How to de-stress when your home is your office

  • Living
  • Wednesday, 15 Jul 2020

When you work from home, it’s important to switch off during a lunch break so move to a different space where work can’t reach you. — dpa

Working from home has become a daily reality for many during the pandemic. This hasn’t just changed how we work, but also how we take breaks.

Instead of eating lunch at a restaurant with coworkers, you devour a sandwich while checking your emails. What can be done to improve the situation?

”It’s really important to switch off during a lunch break, ” says Utz Niklas Walter from Germany’s Institute for Occupational Health Consulting (IFBG).

Activating your smartphone’s flight mode is a good idea. “If I were in the canteen with some coworkers, I would probably not take any calls, ” said Walter. If this doesn’t help, a small safe or a drawer that can be locked is a great way to ensure your eyes aren’t glued to the screen.

Those who live alone and miss talking to others can make an appointment during their lunch break or go out to eat. Ideally, you should make sure not to spend too much time away from your desk at home, so you don’t get unnecessarily stressed.

”However, it depends on the personality, whether or not I want to spend my break with others, ” explains Walter. Introverts, for example, will probably be more comfortable eating alone.

In addition to lunch, those working from home should try and get some additional short breaks into their schedule. When working from home ”you have the option of taking a nap, ” says Walter. You can lie down in bed or on the sofa, but it’s important to sleep no longer than 15 minutes. “Set an alarm clock for 17 to 20 minutes to make sure you don’t fall into a deep sleep.”

Holidays are also different this year, with long journeys not really on the cards yet. Walter still recommends a change of scenery. This helps to create distance when your home has turned into an office. ”If you are able to, you should try to get away for a few days.”

Last but not least, it’s advisable to put away your home office equipment when you’ve finished work for the day or while on holiday – especially if you’ve got things set up in the kitchen or the bedroom. – dpa

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