Right now, it’s okay if you’re still trying to wrap your head around the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Along with caring for the health and safety of yourself and loved ones, you may be managing concerns like job transitions and financial implications. If you feel like the uncertainty and stress of your current reality is weighing you down, you are not alone.
Many companies have asked that those who are able to work from home do so for the time being. Even with modern technology making remote work a reality, it can still be a challenging adjustment—mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. It’s easy to lose heart, but perhaps right now is the best time to take charge of your life.
Whatever your current situation and state of mind, we’re sharing solutions to help you improve and maximize workplace wellness from home and minimize financial stress.
MANAGE JOB RELATED EXPENSES
It’s not uncommon for employees to incur various expenses due to the nature of their job. Although now, due to current events, there’s a shift in what job-related expenses look like as employees switch to remote work. According to AppZen, an AI platform for finance departments, “Work-from-home expenses are increasingly common, and will likely continue to increase over the next few weeks as more companies continue to temporarily close their offices.” So how can you lessen the burden of work-from-expenses?
Part of what makes a successful transition to an at-home work environment involves having a fully-functioning workspace. In a time where finances are tight or unpredictable, spending money for a well-equipped space can feel worrisome. However, many employers are willing to help where they can by allowing you to take home supplies or equipment, or even purchase them for you. If you have to fund your makeshift office yourself, focus on the necessities, and finding bargains wherever possible. For example, not everyone’s lucky enough to have a desk readily available, but a work surface is a must, so explore discount home office furniture options. Other things to consider are waiting for sales on big-ticket items, buying refurbished gear, and repurposing items you already have lying around the house.
Work with service providers.
When challenging times arise, we sometimes forget that people tend to come together to work for good. The same applies to businesses. To assist those working from home, many companies such as Zoom, Microsoft, and Google, are showing support by now offering their products and services free of charge or at reduced prices for the foreseeable future. Consider the list of services you currently use to work from home. Check in and see where you could be saving more on said services. Many people also rely heavily on the use of their cell phones for both work and personal purposes. With our My Choice plan, you only pay for the data you need, making it an ideal option if you’re using less data now that you’re connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi more.
ADOPT HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHANGES
The relationship between health and wealth is a two-way street. Taking steps to improve your physical and mental well-being will also improve your financial well-being and vice versa. Use this time to pay attention to your health habits and allow new opportunities for bettering yourself to unfold.
Eliminate expensive and unhealthy habits.
It’s easy to dwell on the downsides surrounding your current situation. But a happy and healthy mindset consists of taking the good with the bad. In other words, not overlooking the positive aspects of something even if the negative aspects are prominent. Instead of being disappointed that you can’t stop at your favorite coffee shop before work, consider the benefits of making coffee at home. The cost difference between buying coffee at a cafe versus brewing a cup at home is $1,200 a year compared to $45 a year, respectively. Not to mention drinks from coffee franchises contain tons of added sugar and calories.
This same theory applies to your eating habits as well. Rather than going out to eat on your lunch breaks, you’re saving money and calories by having lunch at home. Plus, with the extra time you save by not commuting, you can prep healthy meals ahead of time.
Take advantage of wellness initiatives.
Are you taking full advantage of the wellness perks and benefits offered by your job? Findings from Rutgers on health and personal finances note that workplaces are using monetary incentives to encourage their employees to adopt better health behaviors. Some are providing financial rewards for weight loss, allowing employees to earn “a dollar per pound” through weight-loss contests, exercise programs, and other fitness-related activities. Although, when we’re under chronic stress (as many are currently), our bodies release cortisol. This hormone can cause us to over-eat and crave unhealthy foods, making weight loss difficult.
It can help to employ an incentivized weight loss program like WW’s, which is currently using its platform to support those impacted by COVID-19. When members participate in the app’s rewards program by tracking their food and physical activity, the rewards they earn can be redeemed for donations to hunger relief organizations. They can also be used towards gifts for themselves to keep them motivated and on the right track.
TALK TO SOMEONE
Many of us were brought up with the understanding that talking about money is taboo. This can result in shying away from discussing financial problems. Having these conversations and getting the appropriate help is actually one of the best remedies for overcoming financial stress. Many businesses have different resources and opportunities to alleviate financial stress and support the well-being of their employees.
Address concerns with your employer.
It may seem counterintuitive to talk about personal finances with your boss or supervisor due to fear of being seen as inappropriate or irresponsible. Still, in actuality, it can work in your favor. Financial stress can cause employees to spend time during work hours dealing with personal issues rather than work responsibilities. Shedding light on your financial situation gives your supervisor insight into what might be affecting your work performance. It can also help them become more aware of resources you may be lacking.
Believe it or not, many companies have a genuine interest and concern for their employees’ financial well-being. They know that caring for their employees makes them feel valued and, in turn, strengthens employee commitment to the organization. This reduces turnover and helps to increase the bottom line. Countless organizations have Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), which include support and services that address a number of problems—financial, legal, or personal—to help employees improve their well-being and get back on their feet, especially during particularly troubling times like these.
Seek counsel from an outside source.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for overcoming financial stress. The most useful help usually comes from a combination of treatments. If you find yourself suffering from immense stress and anxiety (which may be heightened by the pandemic), adding a mental health professional into the mix can help. A trained therapist will provide the necessary emotional support to help cope with financial stress and other worries. Many mental health therapy services are now available via teletherapy. Better yet, in some states, therapists are currently offering their services free of charge.
In an ideal world, we could go about our lives without our worries impacting us. But for many employees, the reality is that stress knows no boundaries. Ultimately, investing time in your well-being will leave you happier, healthier, and wealthier, while also giving you peace of mind during unprecedented times.