Tired of telecommuting?

Tired of telecommuting?

And even more so after having enjoyed being with people on vacation … These recommendations can help

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At this time of year, most of us face a return to routine, although in still pandemic conditions, not everyone returns to work at the office. It is curious, but in recent months many people have told me that they are wanting to return to being present, to their routines, to the usual. Because although teleworking seemed super attractive at the beginning of the pandemic, full time has become a torture for many. At first it was great for us to prevent infections, and it has been shown that it is possible to do it, but it seems that a mixed model is the best fit.

And it is that, although it is not without many advantages, telework entails certain disadvantages, which months later it has been seen that they can have negative consequences for mental health. Because, going to work in person requires investing time and money in trips, but it also makes us move, leave the house, interact with people, change our environment. Without a doubt, the most negative aspect of full-time telecommuting is the social one. The drastic reduction of face-to-face interactions can end up generating a feeling of loneliness, which is installed little by little, but in the end it ends up weighing down. Loneliness has negative consequences on a cognitive, behavioral and psychological level, as well as alterations of the immune-inflammatory and neuroendocrine system. Also, it is one of the strongest predictors of depression. Multiple studies have shown that it can be a risk factor for health, more decisive than diet, exercise habits, tobacco or genetics.

Those who have been working from home for months may lack the counterweight of conversations and informal interpersonal encounters that occur every day in the office, and have nothing to do with audios and WhatsApp conversations , not to mention the effect on health mental of the prolonged absence of physical contact (kisses, hugs, a friendly slap, etc.) with other people. It is somewhat similar to the opponent syndrome. Mental health requires balances : obligations and responsibilities-breaks, moments of solitude-company, professional life-leisure and family, etc … and if these do not exist continuously, mental health suffers.

Some recommendations to make going back to (tele) work healthier :

  • If you are not comfortable at home , perhaps the time has come to think about a coworking since the pandemic has changed customs, and it seems that remote work is going to stay at least part-time.
  • Organize regular hangouts with your coworkers. This way you can maintain the feeling of team and cohesion, because after several months of teleworking most people agree that the quality of meetings, teamwork and communication is worse when working remotely. However, it can be mitigated with informal meetings since the greater trust and greater bond between the team members, the easier it is to have enough confidence to call a person if after a telematic meeting there is something that has not been clear . It should not be forgotten that the corridor routes, the coffees or the shared ride in the elevator served to exchange impressions and strengthen the bonds between people. And these links are important:
  • Establish routines that help you draw the lines that separate work from your personal life well . Many people find it helpful to leave the house even 10-20 minutes at the end of the work day, and thus draw a line between both facets. At the end of the day, commuting served us to separate our world of work from our personal life.
  • If you feel more sedentary from teleworking, force yourself to leave the house every day, even if it’s to run an errand.
  • In case you feel lonely , it is very important that you resume, although still with caution, social contacts. As we have previously explained, the feeling of loneliness is our worst travel companion. Teleworking can increase or generate a perception of isolation or loneliness against which it is necessary to protect oneself.
  • If you feel techno-stress due to having the obligation to be aware of telematic meetings, emails, etc., it will help you a lot to disconnect digitally at the end of the workday.
  • If you feel that you are using less time or extending the work day excessively, it is advisable to quantify the time you spend reading email and other notifications from social networks and WhatsApp . Many people are surprised at how much time they spend checking notifications on a daily basis. Try not to check social networks all morning, maybe that way you will make the most of your time and then you can spend more time on your personal leisure. Being aware of social networks during working hours greatly increases dispersion and deteriorates our attention and concentration capacity. Establish a daily time for social networks, and force yourself to comply with it.
  • If in spite of everything, you are tired of working from home or you have the feeling that you are no longer taking advantage of the time as before , try to propose a return to the presence in your company. Not all of us adapt the same to teleworking, and your health should come first.

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