Working-from-home was the new norm in 2020, following into 2021.. Nearly half of the U.S. labor work force began working from home at the start of the pandemic and companies will continue remote work until the pandemic is settles. Whether you prefer to work in the office or from your couch, working from home has its ups and downs. You no longer have to commute, but communicating via technology can create feelings of paranoia. Employees are becoming more and more paranoid as they continue to work from home, and here are some of our tips to help you combat these feelings.
Communicating with your team through technology can be simple, but there is plenty of room for error and frustration. Having conversations through messaging or emailing leaves a lot of gray areas. One of the easiest ways to feed into the working-from-home paranoia is to ready into your communication with your coworkers.
When messaging with your coworkers back and forth, especially those senior to you, it can be hard to pick up on tones or subtle messages within their text. Especially when texting, we all have experienced over thinking the intent of the message. Are they being short with me? Are they mad at me? Did I do something wrong?
Talking in person makes it easy to pick up on these cues, but communicating through devices can create paranoia. It can be easy to feel left out of work chats or conversations. Separate group chats and email chains may not include you.
One of the best ways to combat this paranoia is to do your best to communicate through phone calls and video chats. When talking over the phone, it’s much easier to sense the tone of voice, sarcasm, and annoyance. Phone calls will help ease your mind and communicate more efficiently.
Feelings of judgment
It can be hard to overcome feelings of judgment from others, but it is even harder to sense scrutiny via technology. When on a zoom call, it is common to feel judged for how you look and how your home looks. Do I look presentable? Is my home tidy? Can they see that mess in the corner of the living room?
When you work in a physical office, you only bring yourself. When you work from home, you let your coworkers see a more inclusive glimpse of your life. Now your coworkers can see how tidy you keep your house, your style, who you live with, etc. The more information people have about others, the more they have to judge.
It is common to let feelings of judgment overcome your sense of self and make you feel paranoid. It’s important to remember that everyone at your company is in a similar situation as you and feel a little vulnerable sharing more pieces of themselves.
Working from the comfort of your home can feel amazing, but for those that work best in a team setting with others, it can feel alienating. Not only did we have to change our entire lifestyle, but we’ve had to adapt to working remotely and independently. It’s still possible to collaborate with team members, but they aren’t as readily available for conversation and collaboration when working from home.
For those that are newly onboarded or those that work best with others, paranoia can get the best of you. It’s easy to feel that you’re not doing enough work or that you’re disappointing others, but it’s crucial to remain confident in yourself. Your boss hired you for your role for a reason, and your peers and your senior coworkers have faith that you will work well and hard. Put that thought in the back of your mind when you feel alone, and it can help those feelings of paranoia.
Overall, working from home isn’t for everyone. Even if it is for you, there are always cons that don’t sit well with you. We are all going through this together, and we have experienced paranoia, but those feelings are only temporary. We hope our tips help you get out of the paranoia funk and get into a better headspace.