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The psychology behind working from home

The psychology behind working from home

With the global outbreak of COVID-19, a majority of businesses outside the vital sectors have stepped into the online world to help limit the spread of the virus. Although most businesses in Dubai and the world are returning to offices, many, including PR agencies, are still working from home.

If I told you that you would be homebound prior to the pandemic, you might have thought of it as a bonus, but the reality is far from that. With the abrupt change in your steady routine and behaviour, keeping yourself motivated and your work-life balance in check are a must for mental health.

Many people are currently experiencing problems making the working-from-home period tolerable, due to most prominently the lack of boundaries. Some PR practitioners live in studios or small spaces. For example, the kitchen table where you normally eat may currently also be your desk, which may take a toll in the long run.

It is well-documented that working from home can generally be an enjoyable and productive experience. However, PR practitioners need to understand some of the technical and psychological challenges that prevent people from being effective.

Applying psychology to increase productivity when working from home

To help the remote working period run smoother, I have prepared a list of top 5 tips that can support you during these stressful times:

  1. Minimise distractions: Being able to separate your work life from your home life is essential, especially when not living alone. Try to sit alone in a room with closed doors when working; this helps you better appreciate the time you spend with your family/flatmates when not working.
  2. Dress to impress: While you may say ‘no one can see me’, and continue your entire day in your PJs, dressing how you would normally dress to work can increase your mental health and helps put your brain in work mode.
  3. Create boundaries: Try to separate your living space from your working space. A simple example would be not working in bed; keep your bed for sleeping and scrolling through Instagram and TikTok.
  4. Avoid multitasking: Whenever possible, try to finish one task at a time. Complete a report then proceed to cook your favourite dish. Trying to complete both at the same time may take away from your personal experience.
  5. Sit near windows/on balconies: working in a closed space without windows may allow your brain to feel imprisoned. If possible, try to sit near a window with the curtains open to help boost your environmental psychology. If you cannot sit near a window, try having a landscape portrait hung on your wall and set your workspace facing the portrait. This may help increase your calmness and reduce anxiety and stress in a closed-off room.

Antoine Boghos is Account Manager at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. |