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Working from home

Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic presents new challenges that can be difficult to nagivate.

But there are ways of managing these challenges and making the experience less stressful.

There are many pros of working from home. Being able to set your own work schedule is the biggest one, says Professor Renata Schoeman, a psychiatrist in private practice and Head: MBA in Healthcare Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

 Schoeman says two Stanford studies found a 13 to 21 percent improvement in performance from people working at home.

It also found that people tend to put in a full shift, or more, while officebound people are often late or leave early multiple times a week.

“Working from home definitely frees up extra time.

You don’t spend time commuting and the time you save can be spent more constructively.

If you use the time saved cleverly – for instance to exercise or spend time with family, there will be ample benefits.”

 But with the pros, come cons.

 Schoeman says the two biggest workplace stresses are commuting and technology.

“If a person battles with technology, the gain made by not having to commute might be cancelled out by the added stress of grappling with new technology.”

 The SEEDS model To manage stress, it’s important to set boundaries

and manage your time properly. “Sow the SEEDS of self-care,” says Schoeman.

In the SEEDS model, each letter of the word Another cornerstone to good health is spirituality, says Schoeman.

“It could be religious, mindfulness or meditative – people who see the bigger purpose or meaning in life tend to have a greater level of well-being.”

Apart from self-care, you can manage the stresses of working from home and juggling many balls by changing your mindset about time.

 “When you are at work, you tend to clock watch but when at home,

time becomes fluid, which means there is no set beginning or end.

There will always be more work – at home and at the office – so never say you will work until you are finished because you will drown.

Rather, set outcomesdriven goals.

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