How to work from home and stay strong mentally
Mar 20, 2020
The Government has recommended that those of us who can, should work from home for the foreseeable future. But even assuming it’s physically possible for you to work from home, it’s important to recognise that for some of us, it’s not the perfect set up.
Over the past few years, working from home has often been labelled as a perk. You don’t need to worry about commuting, you can work in your comfiest clothes, and with all the advances in technology we can have far more autonomy over our time. But for some people, working can home can really affect their mental health and we can’t assume it will work for everyone.
For some of us, working from home can cause feelings of isolation and disconnection. They miss the feedback and encouragement they receive from their team mates in the office, which can often be critical to their productivity. Working remotely can also create a pressure “to appear busy” or to be online throughout the working day. This can cause stress.
So, what do the experts recommend?
If working from home is a new phenomenon for you or your employees, follow the advice below and be relaxed about the results you’ll achieve in the first week or so as people find their way.
Suggested advice for working from home:
- In the first instance the focus will be on the technology – making sure you can get yourself up and running with your essential equipment.
- Do try and create a proper work zone if at all possible, and don’t just sit on the sofa!
- Don’t worry about background noises from children or pets – you won’t be the only one!
- Set parameters – you won’t have the natural interruptions of working in an office, so recognise that it’s OK to work in the morning and then take a couple of hours out.
- Make sure you make time to look after yourself – remember to exercise or meditate to help yourself stay relaxed and energised.
- Hold a team call using Skype, GoToMeeting, Zoom, Facebook Messenger or other group telephone call. It only needs to be for 15 minutes or so each morning, and seeing your fellow team members is a boost – just to know that we’re all in it together helps.
- Remember to take a total break for an hour or so between 12 and 2 and if you’ve been working all day, try not to work after 5pm.
- If you are not paperless then allocate someone to fetch and carry files to staff home addresses.
- Let people come into the office alone if they need a day away from home.
This is not a comprehensive list, and you may have other ideas of how to make the arrangements work for you and your business. The important thing is to remember that everyone is in the same boat right now, and most people will be flexible and understanding of your personal situation.