With the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) we want you all to stay safe and well. It is going to be a difficult time for all of us, so we have created some helpful hints and tips for working at home and general wellbeing.
Wellbeing when working from home
Do not be lonely:
Pick up the phone for a chat if you need one and use it as an alternative to emails or Skype instant messaging. Think about regular check-ins to talk about what you are working on and cover some of the social elements if needed. But do not be afraid to talk to other colleagues who may be feeling the same.
Break your day into tasks:
Only check emails when you need to and focus on the job you are working on.
Listen to some music, stay hydrated, remember to eat snacks and lunch throughout the day.
Have a “home time”:
Shut down your laptop and tidy it away where you cannot see it. Otherwise, it might tempt you to think about work in the evening when you should be relaxing and taking your time away from work.
Think about your environment:
If you’re working from home for an extended period of time, consider whether it’s set up in the best way to support you.
Working 9 to 5 from your sofa…
Now that many of us are having to work from home, it’s important to understand and get the home versus work balance right. Here are some top tips on how to work from home successfully, whilst keeping in check with your mental and physical wellbeing.
Take lots of breaks
It may just be going to make a cuppa or getting up to walk around for a bit. Whatever it may be, just be sure to take yourself away from your workstation from time to time.
All too often, we stay planted in front of our laptops. This can make us feel isolated and generally a little down, so definitely take five minutes for every hour or so you work.
Drink plenty of water
It’s so important to remain hydrated throughout the day. Drinking plenty is the best way to stay positive and keep an active mind.
Do not forget to eat well
When working, even in an office, people sometimes forget to eat. However, a benefit of working from home is that you have a great opportunity to make the most out of cooking a healthier lunch.
This also gives you a good, well-deserved break away from your screen.
Think posture and workstations
Check your equipment and make sure you’re sitting correctly – this will help with back pains and headaches.
Setting up a comfortable workstation and trying to keep to that one room in the house for working is ideal. Otherwise, you can become irritated and restless at home, even if you’re not actually working.
Communicate with others
Remember to check in with other colleagues. Often people forget to talk to one another while working from home – we build own little bubbles and forget we have colleagues.
Unfortunately, yes, home working can sometimes feel lonely, especially without those chats in breakout areas every now and again. So, remember to ask how your colleagues are doing occasionally.
Take advantage of technology
Skype can be a great tool when working from home and keeping in touch with your colleagues.
It’s best to set aside stigmas surrounding Skype when it comes to your status online (being “green” for available, “orange” if you have been away and so on). Being “orange” does not, and should not, suggest that you’re not working. And if you need to work on something without disruption, set your status to “Do not disturb”.
Get into a good routine
Whether you usually come into the office for 7am or 10am, keep motivating yourself to clock in and work from home for the same time. If we fall out of these routines it can be easy to stay in bed and get lost in the day.
Instead, start your day with a shower, get dressed and have a good breakfast. Nothing sets you up for a positive and productive day more.
Embrace the benefits of home working
Taking care of yourself is essential, not just in work but in life. But when we work from home, it can be easy not to self-care.
Why not go walking (if you’re not self-isolating), meditate, or even exercise when you take a break from working from home. You have the time to do it, so no excuse not to.
Embrace the freedom working from home brings and set yourself goals or targets to allow for a happier day.
Staying mobile at home
When working from home, it’s all too easy to get absorbed in what we’re doing. This can mean we end up sitting in front of our laptops for longer periods of time.
We also might not get the same level of activity we usually do each day when walking around the office or to and from the car, bus or train.
However, there are home exercises we can do as a great way of getting more mobile after sitting down for a while. They can also help to lift our mood and energy levels.
The NHS offers suggestions on some easy, gentle exercises that you can do indoors.