Your commute couldn’t be shorter and there’s no dress code. But more than 70 percent of men who work from home feel constantly stressed or rushed—compared to just 50 percent of office workers, finds a new Australian study.
Why? There are no rock-solid explanations, says study coauthor Abigail Powell, Ph.D. But her research finds work-from-home guys are nearly twice as likely to multitask, which has been shown to build stress. At-home workers also spend more time on childcare and household chores, and fewer minutes on leisure activities, the study shows.
Fortunately, there are effective ways to manage that stress, says Linda Wasmer Andrews, a psychologist and author of Stress Control for Peace of Mind.
Set boundaries. Because you’re home, your friends and family may assume they can bug you whenever they feel like it. Outline a firm schedule for work and play—and a designated work space. Make sure everyone knows you’re off-limits when you’re in your “office” during business hours.
Start smart. Begin each day by writing out everything you need to get done. Then rank these tasks in order of urgency or importance. Stick to your list, and you’ll avoid needless multitasking and the stress involved with a less-structured work schedule, Wasmer Andrews says.
Smell the roses. If you’ve been at it for a while, it’s easy to lose track of how awesome working from home can be. Watch the evening news and laugh at the poor guys who have to slog through traffic. Slow business day? Give yourself permission to see a movie or take a long bike ride. Remind yourself most people don’t have those luxuries.