Typically when someone says they can work from home, the image that this conjures up is positive - no commute, no traffic stress, eating healthily, doing the school run, fitting in some exercise at lunch, the list goes on... so why is it that this isn't how it feels for everyone right now?
Working from home has become the norm for those who can. With no travel or crowded tube stress, why are we feeling so tired from doing our work a few metres away from our kitchen? And how can we reinvigorate ourselves at a time we need it most?
A key part of solving a problem is understanding the reason for it. We are all working at home not out of choice, but as a request from the government to "stay home, save lives". Choice is crucial to wellbeing and motivation, and working from home every day for the foreseeable future isn't our choice. Without choice, your motivation is likely to suffer, meaning you're less energised, and likely feeling tired. Autonomy and choice are directly linked to good mental health.
How can you solve this?
Try to put some control into your working day
Distractions can be plentiful whilst working at home, and these can be tiring. You might find yourself accidentally multi-tasking. As tempting as it might seem to get some housework done simultaneously, it'll likely just mean that you're working longer to get things finished. You can solve this by marking out time to do these chores and focussing on them so that you can focus on your work whilst you do it.
Working at home means that you no longer have those interactions over the coffee machine or by walking to someone's desk to ask them a question. Staying connected is so important for our minds because it energises us, and not seeing people can cause grief. This is tiring, so it's important that to solve this you continue to talk to people. Use the video option on Slack, Zoom or whatever tool you use to communicate with co-workers. It may not feel quite the same as in person, but it'll help you to feel connected.
Working at home can pose new challenges, but by following some of the tips above and staying in control, it is possible to stay energised and productive.
Keep perspective, and don't forget to recognise how much adaptability you are showing through these new ways of working. We will hopefully all return to some form of normal, with more resilience and plenty of learnings.