People working from home or remotely
Due to the current restrictions to help reduce the impact of Coronavirus, some, most of us may still be spending a significant amount of time working from home. Working from home for a prolonged period is not something we are not accustomed to.
It’s important that you take steps to look after your mental and physical wellbeing during this time. We all need to find individual methods that support our wellbeing, but need to be mindful that it’s easy to fall into patterns that can impact on our wellbeing.
Keep in contact – social distancing but not social isolation : Whist many of us have partners, families and strong social networks, some people may also be facing social isolation and loneliness. Keep in regular contact with your manager as you would at work, and check in with your colleagues now and again to ask how they’re feeling. Remember to also connect with the members in your household and your wider families and friends via video chat and phone calls.
Take breaks : Sitting for long periods staring at a screen can be tiring and you should factor regular breaks into the working day, even when working at home. During a normal working day in the office there are natural breaks in between meetings – even if this is just a walk down the stairs to a different meeting room, or a trip to the photocopier. You might not realise the benefits of this time away from the computer, but it is proven to increase productivity and improve wellbeing.
Keep active : We all know the benefits of exercise on both our physical and mental health, but we’re likely to more sedentary. Try to remember to take at least 250 steps every hour during the day (some activity trackers will helpfully remind you to do this). If you do have any teleconference calls books, tried to do these whilst walking around – even if it is just around your house or flat – take the opportunity to stand up and stretch. You can also do some home workouts/exercises – there’s plenty of videos on YouTube and this Sport England article has tips and advice on how to keep active in and around your hom
Health & safety : It’s important to follow good health and safety practice in terms of your workstation and display screen equipment (DSE) set up. You should review and complete the Health and Safety Executives (HSE) Display Screen Equipment Workstation checklist via www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ck1.pdf to ensure that your home workstation is correctly set up.
Boundaries : If you’re fortunate enough to have a separate room to work from at home it will be easier to keep your work life separate from your home life. If you can carve out a separate space then try to make yourself comfortable with a good chair and set up an office environment with all of the things you might need to have on hand. Whatever you do, try to pack these items away at the end of the day and set up again at the beginning of the next day – you can use this process as a trigger for switching between work and home mode.
Be clear about your working hours with colleagues (set your availability in your calendar, put on your out of office when you’re not working) and work out with your line manager the pattern you will be working whilst at home and try to stick to this.
For further tips for home and remote working visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk
Tips for Employers and Leaders can also be found at www.mentalhealth.org.uk