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Staff & Training

UpKeep’s Remote Life: How to Maintain Work-Life Balance During COVID

Ryan Chan

According to The American Institute of Stress, 80% of American workers feel stress on the job, and nearly half want to learn how to better manage stress. And, this study was done before COVID-19 hit, turning work as we know it on its head. Navigating through this challenge, individuals and organizations must proactively take actions to prevent the onset of stress.

At UpKeep, making sure that our team is working in a positive and healthy workplace environment has always been a top priority. Especially during these unprecedented times, fostering a workplace culture that supports our team’s mental health and well-being has taken center stage.

One way we have been looking out for out team has been emphasizing the importance of work-life balance. In our weekly team newsletter, our HR Director, Katie, has been sharing some work from home tips and tricks to help our team’s transition to remote work and preventing burnout. Here are the tips below!

Tip #1 – Create Clear Boundaries

There is a tendency to work longer hours when working remotely. When our home suddenly becomes our office, it can be difficult to separate our work lives and from our personal lives. But, it is imperative that we can pull ourselves away from work to avoid burnout and stress. To create these boundaries…

  • Go about your daily routine as you normally would, e.g., shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and then start your work day. This helps to create a separation between work and home life, just like commuting to the office would in normal times.

  • Create work start and stop rituals. Start and end work as you normally would when you are working in the office.

  • If you have work-related applications or softwares on your phone or computer, disable notifications so that you fully switch off after work.

Tip #2 – Take Long and Short Breaks

  • Block off a lunch break each day, and make sure you have enough time to actually prepare and eat a meal. We found meal prepping for the week has given our team more time to actually sit and enjoy lunch.
  • Have movement moments throughout the day! While we can not go outside much (and if you do, try to wear a mask!), take some time to get up and stretch, do some chair stretches, or even do a quick livestreamed workout in the comfort of your home.
  • Banish your vacation guilt and take time off from work! Although we are working from home and traveling might not be in the cards for many of us during this season, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up when we want to take a leave from work for a few days of rest and relaxation. At UpKeep, we recognize that regular breaks and vacations go a long way towards helping our team feel recharged! Here are some places our team has visited (safely):

Taken by Renee Hernandez, Technical Support Rep, at Convict Lake!

Taken by Elizabeth Johnson, Sr. Customer Success Manager, at Big Bear!

Taken by Nicole Stehura, Account Manager, at Corral Canyon!

Taken by Roxie Friberg, FP&A Manager, at Capitol Reef and Goblin Valley!

Tip #3 – Build Remote Work Skills to Have a Great Day of Work

There’s no doubt that we will feel stressed and overwhelmed from time to time. Here are some methods to help manage stress and keep it at a healthy level!

  • Struggling with time management? Try out the Pomodoro time management assistant to help keep you focused!
  • Take extra time on written communication, whether on Slack or email or on any company communication tool, to ensure your messages don’t get misconstrued. Similarly, if you receive a message and find yourself getting frustrated, make sure to ask questions to get as much context as possible.
  • To avoid home distractions while working, make sure you have a designated work space set up for yourself.
  • Over communicate! Keep your team updated on the progress you’re making on projects and send updates often.
  • Working from home can feel lonely, so take extra effort to connect with your coworkers. Schedule spontaneous check-ins with others (even quick five minute chats). Take time at the start of meetings to ask connection-building questions.

By providing a positive and healthy work environment, companies can ensure that their teams’ health and well-being are not something that comes as an after-thought. Instead, mental health and work-life integration will be at the forefront!

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