The new normal is upon us, commuting to the workplace appears to be a thing of the past. The sudden transition to remote work amid the Covid 19 pandemic has caught many by surprise and has left employers concerned about maintaining the same workplace efficiency.
In an attempt to convince their employers of their burgeoning work ethic, workers may find themselves putting in overtime and stretching themselves by taking on more responsibilities.
This represents another huge risk which is the increased tendency for their staff to develop burnout, the lines between work and home have been blurred and the temptation to overwork is there. Overworked staff may not seem like a major threat but it should definitely be treated as one. When people are overworked, their productivity and even mental health inevitably suffers. It is not only detrimental to the individual but also the organization
"Home" and "Workplace" have now become synonymous with one another. We previously associated our homes with relaxation and a haven away from the stressors of work, so what do we do now that they are one and the same?
Given that you are technically "always in the office", you must be clear to make distinctions between your office space and the rest of your home. It will allow you to not only have a productive work station but also a designated area that you can vacate once you are done for the day. Psychologically, it is crucial to do this which will help you unwind from a day's work.
This also extends to setting boundaries with your colleagues. Some colleagues may feel that the proverbial "working hours" have dissipated and that we should be in "work mode" even after standard working hours. They may reach out to you at hours that they would usually not do. Engaging in such prolonged hours is a quick way to reach burnout, especially if your mind is not used to it.
Hence, it is incumbent on you to form such boundaries to protect YOURSELF from reaching burnout. You MUST know when to call it a day even though the lines may be blurred now that you are working from home.
With WFH in full effect, most of us are free from the shackles of micromanagement that we would otherwise be accustomed to in the office. However, this means that we can given much of autonomy than usual, which can be both a pro and con. It means that we are managers of our time and with that comes the risk of being overwhelmed by the various tasks that await us.
Normally, we may be told what we need to focus on immediately but with the new normal upon us, we have been given the reins and if not managed carefully is certain to be our downfall. We may be distracted by the allure of focusing on multiple things at once but this is not a good strategy to have, when attention gets diluted, quality diminishes.
Instead, ONLY focus on the most pressing matter at hand, give it your utmost attention for as long as is needed to get the job done. It is imperative to allocate a realistic timeframe so that you can have a rough idea on not only your completion of this project but also when you can get started on the next task.