Working from home undoubtedly has its perks. Comfy clothes, being in the house with your children or pets, no commute time or traffic to wait in — there are many things to love and enjoy when your office is nestled inside your home.
Too much of a good thing isn’t always good, however. Although working from home has many pros, the cons of the same old routine day in and day out, never really feeling like you leave work behind, can begin to take a toll on someone.
You’ve probably done your own research on some of the advantages of working from home. For instance, you may have already Googled “car insurance work from home” and were overjoyed at how much money you could save on your auto insurance by eliminating your commute. But even with the savings, why do you find yourself missing your time driving to work?
Downfalls of Working From Home
The short answer is that you’re likely feeling a little stir crazy being stuck inside the house all day, every day. Although rush hour is a headache, at least your scenery changed. Maybe you listened to one of your favorite songs or podcasts on your drive to give your morning a happy start. Either way, that commute, at the least, gave your day a change of pace.
Working from home doesn’t allow for a change of pace. Sure, you might move from one room to another to do your work, but it doesn’t compare to leaving your house and seeing new surroundings.
There is also the weight of work always being around you. If there’s something you forgot to do, it isn’t as easily put off until the next day when you have everything you need to complete the task right in the next room. You may find yourself working even more when you are doing it all from home rather than being able to leave things behind the way you would at the office.
There are a few things you can do to remedy the situation. Although nothing will be the same as going into your actual work building, and perhaps you don’t want it to be, there are solutions to the cabin fever many are likely feeling due to the high volume of work from home employees.
#1 – Change Your Work Location
Even if you have a plush workspace in your home, it will likely still get boring after enough time spent in it. The best thing to do when you begin feeling stir crazy at home is to change your location.
How drastically you change it depends on your preference. If the weather is nice, moving to your patio or backyard can make a world of difference. It might not seem like much, but the fresh air and sunshine can be a fantastic mood booster.
You also have a little excitement being outside. Birds or small animals might frequent your yard to give you a little entertainment while you work. Try a walking meeting on a nice day. There are many health benefits to bringing your work outside.
If you don’t enjoy the outdoors much but still want to change your location, you can always try a local coffee shop or any site offering free Wi-Fi. You don’t have to stay the whole day, but creating a break in your everyday routine will work wonders for the cabin fever you’ve been feeling.
#2 – Make a Schedule and Stick to It
Feeling like you can’t get away from work might be a much bigger problem than you think. It is likely a source of stress, frustration, and possibly even anger. Knowing work is following you, even in the comfort of your home, can bring about strong emotions.
Though it might be hard at first, set a strict schedule for yourself. Even if you’re tempted not to, be sure to stick to it. Leave behind those straggling emails you promised yourself you would get to before bed.
Make a specific time for work to begin and a specific time to end it. Add in some time for breaks in between — not working breaks, but real breaks where you shut off the computer, eat a healthy snack or meal, and just breathe for a bit.
When the working day is done, enjoy your downtime. Don’t stress yourself about what needs to be done tomorrow. You will get to it then. Focus on your family, your pets, or even just yourself.
#3 – Give Extra Focus to Your Relationships
Lack of human interaction is a difficult adjustment. You may not have been best friends with the people you worked with, but they were a form of company. You had someone to make small talk with throughout the day, and you got to see the smiles of others. Humans crave companionship. And working from home takes much of that away.
If you live alone, make plans with the people you love often. Be it friends, family, significant others, whomever you care for in your life, make an effort to see them as often as you can. Though it’s not exactly the same as your time at work, it still gives you the company you have been lacking while working alone from home.
If you don’t live alone, try breaking up your day with small conversations or activities with whoever lives with you. Take your lunch at the same time as your spouse or roommate so you can chit chat about your day so far.
Phone calls can also be helpful. If perhaps it’s too hard to see those you care about frequently, having regular conversations on the phone can still provide a strong sense of companionship. Even if the call only lasts a few minutes, you will still get a mood boost from speaking to someone you love.
#4 – Get Yourself Ready for Your Day
Naturally, the temptation to remain in the clothes you slept in the night before is high when you work from home. No one is going to see you anyway, so why put in the effort? When you don’t technically have anywhere to be, hygiene habits might begin to slip.
Poor hygiene might seem fine if no one is around, but it still can take a toll on you. Forgetting to wash your face in the morning or not showering before you start working doesn’t make a huge difference here and there, but letting yourself go can bring down your self-esteem.
Just because no one else sees you doesn’t mean you don’t see yourself. Looking at a reflection you don’t enjoy can begin to drag your mental state down.
Start your day with a shower and an outfit change. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get fully dressed like a day at the office, but putting on nicer clothes and feeling clean can bring a ton of motivation and positivity to your day.
#5 – Set Aside Time to Get Your Body Moving
Sitting behind a screen all day isn’t the strongest motivation to get up and exercise, but it’s important that you do. Being too sedentary while working from home can leave you feeling sluggish and unmotivated. This can eventually lead to things like poor health and weight gain.
It’s important to stay healthy while working from home, and exercise is a great way to achieve this. Even if you don’t have the motivation to hop in your car and head to the gym, there are plenty of at-home workouts you can do to stay in shape and keep your body moving.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins and dopamine, making you feel happy. It also allows your brain to rid itself of stress and anxiety, leaving you feeling motivated and ready to take on whatever comes your way once you’ve finished.
Don’t Get Stir Crazy While Telecommuting
Just because you don’t leave the house for work doesn’t mean you can’t break up your day. There are plenty of ways to change your scenery, create motivation, and ensure you are giving yourself ample time to focus on yourself and your relationships.
It seems like a dream to stay home all day, but there are some downsides to the idea. Trying any or all of these ideas can be extremely helpful in stopping you from feeling too stir crazy while working from home.
Alexandra Arcand is a freelance writer with the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. She enjoys finding new ways to switch up her work-from-home routine.