The recent trend of remote and hybrid work structures has meant that many workers have continued to work from home post-pandemic. Remote working can have its challenges of course and can take its toll on our physical and mental wellbeing!
TOP TIPS TO HELP YOU CREATE A POSITIVE WORKSPACE WHILST WORKING REMOTELY
1. Keep your mind focused on the positives
Keeping a positive outlook is about being optimistic, even in the most difficult of situations. People with positive attitudes remain hopeful, are more alert, have less stress, and have a lower risk of suffering from poor mental health. Working from home means no commuting which can free up time to exercise before work or start your day with a yoga session, or some mindfulness! Working from home means that stress levels are lower too as there’s no traffic or public transport delays to deal with! And you can even keep on top of some chores around the house during your breaks!
2. Set the boundaries
Look after your wellbeing by setting boundaries with other members of your household. Talking to your family members or people you live with about what you require to make sure you can work efficiently at home is so important. Sticking to a routine or schedule and turning your computer off at the end of your working day will help you to keep the definition between work and home life. Once finishing work, do something that makes you feel that you have ‘closed the door to the office for the day.’ Spend some time with the family, meet up with a friend outside or take a long hot bath or shower.. but whatever you choose to do, keep away from that computer – it is all too easy to keep logged on!
3. Take regular breaks
Working from home can often be more intense, working longer hours and a feeling that you have to be available 24/7 for fear of your boss thinking you’re not working hard enough! Taking regular breaks is so important for both your mental and physical wellbeing. Try setting an alarm to remind you to take that all-important reset! Walking from your bedroom to your home workstation isn’t going to fill your lungs with fresh air! Nor will it invigorate you before your workday begins! If you don’t have the luxury of opening a window or back door, then try and head out for a lunchtime walk. Filling your lungs with oxygen, will be sure to boost your energy levels and your wellbeing!
Narrow the search for your next wellbeing initiative and discover the Wellbeing People approach to workplace wellbeing.
4. Dedicated workspace
If you can, making a dedicated workspace away from your bedroom and away from noise is vital for your mental health and productivity. Working in an environment that is cluttered can affect your stress levels and your ability to focus. Your desk at home might not be perfectly ergonomically set up compared to your work office but you can ensure your work area is tidy and organised as this will help you to work more efficiently and feel calmer.
5. Dress for work
Getting dressed for work shifts your brain into work mode. You can still dress comfortably but wearing specific clothes for work can make you feel ready to tackle your day. It will also help to define the boundaries of work and home life! Let’s face it, keeping your PJs on doesn’t really set up our mindset for a productive day’s work!
6. Move and stretch regularly
Remote working can mean fewer interruptions or distractions, so you may find yourself sitting and concentrating for longer than you would in an office situation. This can lead to poor posture, aches, pains and often headaches! Ensure your workstation is fit for purpose as sitting hunched over a laptop on the sofa or at the kitchen table could lead to neck pain and muscle stiffness. Take regular breaks to stretch out or go for a brisk 5-minute walk up the street or around your garden. This will not only help to improve your posture but will help you to relax and destress too.
7. Communication is key
A recent study of over 61,000 Microsoft employees found that home working can cause workers to be more isolated in how they communicate, engage in fewer real-time conversations and spend less time in meetings. This can have a negative impact on information sharing and on productivity. This lack of social interaction can also affect our mental health, leading to depression and loneliness. Try setting up daily calls with other members of staff and/or your line manager and have an informal chat too – just as you would in the office! If you are struggling or need help, then reach out – you may find others are experiencing the same things as you are. For more info on digital wellbeing – take a look here at our Improve your sense of digital wellbeing blog
8. Be kind to yourself
Many of us are getting used to remote working but it can still come with its challenges. Therefore, it is really important to balance productivity with taking care of your own wellbeing, or you may risk burnout. Be kind to yourself by making self-care a priority. Following the steps above are essential for your own motivation and productivity – be realistic about what you can achieve and give yourself time to relax at the end of your working day.
References and further reading
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