Malaysia has been in full lockdown since June 2021 due to the increasing numbers in Covid 19 cases. This was the third lockdown Malaysians faced after the first lockdown in March 2020 and the second lockdown in January 2021. Many offices are not allowed to operate during the lockdown. Thus, companies from various industries have decided to implement the working from the home method as it is the only viable alternative to keep afloat and sustain their businesses.
The work-from-home culture was quite a foreign practice in Malaysia before the Covid 19 pandemic in 2020. Most of us are still getting used to the new norm, affecting our mental and emotional health. Between being couped up at home and the fear of going outside, many of us have faced many mental health challenges affecting other parts of our lives, especially our physical health.
According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), a total of 145,173 distress calls were received by government agencies from the 25th of March 2020 until the 20th of May 2021. 85.5% of the calls were related to mental health issues that required emotional support and counseling, such as acute stress, anxiety, depression, abuse, and suicidal behaviour. Imagine how the statistics would look like starting June 2021. However, we at Shinjiru care about your mental health, and here, we share 3 things to avoid while working at home.
As much as it is a comfortable spot, the couch is one of the places you should avoid working on. It is not conducive and can hinder your productivity. Efficiency is key, and working from a place where non-work duties reign supreme is a bad idea. Instead, create a small office-like corner in your home where you know you will only use once you clock in and stop using once you log off. This will help you with your work and life balance and safe separation between a space for work and leisure.
Being able to do your laundry, sweep the floor, and clean the bathroom is suddenly within reach; therefore, it is tempting to skimp on your work-time to do your chores. Why wait for the weekend when you can do it now, right? That is a big NO. All those chores take time, and because we are used to doing them from the start till the end, it can automatically interrupt the responsibility of completing your work tasks and lead to anxiety. Instead, build a schedule where you just focus on doing one chore every morning, i.e., sweeping the floor or doing the laundry before work, and make sure it ends before you clock in for work. This will help with your mindset of doing less over the weekend, which means more time to relax.
Just like you should refrain from doing your house chores during your work time, you should also avoid working until 11 pm. You are supposed to be resting and getting ready for bed because it can interrupt your body clock, lead to insomnia and mess up your cortisol which is responsible for your hormone balance. Alternatively, you should take some time to meditate, do a 30 minutes home workout, cook a meal you can look forward to, and just unwind. Our mind is like our body. It needs to rest in order to perform at its best. Doing the things you enjoy after a long day of work is like rewarding yourself and should not be taken lightly. Small steps of positive activities can increase your quality of life, especially now.
Extra tip for those of you missing your colleagues or even friends and family. Tools such as Microsoft Teams and Office 365 packages that offer team collaboration are great ways to keep in touch at a safe distance. After all, human connection, communication, and interaction have a tremendous impact on emotional well-being simply by knowing that we are not alone and we are going through this together.