Ok, let’s get it out in the open…

There’s always been a stigma about working from home.

It’s been going on for as long as I can remember.

  • Worried that people at work might not think you’re working when you’re at home
  • Feeling the need to let your manager know you’re working by sending more emails and instant messages than you would if you were in the office
  • Colleagues commenting when someone was last seen ‘online’ when working from home

These are just some of the situations I’ve witnessed over the years.

This type of culture can leave you feeling on edge when you need to call in a work from home day.

It can also leave you frazzled as you pull in long days to make up for working from home.

But now in this global pandemic, this is the new norm, the way of working life.

The vast majority are working from home.

And the work from home guilt is still there.

Combined with homeschooling, intermittent internet and sharing your space with others in the house who are also working from home is creating another work from home guilt.

This week a survey of 2,000 workers carried out by LinkedIn and the Mental Health Foundation found that more than half said they felt more anxious since working from home, with a third having trouble sleeping.

People feel they should be online and available as much as possible to demonstrate they’re working.

LinkedIn also surveyed office workers and 86% commented they feel the need to prove to their managers they’re working hard and deserve to keep their jobs.

Does this sound all too familiar for you at the moment?

  • The first step is getting clear on why you’re feeling like this.  Is this linked to workloads, work pressures, expectations you’ve put on yourself to demonstrate you’re working hard or is it something else?

Calling it out and knowing why you’re feeling like this is the first step to help you deal with this.

  • How is this making you feel? If this is creating stress, anxiety, lack of sleep or it feels completely icky and against what you believe you should be doing.  This will help with how you move forward and stop feeling like this.

Work loads and pressures causing stress, anxiety and lack of sleep can be dealt with.  Talk to your manager and agree a way on how you can move forward with this.  Ideally think of solutions you can present to your manager for them to consider; flexible working hours during the week, support from a colleague or your manager with your work, wellbeing solutions or support you might need to help you.

If it’s your expectations or something else that’s leaving you feeling icky, it’s time to check in with your personal boundaries.  What feels right for you at the moment, what’s acceptable to you?   Create a working schedule each day that supports your boundaries and wellbeing.  Block this time out in your diary, so your colleagues are aware when you’re not working.

Get clear on the time you will finish work at the end of the day and stick to it.  Make a commitment to yourself and power down.  It can be too easy to ‘check-in’ on emails or messages later in the evening, but this will add to your burnout.

Decide the best way for you to switch off; go for a walk or run, head to the kitchen and prepare a healthy meal with your own dance party, read a book, watch an uplifting programme or journal on your day to help your brain unwind and relax.

Tomorrow is a new day; it’s super important especially in these times right now that you take care of YOU.

If you don’t take care of yourself, you’re not able to give your best.  And I’m kinda guessing that you giving your best is what you pride yourself on.

That passion is why you give your best each day.

It’s what makes you one of a kind my friend.