Nowadays, more and more companies have started letting their employees work from home to help flatten the curve during the coronavirus lockdown. With people not having to commute to and from their workplace, they now have extra time on their hands. However, you may be unintentionally spending more time on your work in this set-up.
Virtual private network provider NordVPN recently analyzed the server activity on its network. It was found that Americans are now spending 3 hours more at work. This trend has been observed since mid-March, just when companies have started applying the work-from-home set-up for their workforce.
Outside the U.S., typical working hours of people in countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Spain have extended by an average of 2 hours. However, working hours in Italy, which has been the worst-hit European country in this pandemic, has not changed.
Adjusting to a New Set-Up
People who are now working from home temporarily tend to work longer hours, according to Work180 co-CEO Gemma Lloyd. She said that it may be harder for most to adjust and set work-life boundaries in this new work set-up.
Since getting to and from work plays a major role in a typical working day, Lloyd said that not rushing to finish their work to catch a ride home may diminish the sense of urgency. However, sitting at your desk for long hours isn’t healthy and may reduce work quality over time.
According to the co-founder of a flexible working job platform called Flexa, Molly Johnson-Jones, many are still trying to prove to their employers that they are indeed working hard. If you find yourself spending more hours at work now that you’re working from home, these tips are just what you need:
Don’t Work Outside Your Normal Working Hours
Working from home may become the norm as time passes. This, according to Johnson-Jones, may gradually subside the need to prove their productivity. She revealed a helpful strategy to set better work-life boundaries: don’t be pressured to work during the time that they usually spend commuting.
This extra time may be better off spent bonding with your family, making breakfast, or doing some exercise.
Take Regular Breaks
Johnson-Jones recommends taking regular breaks throughout your workday. She said that it’s good to know how much time you’ve been spending in front of your screen without taking a break.
In a recent survey conducted by American payroll service provider Paychex that studied more than 1,000 full-time U.S. workers, it was revealed that employees who work remotely typically clock in 2 hours of downtime a day on average. That’s 20 minutes beyond what an average on-site worker usually spends on breaks.
Set Up an Alarm
Without the thought of traveling back home or seeing co-workers leaving the office, you may unknowingly extend your working hours. Lloyd recommends setting an alarm to end your workday. You can just hit the snooze button if you feel like you still want to work overtime. Just like sleeping in too long, working too late isn’t recommended too.