Ways To Manage The Hybrid Headache As We Return To Work

Posted November 2, 2021 by in Career/ Health + Fitness

With restrictions eased, it’s important for people to remain healthy when returning to a work routine. This guide explores how that can be accomplished and the steps we should take. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been responsible for a lot of additional pressure and stress. Indeed, one report found that 94% of people have felt stressed or anxious due to the global pandemic. 

Now, the situation is starting to return to normal. But this does not mean that the stress is over. Instead, many individuals are facing new challenges including how to adjust to a completely different version of normal. A lot of businesses have opted to switch to a hybrid model of work which includes balancing long hours working from home with the typical struggles of office life through the week.

If you are not prepared for this, then it could feel all too overwhelming and lead to burnout. 

Burnout is now a recognised condition by the World Health Organization. According to the latest statistics 75% of workers claim they have experienced burnout at some point in the past year. So, how can individuals cope with this new working model and the stress it could bring? Here are some possibilities and the difficulties that you may encounter:

Don’t Feel Guilty Working From Home

One of the problems with the new hybrid work model is that a lot of people do feel guilty when they can operate from home. They are concerned that working from home makes them seem lazy, unproductive, or unprofessional. This can lead to people pushing themselves to work beyond their limits while at home, skipping breaks to achieve higher levels of productivity. Essentially, they try to justify the benefit or even the gift of being allowed to work from home. 

This level of overworking can lead to various negative physical and mental impacts including:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Low mood
  • Depression

It can put a strain on personal relationships and impact your ability to perform daily. To cope with this, people may want to consider getting treatment from a doctor or an online pharmacy UK service to treat symptoms such as headaches or fatigue. 

You should also resist the feelings of guilt you are experiencing. Instead, it’s important to embrace the benefits that working from home can provide and avoid doing more than you usually would in the office. 

Find The Right Routine 

When you are working with a hybrid model, it’s easy for the typical work routine to go out of the window. During lockdown, researchers warned that many people were having long lie-ins which then led to them going to sleep far later than their usual time. 

Ultimately, this led to their sleep schedule being thrown completely out of place. People who were in this situation found it far more difficult to readjust once they returned to work. 

Other individuals were less active during the lockdown and so they were not as tired when they went to bed which also caused issues with their sleep hygiene. To avoid this issue, it’s important to make sure that you are setting the same work hours each day, regardless of where you are working or your chosen location. 

The aim here should be to ensure that your work model is not erratic and there is a pattern that you can follow as well as depend on. This should also include regular breaks through the day as well as base activities that you complete outside of your work hours. 

Separating Working And Home Life

Another concern that comes with the hybrid work model is that it becomes more difficult to separate work and home life. People are failing to unplug and are still in their on-the-clock mode long after the workday has ended. The classic example of this would be answering and responding to emails from employers and managers. 

Some people might also keep their work apps open or running in the background of their tech devices so that they are always ready to support their colleagues. 

The ‘always-on’ culture that people are experiencing here can be quite dangerous because individuals are not getting the chance they need to recharge and relax. Most people will already spend more than 30% of their life working. It’s important not to add to this statistic. 

Instead, you should aim to ensure that you are defining your work hours even when you are operating from home. You need to keep to the work hours that are set for yourself. Flexible work hours are arguably one of the best benefits of the remote work model. However, this should not come at the cost of your personal life. 

You also need to be careful of the times when you are working. For instance, you should avoid working too closely to your usual bedtime range. The reason for this is that work routines cause stress levels to rise. If stress levels don’t return to normal by the time that your head hits the pillow, then your sleep will be disturbed. This will leave you more exhausted the next day which will cause you difficulty when you are trying to complete even the most basic tasks. 

Find Your ‘Me’ Time

Finally, since this new hybrid work model may be more stressful than the typical model you are familiar with, it’s important to find the right way to relax.

This is going to be unique to you. Whether it’s a long soak at the end of the day or reading a book, it’s important to make sure that you are getting a little ‘me’ time or downtime each day. This will give your body and your mind the peace that it needs to recharge and prepare for the next workday. 

The hybrid work model certainly provides substantial benefits to the typical employee. However, these can only be accessed if it is approached the right way. If you slip into a negative routine then this is going to reflect on your physical and mental wellbeing.