Creating a Healthy Environment Whilst Working From Home
Wednesday 29 April 2020
We have all had to make sweeping adjustments to our lives in such a short space of time and for many that includes working from home during lockdown.
Here are 5 tips to creating a healthy environment whilst working from home.
1. Create Boundaries
Working from home means that home and work life can start to blend, which is not a good practice when it comes to supporting our mental health, so we need to look at ways to create boundaries.
This can mean having a dedicated work space. Even if you can’t leave your home desk set up overnight, set it up in the morning and clear it away at the time you would leave work and no going back and checking emails out of hours unless urgent.
Be clear with boundaries with other members of your household too. Make it clear that at certain times of the day you can only be interrupted for emergencies.
2. Structure your day as you normally would
Routine is really important for keeping things ‘normal’. Get up at your usual time and have breakfast as you normally would. Dress as you would for your job this will help in getting you into work mode. Keep to office hours where possible “shutting up” your office at the end of the day.
3. Take regular breaks
Regular breaks from your screen will keep you fresh. Taking a break is like hitting the reset button. Use your breaks wisely. A 10 minute tea break can also be the opportunity to practise a little mindfulness. Lunchtime could provide an opportunity for the household to come together to share a meal and a break. You may wish to get some fresh air, take a brisk walk or get some other form of exercise.
4. Stay Connected with your Colleagues
Working from home can make you feel very isolated so ensure you are staying in regular contact with colleagues and not just via email but use phone and face to face contact, albeit virtually, to maintain a sense of connection with others and to help you still feel part of a team.
5. Ask for help if you are struggling
Working remotely, combined with the pressures of the Covid situation, will throw up challenges for all of us. You may have young children at home or be caring for elderly relatives, you may have a member of your household who is sick, you may find that doing your job without the back up of the office environment is proving more difficult than you thought. Flag any concerns with your boss so they can adjust your workload or provide support in other ways. Your employers still have a duty of care to you no matter where you are working from. If you feel unable to approach your boss, speak to a friend or trusted colleague.