Government agencies, organizations and companies encouraged their employees to work from home at the beginning of the pandemic. Now, over a year later, some jobs are going fully remote through the summer and maybe even forever. Although the move to allow employees to work from home might keep people safe and operations running, it can wreak havoc on employee’s schedules and their quality of sleep. People who work remotely often report struggling with sleep. This is quite unfortunate since sleep has a huge impact on job performance. According to a recent study at Hult International Business School, sleep deprivation can hinder employees from performing at their peak. The majority participants said they find it challenging to create new ideas, focus, learn and complete tasks on time when working from home. If you want to be as productive as possible while working from home, we have some tips for you. But first, let's look at why remote workers struggle with sleep.
Unclear Work-Life BoundariesWorking from home makes it challenging to create a distinct boundary between personal and professional lines. This can cause sleeping difficulties when you don’t feel a sense of relief when arriving home from work at the end of the day. In many cases, you might find yourself worrying about work when you should be sleeping.
Constant Supply of CaffeineThe American Alliance for Healthy Sleep warns that drinking coffee late in the evening or at night can disrupt your sleep. That's why most workplaces offer complimentary coffee to supercharge in the morning or sail through the afternoon. But when working from home, you might have constant access to coffee. If you are not careful, your morning and afternoon habits can easily become an evening habit leading to sleep deprivation.
Working Until Late At nightWorking from home means having full access to your laptop and work-related tasks - even if your office means your couch. You may be tempted to work late into the night to accomplish a task or to impress new clients. As a result, all that late-night screen time can affect your sleep and interfere with your circadian rhythms.
Taking Long NapsWorking from home comes with lots of freedom and temptations. For example, you might be tempted to take naps between work sessions. Naps are good at rejuvenating your mind and body. However, the American Psychological Association cautions that if you nap multiple times throughout the day or close to bedtime, you might struggle to maintain a consistent sleeping schedule. Here are some suggestions for how to help yourself sleep better even when you are working from home:
Create and Maintain a Constant RoutineEstablishing and following a strict routine for waking up, exercising, starting work, eating and ending work while at home can be an uphill task because there is no external authority to enforce it. But it's the surest way to maintain a constant sleep schedule. For a start, try to copy your regular schedule. It will be easy to follow since you're already used to it. Be sure to include 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day.
Draw A Line Between Personal and Professional TimeHowever hard it might be, it's crucial to draw a line between your personal and professional time at home. One way to achieve that is by creating a room or space to serve as a home office and avoid working from anywhere else in your home. And, it is important to set start and stop times to your working hours.
Watch What You Eat and DrinkConsuming things like caffeinated beverages, greasy foods or too much sugar may affect your ability to sleep. So, watch what you eat. Avoid the temptation to drink coffee late into the night and remember to keep your meals healthy and balanced.
Invest in A Good MattressThe quality of the mattress you choose has an impact on your sleep and on your overall health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, over 92% of Americans believe a good mattress is required for sleeping better naturally. The best kind of bed out there is a hybrid organic mattress. This type of mattress helps you:
- Minimize stress and anxiety
- Relieve aches and pains
- Reduce allergens
- Improve the quality of your life