May 19, 2021
In 9 months, working from home increased the productivity rate of employees by 13% and manifested improvements in work satisfaction. This was revealed by the study of Standford (2014) pre-pandemic. The results of the study were not a surprise. Certainly, employees experience convenience working from home and this, we can say, is the positive side of remote work.
Fast forward 2021, on the survey done by Apollo Technical, the digital work setup produces a better turnover rate relatively. Projects are concluded rapidly and the productivity of employees increased over time. Workers are happy too by 22% more than those working in the physical office setting. These virtual office employees reported feeling less stress, having more focus, and finding better work-life balance performing their job functions at home.
However, any job comes with challenges at varying levels. For remote workers, Buffer’s State of Remote Work report in 2019 revealed the common obstacles employees at home are usually confronted with, 22% of the employee-respondents have a hard time unplugging after work, 19% experience loneliness, 17% struggle communicating, 10% distracted at home and 8% lack motivation. These factors can dampen employee productivity and their overall job performance. It is in this light that wellness should also be given emphasis and attention.
Wellness has six dimensions and each contributes to our quality of life. They are interrelated and sometimes overlap each other. If you lose one or neglect for a time, it might have an effect on your overall health. Let us look at each dimension closely and how it can contribute to better work and life balance.
Physical wellness includes a variety of activities that are beneficial to the human body. It is an umbrella of healthy habits that include adequate exercise, a proper diet, and separating yourself from vices or bad habits (drug and alcohol abuse). There are ways in which you can have fun attaining these. You may find workout videos suitable for your body or weight goal, satiate yourself with hearty breakfast meals, or if you are busy, appreciate ready-to-eat healthy meals. Find the fun in things and look for options that interest you to start your physical wellness journey.
The emotional dimension is often hard to balance as this regularly fluctuates depending on your mood, feelings, and the status of the other dimensions. You might find that remote work can be monotonous or dull sometimes and it can lead to frustration. It is okay to feel that way. Acknowledging is key to being emotionally well. Coping comes next. Get in touch with your thoughts and feelings, choose to have an optimistic attitude, and find ways on how you can boost self-esteem, self-acceptance and social interactions as this can alleviate any feelings of stress. Practice stress management techniques and learn how to forgive yourself.
The intellectual dimension allows you to be creative and improve mental and cognitive abilities. The mind, the same as the body, should be exercised as well to keep it healthy. Remote workers, just like any individual, need lifelong learning. This can also keep oneself updated and improve their skills. For this, you may take a crash course on a subject field of interest or learn a foreign language. You can also pursue a new hobby inclined to the arts. At work, maybe you can find innovative ways to finish your tasks at a quick pace or learn new tools that you can incorporate into your daily job function. The possibilities are endless.
Social wellness involves your social skills. It is your ability to interact with your community and share your thoughts and feelings with others to build a sense of belongingness. Practice this at work by making an effort to make a small chat with your colleague and get involved with social activities that your company initiates. Improving your communication skills goes a long way, it can foster good relationships and also build a strong support system that you can lean on to when times are rough. The social dimension also requires you to be conscious of yourself so self-care needs to be in place too. Start with a good skincare routine and commit to it, this can help boost your self-esteem.
Spiritual wellness allows for peace of mind, tranquility, and serenity. This can also provide focus and clarify your mind’s mental state so that you can see a direction to your goals and plans. Spend and enjoy your time alone and meditate regularly. Practice relaxation techniques and breathing exercises. Release yourself from its shell and appreciate the freedom to express yourself.
The environmental dimension can help decrease your cortisol levels and lower your blood pressure, therefore, sparing you from stress. Such relief can also be found from doing socially responsible environmental activities like adopting a pet or planting a tree in your backyard. You can also grow an herb garden in your kitchen. Studies revealed that a few minutes of interacting with the earth’s flora and fauna can alleviate any forms of stress and therefore can significantly impact our emotions, reduce amounts of anger and fear. When you are free from negative energy, you can expect yourself to perform well with high motivation and enthusiasm.
As you may have noticed, these dimensions encompassed all the requirements of your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The full integration of these dimensions can lead to an improved quality of work and life balance. You are ought to start finding your balance today.
Written for Thunderbird Bar by Bash Sarmiento
Bash Sarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila. He writes laconic pieces in the education, lifestyle, and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and traveling are translated in his works.
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