Retaining Zen in a new work order

    LifestyleWellnessRetaining Zen in a new work order

    The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we work. Remote work became a norm with the onslaught of the pandemic. Now, the remote work setup is here to stay, with millions of office workers favoring the setup. 

    This shift to new types of work setups presents new challenges both for companies adopting and workers who adopted. For companies, the transition to the new normal is accompanied by logistical issues. Maintaining cybersecurity for crucial data means providing employees with vetted and secured devices to prevent any leaks. Other companies have faced “quiet quitting” or the phenomenon where employees lose productivity by doing only the bare minimum. 

    For employees, working from home or remotely comes with its own set of unique challenges. First is the technological challenge of having the appropriate devices. Many did not have a device suitable for remote work and their internet connection could not keep up with the fast-paced demands of the modern workforce. Communication also presented difficulties as there is a massive difference between personal face-to-face communication and online messages. There could be more misunderstandings when working remotely versus onsite. 

    A new issue plaguing remote workers is the loss of balance, particularly the loss of work-life balance.

    Maintaining your Zen in an ever-changing workspace

    With the continued adoption of remote working options, remote workers are struggling to find a balance between work mode and home mode. One of the primary reasons for the loss of balance is the unclear boundary between working and rest, which could mean longer or shorter periods devoted to work, or vice-versa. There’s also a sense of loneliness and isolation because of a lack of physical contact and a monotonous routine. 

    Here are some ways to regain or maintain one’s Zen in the new normal:

    Stick to a strict schedule

    Sticking to a strict schedule helps in maintaining the balance between work and leisure. This allows you to set a boundary not only for others but also for yourself. Adhering to a strict schedule also helps in building a daily routine. It helps keep your mind set on which tasks to do or when to cut off thinking about work. 

    Setting a schedule also helps in maintaining a boundary between you and others. Don’t be afraid to remind people of your work hours and tasks, and avoid “Work From Home Guilt.”

    This phenomenon makes you feel guilty (hence the name) for not working enough, or you feel like you’re not as productive as those working onsite. Reminding yourself of your tasks and what you’ve accomplished is a start in overcoming the guilt. It’s a tough road mentally, but once you get used to the routine it becomes a bit easier.  

    Of course, scheduling also helps in doing household chores. Providing a strict schedule for chores also helps in maintaining your household. Laundry may pile up or dishwashing is pushed back later, but setting a specific time devoted to household chores can actually break the monotony of your work day. 

    Finally, don’t forget to also add a strict schedule for cooking and eating. Working remotely offers the unique boon (or bane) of having home-cooked meals. This means you have the opportunity to make your food, avoiding the additional costs of eating out. While you can still order out, what’s important is that you remember to eat. Often, we’re so invested in our work that we forget to eat.  

    Follow your work routine

    To completely separate work time from leisure time, one of the most effective solutions is to treat working (albeit at home) as a regular work day. This means trying to replicate your daily work routine (minus the commute) during your work hours. 

    Dressing up in regular work clothes also help keep you in the right mindset, and help you get on track as fast as possible. The same goes for relaxation mode, getting out of work clothes and into comfortable pajamas can stimulate the brain to cut off work thoughts and shift into rest mode. 

    Try to work in a designated area as much as possible

    Finally, working in a specific designated area of your home will help prevent work-from-home relaxation. Working from home offers a lot of possible distractions as compared to working onsite. Finding your working niche at home can limit the unnecessary distractions affecting your productivity. 

    Finding a specific working spot also tunes your mind. It sets a mental boundary where the area is for only for work and the rest of the house is for other things. Setting spaces apart helps set a routine faster and regain a sense of control of both work and life matters. 

    If you can do it, also try working outside your home from time to time. One of the biggest drawbacks of working at home is the monotony. Unlike working onsite, being stuck at home means you’re stuck looking at the same sights day by day. This can lead to feeling isolated and lonely, which adds unnecessary stress. Changing your pace every so often helps in bringing back some uniqueness in a routine. A good way to do this is by setting face-to-face meetings, giving you the perfect excuse to work outside yet remain productive. 

    Finally, the most important way to regain your Zen is to step back and take a deep breath. If everything feels overwhelming or you feel that you’re not being productive, take a step back and breathe. If that’s not enough, a quick vacation could be a good way to get back to the right mindset. 

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