There are some simple things we can do to feel our best while the pandemic restrictions continue.
The onset of the pandemic last year caused the abrupt and forced entry of telecommuting into our lives. Since then, this way of working has grown quickly around the world.
This situation is a step forward for telecommuting as a trend. We have proof that it’s possible to do, and has certain clear advantages.
Telecommuters increase their quality of life in many ways. They spend more time at home, can work from anywhere, have a higher level of concentration and productivity, and have greater time flexibility.
In addition, telecommuters save money, since they don’t need to travel to their workplaces. Another benefit is that pollution is reduced, since they are using less transportation.
Yet in some ways, telecommuting could also be a step backwards. Many of us haven’t freely chosen this style of work, which can cause feelings of isolation. This leads to a level of stress and anxiety that can cause depression and give us an aversion to telecommute.
Indeed, not all people have an “ideal” telecommuter profile. Eva Cifre, professor of psychology at the Universitat Jaume I of Castelló, describes the ideal telecommuter as disciplined, efficient, good at planning, consistent, able to adapt to circumstances, and able to work with little social contact. It also helps to excel at self-motivation and easily make decisions and solve problems. That definitely does not describe everyone!
Moreover, this type of work does not take into account our need for real live social interaction. It can isolate us in a sort of bubble, due to staying at home and spending too much time on devices where everything happens through a screen, not in person.
In addition, telecommuting can lead to a decrease in emotional bonding with our company and colleagues, due to prolonged isolation. The lack of face-to-face interaction and support from other people causes physical, intellectual and psychological fatigue. The human condition itself requires a certain physical proximity between people who work together.
Another disadvantage is the boredom and monotony isolation can bring. We might experience an alteration of the perception of time, as there’s no separation between work and leisure hours. We might find ourselves neglecting our personal appearance and not bothering to exercise. This combination can lead to depression if we don’t manage it well.
Each one of us is different, so the exact things will vary that we should do to help ourselves stay physically, psychologically and emotionally health. A great deal also depends on whether we live alone or with family or roommates. The important thing is to be aware of the need to take care of ourselves (and each other) under these unusual circumstances, especially since we don’t know how long they will last.
Fortunately, there are some things all of us can do to help the situation. Here are some tips to help you keep an even keel while working from home.
12 Tips for working at home successfully