Fort Belvoir, VA –
Are you a recent graduate or a new DCAA employee? Juggling all of your responsibilities and starting a new job is tricky enough, but it becomes even more complicated in our current virtual environment when the lines between work and home start to blur. Here are some tips to help manage telework-induced stress:
- Separate your workspace: Designate a space in your home for “your office.” Not only does this help mentally distinguish the area from the rest of your home, but it also looks and feels more professional for when you interact with coworkers or clients throughout the day. Understand that work is finished when you physically leave this area so that it doesn’t cross over into your personal time.
- Communicate with your supervisor: Discuss your workload and be transparent about your bandwidth. If you are a parent, communicate that you will also need to focus on your childrens’ needs throughout the day. Talk to your supervisor about creating a flexible schedule to help focus on both your work and family. A potential solution, if applicable or possible, is to work out a schedule where you and your spouse each have “kid free” time. DCAA wants to ensure your success, and that includes helping you balance your workload with your home responsibilities.
- Stay connected: DCAA acknowledges that it is easy to feel isolated when working from home, and wants to ensure that all employees feel connected to the Agency’s culture and their team dynamics. Reach out to your teammates to stay in contact or take advantage of social networking events the Agency offers to connect with coworkers outside of your team.
- Plan out your day: Start your day by determining what you absolutely need to accomplish and making a list. Designate a set amount of time to work on those tasks, prioritizing the ones that need to be finished by the end of the day. Breaking down your tasks into manageable chunks of time, and physically marking them as complete, can help prevent feeling overwhelmed.
- Step away from the screen: If you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, perhaps it’s time to step away from the screen. Take a few minutes to get some fresh air, meditate, listen to some music, or do whatever helps you relax before going back feeling refocused. It is recommended that you plan time every day to get up from work and move around.
- Set boundaries: Stick to your set work schedule. Stop checking your emails and working on projects once you’ve finished what you needed to achieve for the day. Just because we always have access to the world, doesn’t mean the world should always have access to us. You need time to rebalance and recharge so you can avoid burnout.
Working from home can be challenging, especially if it is new for you, as we feel the need to be “full speed ahead” at all times. DCAA is doing their best to develop safety regulations so that employees can start transitioning back to in-person work, but it will take time. By following these tips, you can better manage your stress to create the work-life balance that is best for you.