Prior to the onset of Covid-19, some may have wondered why working from home was not already considered a norm. We have been conditioned to separate our work and home spaces. Commuting to the office daily was a must. It was the way the world worked.
Fast forward to the pandemic, our daily routines and lives have been transformed and disrupted. We are now dealing with the complete opposite of what was perceived as "normal" or business as usual. People have been forced to work from home and adequately adapt to the shift while still being expected to remain productive. Our reality is different and is now predominantly facilitated through online platforms.
Sivi Moodley, CEO of Macrocomm says, "This was a huge change that compelled both the old and new generations to immerse themselves into the world of technology.”
Over the past few months, we have seen a substantial increase in screen time as well as the use of online tools in our daily routines leading to online fatigue. This, combined with pressure to make smart, safe choices for our families and communities, could potentially lead to online burnout.
Here is how you can balance and implement strategies that can circumvent this hyper-exhaustive online activity:
Plan your day – Working from home takes away your normal routine, inadvertently making you work longer hours. Preparing a schedule that keeps you focused in the time you are working allows you the chance to rest and switch off during your breaks. Maintain your normal hours of work; begin at 8am and close the day off at 5pm, taking three 30-minute breaks in between.
Break away from visual technology – We would normally be able to step away and have face-to-face discussions with colleagues. This gave our eyes a break from the harmful effects of our screens. Currently, we are forced to have more screen-to-screen meetings and chats. Replace those interactions by exploring different platforms to communicate (e.g. telephone calls); giving your eyes a break.
Back to basics – Writing down a to-do list and noting action items on a notepad throughout the day will reduce your screen time while maintaining the quality and efficiency of work.
Balance – Due to the increased screen time when working from home, it is advisable that you utilize your breaks to rejuvenate your body and mind. Use the three breaks to catch up on family time by taking a walk or engaging in an outdoor activity. This will assist in refocusing your vision as well as stretching your muscles.
Although various studies have shown that the work day significantly increases when working from home, structuring your day and adhering to your schedule can reap considerable benefits, both professionally and personally.
“Utilising these techniques in structuring your day whilst working from home will not only afford you the opportunity to realign your priorities, giving you more time with your loved ones but reduce your online fatigue” says Moodley.