Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

How to Retain Your Sanity While Working From Home

By Maurie Backman - Mar 14, 2020 at 9:08AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, many companies are having employees work remotely. Here's how to handle that setup when you're not used to it.

As someone who's been a full-time freelance writer for years, I can tell you that I really enjoy working from home. But that setup is definitely not for everyone. For one thing, it can be hard to stay focused when you're suddenly stuck in your home environment and distractions abound. It's also easy to go stir crazy, get bored, and succumb to feelings of loneliness.

Unfortunately, the spread of COVID-19 is causing many employers to shut down their offices and move employees to a remote setup. It's a decision that can not only protect workers, but also ensure that they don't lose out on income during this time.

Man drinking from mug while typing on laptop in kitchen


But that doesn't mean it's easy. If you're worried about the idea of being cooped up at home with your laptop for weeks on end, here are a few tips for retaining your sanity.

1. Have a routine

Though working from home might seem unusual, one way to overcome that feeling is to stick to your regular job-related routine. Log onto your computer at the same time you normally would in the morning, take your lunch break when you'd normally step out of the office, and shut down in the evening as per your general schedule. Maintaining the routine you're used to will help you feel more settled given your current set of circumstances.

2. Use technology to stay in touch

Working from home can be an isolating experience, but the good news is that technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch. Use your company's internal chat app to check in with colleagues and see how they're doing. You can even start group channels to communicate with three, four, or more people at a time, which is a good option if you're part of a team.

At the same time, don't feel pressured to substitute online chat with live conversations. If your office normally serves as a social outlet for you and you miss the sound of other people's voices, call them and talk about the projects you're collaborating on rather than hash out details over a computer.

3. Maintain your regular meeting schedule

If you're someone who's usually tasked with calling meetings -- because you're a manager or leading a project -- keep that up while your company has gone remote. Doing so will help you stay on track and make it easier for everyone involved to stay connected. Videoconferencing is probably your best bet in this regard, but if there are no visuals to share, regular phone conferences also work.

4. Take the opportunity to learn new things

You may have a bit more free time on your hands once you move over to a work-from-home setup. If that's the case, use your new arrangement as an opportunity to boost certain job skills or learn new things that make you a more valuable employee. Expanding your horizons will help you stay engaged at a time when that could otherwise prove difficult.

Some people love working from home, but if you're not one of them, it could make for some difficulties, especially if you've been asked to do so on an indefinite basis. And while you may get down about your situation from time to time, remember this: Some people don't have the option or luxury to work from home, largely because their jobs just don't allow for it.

Those workers risk losing weeks of pay, falling behind on their bills, and struggling to recover for months. As such, keep reminding yourself that while working from home may not be ideal, it's allowing you to keep collecting your paycheck.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/04/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.