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Mindful Strategies for Newly Remote Workers During COVID-19 Outbreak

Work-from-home options help companies navigate the COVID-19 disruption. But workers need more than a secure wireless connection. They need mindful support.  

Mindfulness Strategies Ease Remote Workers’ Emotional Transition

Work-from-home options help companies navigate the COVID-19 disruption. But workers need more than a secure wireless connection. They need mindful support.  

Work From Home During COVID19 In New Orleans

Work From Home During COVID19 In New Orleans

It may come as something of a surprise, but the COVID-19 pandemic has not necessarily disrupted the lives of millions of workers. If that statement seems counterintuitive, consider that remote workforces have been increasing, almost exponentially, for years.

“While telecommuting has become more mainstream in recent years—the remote workforce grew 159 percent between 2005 and 2017 — when just 3.4 percent of Americans work from home at least half of the time,” according to Forbes.

The COVID-19 crisis may have abruptly displaced employees from their 9-to-5 commute each day, but studies point to remote workforces becoming standard practice. Millennials and Gen Z professionals typically weigh live-work factors as critical reasons to accept or reject positions and promotions. That may come as a stunning way to map out a career in contrast to Baby Boomers, who were once inclined to relocate to climb the corporate ladder. But consider these statistics associated with work-from-anywhere policies.

  • 4.3 million Americans work at least half the work-week from home
  • From 2015-2018, 40 percent more U.S. companies embraced work-from-home policies
  • Small businesses are twice as likely to hire remote workers full-time
  • Sales businesses hire remote workers at 66-percent higher rate than many others
  • 16 percent of all enterprises exclusively hire people who work offsite
  • By 2028, 73 percent of all departments are expected to have remote workers

Even if you make a post-pandemic return to the office, the value of pivoting to Cloud-based, work-from-anywhere benefits have not gone unnoticed. Given that many businesses are looking to decrease overhead such as office space, utilities, and onsite computer networks, it may be worthwhile for recently displaced employees to get settled, both physically and mindfully.

Establish Live-Work Regimens

It’s no secret that humans are creatures of habit, and the health crisis blurred our live-work routines. Before Stay at Home or Shelter in Place mandates were issued, we set alarms, performed pre-work rituals, put on office clothing, and suffered the morning commute. All of this took time, but it was an emotional grounding force as well.

When we experience upheaval in our lives, emotions such as anger, frustration, and listlessness can take control. It may prove mindfully grounding to establish new work-from-home time management strategies such as the following.

  • Set an earlier alarm
  • Walk or jog before starting the workday
  • Select comfortable work-from-home attire
  • Organize a work-only space
  • Craft and post your live-work schedule
  • Include lunch and designated breaks

Before the crisis, many of these were imposed by the nature of traveling and clocking-in at a brick-and-mortar facility. The point of these strategies is to establish a repetitive structure in your life and draw time management boundaries.

Utilize Videoconferencing Apps

Professionals who live alone may experience significant discomfort associated with isolation. Depression and anxiety are not necessarily common to remote workforces. But with gathering spaces and businesses shuttered, and social distancing policies in place, there are limited cures for loneliness.

Videoconferencing apps such as FaceTime, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx, among others, allow colleagues to engage in virtual chats and hold online meetings. While this may not fill the void of watercooler talk and after-work meetups, it’s a viable way to keep in touch with people you used to see for eight hours, five days a week.

A real possibility exists that COVID-19 could create seasonal displacement even after this crisis subsides. Coupled with the fact that remote workforces were already trending, everyday people may want to lean on these and other mindfulness strategies to acclimate to working from home.

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