It’s somewhat of a cliché to say it but we truly are living in unprecedented times. This has meant that many businesses have had to rethink the way they work, particularly with regards to where employees are working. Many businesses are complying with government guidance to keep their employees safe by limiting the number of people in offices, this has brought a new set of challenge to employers and employees alike.
The sense of isolation has seen an increase in mental health issues in the workplace and many feel they have nowhere to turn. Firstly, it is important to understand that you are not alone and there are many people going through the same struggles. We have out together a list of some of the things you can do to help ease the affects of working from home on your mental health.
1. Set a routine. Wake up at your normal hour everyday and do as you would normally do on a normal workday. For many this would include getting a shower, reading the news, a cup of coffee or tea and then breakfast. Make sure you take your lunch break and try to finish work in line with your usual working hours.
2. Sleep and wake up at your usual times. Make sure you go to sleep at a reasonable time, it is tempting to sleep a little later and wake up 5 minutes from when you start working but this can create an unhealthy sleeping pattern which will have an impact on your work. By waking up at a normal time you can spend the time you usually spend on a commute getting yourself mentally prepared for the day.
3. Take 5 minute breaks here and there. When you’re in the office these little breaks are natural, a chat with a colleague here, talking weekend plans there, a trip to the kitchen to make tea. When working from home it is easy to feel like you have to be available all the time and taking a 5-minute break is “breaking the rules” but this little break can work wonders. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so then perhaps use these little 5 minutes to carry out our next suggestion.
4. Connect with colleagues for a casual chat. Not all conversations in the office are strictly business, many are casual conversations about all sorts of topics, hobbies, holiday plans, weekends, pets, loved ones etc. Replicate these informal interactions by chatting with colleagues about non work-related matters e.g. just calling for chat, how was your weekend?” use your 5 minute breaks to catch up with colleagues, chances are they are going through the same thing you are.
5. Respect your work life balance. When it’s time for your lunch break, take a step away from your laptop and use that full time relax and recharge your body. At the end of the day pack your work stuff away and shut down for the day. Make sure you make time for the things you enjoy doing, whether that be relaxing with a book, exercising, chatting with friends and family or binge-watching Netflix.