After over a year of working from home for many people, webinar burnout has taken its toll on many an employee. For many, the home/work divide has not just been blurred but eradicated, and the 30-foot commute from the bedroom to the office can be more daunting than the pre-Covid trek into the office (If you’re privileged enough to even have separate spaces!) Let’s discuss some things that we can do to help keep our work life and home life separate, and even set up healthy habits for when we make it back into the office.
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1. Routine is Key
When I worked in a physical office, I was never the type of person to show up excessively early. Living in a relatively small town had the benefit of my commute not wildly varying, which aided in the complex backward math I’d do in my head to let me know exactly how much time I needed to allocate to get to work. A two-minute walk across the parking lot, plus an eleven-minute drive, plus three minutes to toast a bagel… you get the idea. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had established a routine that let me know that it was time to transition from my home life to work, which allowed me to mentally prepare for the day ahead. It’s important to keep a morning routine, however abbreviated, intact. Whatever your routine was in the before-times, try to mimic it as much as possible. Did you wake up in time for a five-minute shower while your coffee brewed in the other room? Keep it up while you WFH – it’ll make the inevitable return that much easier and put you in the right headspace while you work from your home space.
2. Don’t be Afraid to set Boundaries
It can be overwhelming always feeling like you’re taking center stage when you log on to a virtual meeting or presentation. It’s ok to feel out the appropriateness of the situation and plan accordingly. Are you meeting with peers, or having an informal update with an immediate supervisor? Send a quick message ahead of time to set the expectations – Is video required? Do you have young children or pets at home that may be heard in the background? You’re not alone! Just be upfront about your situation and mute your mic if it interferes with the presenter. Utilizing the chat function can help provide recordable responses to queries, and if you’re in charge of presenting, there’s nothing wrong with recording a presentation ahead of time and going live for the Q&A at the end!