you feel better if you work from home.

Being a Parent and Working From Home

If you have children, working from home could potentially present difficulties for you. Depending on their age, you might have to deal with child care, scheduling your work and personal life around their school calendar, and other obligations.

Difficulty Setting Boundaries

You could find it difficult to create boundaries when working from home because some people don't realize that working from home still entails working.
During your working hours, you can be asked for assistance or to interact with family, friends, or neighbors. If you let them know that you're unavailable, you might even cause them some annoyance.

Social Isolation

Working from home might present a dual challenge for individuals seeking isolation. Working from home may lead to more social isolation, which may lower motivation at work, according to research.(4)
This suggests that having some social interaction during the workday can be advantageous, particularly in high-intensity work environments where productivity declines with increased isolation.(5)

Less Physical Exertion

You might discover that working from home prevents you from exercising as much as working in an office. Your general mental health and the quality of your sleep are both impacted by inactivity. You may not feel as exhausted at night if you don't exercise as much during the day. The next day, your work can suffer since you can't sleep well.

On May 19, 2022, Amy Morin, LCSW, hosted a virtual webinar for Verywell Mind regarding mental health in the workplace. In case you missed it, review this summary to discover how to cultivate encouraging work settings and practical methods to enhance your well-being while working.

Tips for Stress Management of Working at Home

Recognize that you are not alone if you are working from home and experiencing a lot of strain. Many tools are available to help manage the stress that comes with working from home. These are a few methods to help you feel less stressed all around.
Tips for Stress Management of Working at Home
Tips for Stress Management of Working at Home

1. Create a Routine

Establishing a pattern can help you better manage your time and concentrate on your work, regardless of whether you have your own schedule or must work during certain hours.
  • Establish a morning habit that signifies the start of your day: Taking a stroll before work, stretching for a short while, and/or starting your day with a cup of coffee or tea could all be part of your morning ritual.
  • Mark the end of your work day: This could include putting away and hiding your work materials, going for a stroll in the evening, or lighting a candle.
  • Set a morning alarm: You can have enough time to get ready for work if you wake up at the same time every day. Depending on how long it takes you to warm up in the morning, you may choose a different time to wake up.
  • Set a regular lunch time: Maintaining a regular lunchtime can provide you with a much-needed break and allow you to recharge before returning to work. To ensure you get the most out of your lunch break, make sure you unplug completely.
  • Take time to move around: This may be taking a little stroll around your house, going for a quick walk outside, or stretching when you have a moment.
  • Spend some time outside: Try to get outside and breathe in the fresh air whenever the weather permits. You may feel reenergized by this. While outside, you might also think about doing some breathing exercises.
  • Prioritize challenging tasks: If you are able to choose which assignments or projects to finish, think about starting with the trickiest ones to avoid feeling overburdened later in the day.
  • Make use of technology: Consider utilizing time management tools to give your time tracking and organization a little extra push.

When developing your work-from-home regimen, try different things and keep in mind that it could take a few weeks or months for you to get used to your new habit.

2. Create a Dedicated Workspace

Despite the allure of working from bed, make an effort to set off a specific area where you can concentrate just on your work. Even if you're only using a tiny portion of your house, setting up clear boundaries between business and home life might help you mentally transition from one to the other. It might also make it easier for you to finish your work "at the office" at the end of the day.

3. Reduce Distractions

Make sure you turn off all non-work-related computer notifications and silence your phone when you're ready to start working.
Depending on your specific situation, you might also think about utilizing noise-canceling headphones or calming music while working, if it's safe to do so.

4. Connect With Friends

It's critical to make an effort to stay in touch with the people in your life who support you if you feel alone when working from home.
Establish a regular time to call or video chat with each other because schedules vary, and make sure to note it on your calendar for future reference. To communicate with one another all week, you can also set up a group chat.

5. Reward Yourself

Divide things into smaller, more achievable steps and give yourself a reward when you finish them to maintain your motivation. Possible rewards are:
  • Taking a well-earned vacation
  • Saying to yourself a positive affirmation
  • Removing the item from your to-do list in person
  • Spending a little while checking in with pals
  • Spending a short while stretching or practicing relaxation

People will find different things satisfying, so try out a few different possibilities to see which ones suit you the best.

6. Get Comfortable Saying No

You can get a lot of requests that aren't work-related throughout your working hours. It can be quite tough for some people to say no to people and put your needs ahead of theirs. Recognize that if accepting someone else's request would prevent you from finishing your work, it is acceptable to decline.

Establishing healthy limits gives you the freedom to choose what to do with your leisure time and may help you avoid taking on too much.

7. Protect Your Sleep

Getting enough sleep at night has a direct impact on your general health and productivity when working from home. Using devices late at night might change your sleep habits and make it harder to fall asleep, despite the allure. Make sure you give adequate thought to relaxing at night and maintain healthy sleep habits.

8. Practice Self-Care

It's critical to put self-care first when working from home. By doing this, you might be able to maintain your sense of self and have a greater understanding of what you require from a work-life balance.
Consider your options carefully and decide how best to suit your needs and look after yourself. Self-care techniques can include:
  • Regularly exercising
  • Practicing meditation
  • Doing yoga
  • Reading during your downtime
  • Taking naps
  • Listening to music you enjoy
  • Spending time with friends

When to Seek Help

Long-term stress can have detrimental effects on your mental and physical well-being. It can worsen your cardiovascular health, raise your chance of illness, and increase your vulnerability to mental health problems.(6)
When to Seek Help
When to Seek Help
You should see a doctor or therapist if your stress is interfering with your ability to perform at work and in your personal life. The onset of symptoms such as insomnia, extreme exhaustion, depressive or anxious feelings, or a loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities could indicate the presence of a mental health disorder like depression or anxiety.

What This Means For You

Even though working from home might offer advantages like freedom, flexibility, and a free commute, there are unspoken pressures to be mindful of. Your general well-being and work-life balance will both improve if you concentrate on ways to reduce this stress. Establish boundaries, cut down on outside distractions, and adopt healthy routines to help you remain stress-free and productive.

FAQ: Working From Home Stress Management

Is working from home stressful?

Yes, working from home can be stressful, despite its advantages. While there's no commute and dress code, challenges like blurred boundaries, distractions, and social isolation can lead to stress.

What are the common stressors of working from home?

Here are some common stressors of working from home:
  • Lack of structure and routine
  • Distractions from family, pets, or technology
  • Difficulty setting boundaries between work and personal life
  • Social isolation and loneliness
  • Less physical exertion due to a sedentary work environment

How can I manage stress while working from home?

Here are some tips to manage stress while working from home:
  1. Create a routine: Establish a regular work schedule, set break times, and develop a morning and evening ritual to signal the start and end of your workday.
  2. Designate a workspace: Set up a dedicated workspace to separate your work and personal life.
  3. Minimize distractions: Silence your phone, turn off notifications, and consider using noise-canceling headphones while working.
  4. Stay connected: Schedule regular calls or video chats with friends and colleagues to combat social isolation.
  5. Reward yourself: Break down large tasks into smaller goals and reward yourself for completing them.
  6. Set boundaries: Learn to say no to non-work-related requests during work hours.
  7. Prioritize sleep: Maintain a healthy sleep schedule by avoiding screen time before bed.
  8. Practice self-care: Engage in activities you enjoy, like exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.

When should I seek help for stress?

If work-from-home stress interferes with your daily life, work performance, or mental health, consult a doctor or therapist. Signs of stress might include insomnia, exhaustion, anxiety, or depression.