Workplace Fun from Home: How to make remote work fun and rewarding

April 7, 2021 at 6:30 PM
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Since the pandemic began, work from home has prevailed and so has the stress. To beat the persistent feeling of loneliness and the pressure to be “always-on”, there has to be a fun element to remote work that gets employees going as they stay at home working and trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy.

Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, most of us were waking up early in the morning, getting ready for work, and spending the day at our offices. For the most part of 2020, a lot of us stopped going to the office, and instead adopted remote work full-time.

Is working from home taking a toll on your health?

Let’s start briefly with the changes your body undergoes when you work for hours from home. Here’s the tricky part about working from home – it may look super comfortable at first but, without a proper system in place, it is bound to be super stressful and underproductive.

Numerous studies have shown how work from home affects employees’ mental and physical health. There are, of course, the physical discomforts that stem from the long hours spent sitting in front of the computer – whereas, in the office, employees take frequent breaks for conversations, coffee, or commute. Increasing screen-time means more Zoom meetings, which means more effort spent reading intricate non-verbal cues over a 13” monitor – something that comes naturally to most people during in-person encounters. Extremely demanding employers, who do not understand the nuances of work-from-home, are today causing frequent employee burnouts. All this means more strain, more stress, and no fun.

Making work-from-home work for you

No matter how demanding your job is, there’s really no solid case for allowing it to take over your life. Here are some of the ways you can reduce stress during remote work and have fun while you’re at it:

1. Balancing the act between work and home

Now that remote work is very much our future, shouldn’t there be a distinct line separating your work time from your personal time? You might have loved bringing your files and laptop to bed, but in today’s scenario, you’re only making it easier to let work take over your personal life. Keep your office time separated from your pajama time – you’d be amazed at the payoffs!

2. Taking frequent hobby breaks

If you have a hobby, then take short breaks that allow you to invest time in it. Doing something that makes you happy stimulates serotonin levels, which in turn helps keep you motivated. So, set up that canvas and specifically schedule some “me time” in your calendar, especially when work becomes extremely stressful and threatens to take over.

3. Organizing virtual get-togethers

Thanks to the pandemic and the lockdowns it induced, we’ve more or less bid goodbye to weekend catchups. But thanks to technology, you can still get together online. How about inviting your employees, friends, or teammates over for virtual dinner or lunch, or using apps, like Discord, to share your virtual space and hang out? You can play games, have a sing-along, and even set up fun contests.

4. Rewarding yourself for long workdays

Simple rewards work to motivate. After finishing a particularly demanding project or client presentation, treat yourself to your favorite food, movie or pastime, or anything you’ve been putting off for later. Spending some quality, screen-free time with your spouse or family can be as relaxing as reading that book that’s been on your list forever.

5. Customize your workspace

Some of us are built for change. The others like their comfort zone the way it is. No matter who we are, while we’re working from home for the long run, it’s critical to keep things dynamic and exciting. As tiresome as it is deck up your workspace frequently, it’s extremely good exercise. Make small changes – like repositioning the work desk, adding an accessory or two, upgrading stationery, or having a desk plant. There are a million DIY ideas on YouTube!

The future is remote

Vaccine hopes may encourage the prospects of returning to work in the near future. But the way things are right now, it looks like work-from-home will continue to a degree. It does have its own rewards, by way of lower commute time, quality time with family, reduced carbon footprint, and more focus – once you master the act.

With all that remote work has to offer, it is important to learn how to have fun doing it, to stay motivated, and deliver the best results. You need to love what you’re doing and who you’re working with. And having fun is a big part of that. It not only helps avoid burnouts at the end of the day but also minimizes the productivity differences in our pre-and post-pandemic lives.

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