Working from home has long been known to increase well-being by offering employees a more flexible lifestyle. But sometimes it can be hard to relax after a long day's work. Especially if you feel like you haven't left the office.
Like many other office workers, 2020 was the year I swapped my morning commute for the few steps to reach my laptop.
And I have discovered many advantages to working from home. But it did take time to adjust to my new way of working. Particularly when it came to switching off.
Here's my quick guide on how to relax after a hard day at the (home) office. And you'll find some top tips from our social media followers for unwinding.
1. Creating Work-Only Zones Helps You to Relax
One of the main factors in separating work from home is making sure you have a dedicated workspace. Whether that's a home office or an area to set up a desk, pick somewhere that's quiet, somewhere you won't be disrupted. Also, you don't want your "office" to be where you spend the majority of your free time.
However, as we know, not everyone has the space for a home office. So I had to be smart about the space I used when I first started WFH.
Living in a one-bed apartment didn't offer many options for desk space. So when the pandemic happened, I claimed a portion of the dining table in the living room for my home office.
This meant I was working in my living space which wasn't ideal. But ensuring my desk was set up correctly and facing away from where I spent the evenings, meant I could still separate home and work.
If you're lucky enough to have a whole room to work in, always shut that door at the end of the working day. Out of sight, out of mind!
2. Clear Your Office Clutter, Then Relax
Another way that can help you switch off is just by doing a quick tidy after logging off. Packing up your office equipment, putting coffee mugs in the dishwasher, and clearing away the crumbs from your afternoon snack can help create a relaxing atmosphere for your evening.
3. Switch off (Literally and Figuratively)
Technology and communication tools are vital when working from home to stay in contact with your colleagues. But they can be harmful to your well-being outside of working hours.
Even if you're not interrupted by the ping of a Teams message, you can often find yourself thinking about work, long after office hours have ended.
So although it can be tempting to check your email or notifications with the click of a button, it's important to make sure you switch off your comms when you've finished working.
Mind Tools coach, Zala Brizelj, suggested that a great way to help you switch off can be as simple as "just sitting peacefully" and "being with yourself."
If you are struggling to relax at the end of the WFH day, physical relaxation techniques like deep breathing, PMR (Progressive Muscular Relaxation), and Centering can really help.
4. Get Out of the House
If you are working at home, it can be very tempting to shut your laptop at the end of the day and immediately flop onto the couch. However, it's important for you to have a change of scenery just to reset your mind.
Pottering around the garden, taking the dog for a walk, or going for a run can be a great way to relax and unwind.
5. Do Something Different
We reached out to our social media followers for their top tips on how to relax after a long day. And we got some great responses.
Zala offered a few different options for relaxing after work. They included picking up a good book, going out to a movie, or simply calling a friend.
Facebook user Greg Schmierer unwinds by playing video games, whereas Facebook user, Elaine McDermott suggested picking up a hobby. She said, "I do hand embroidery. It calms my anxiety and relaxes me. Plus, I get a beautiful piece of stitching when I'm done." Job done!
If you work from home, how do you relax when you log off for the day? Do you find it easy or difficult? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!