Protecting Your Wellbeing While Working From Home – Guest Blog by Ruby Clarkson
If, like many of us, you’ve found yourself working from home for the first time, then don’t panic! A large percentage of the population has adapted their personal and working lives to fit around the new rules surrounding Covid-19. In particular, many people are now working from home as a result of social distancing measures brought in to prevent the spread of the virus.
Working for home has several great benefits including lower costs and no commuting. However, it can also be a challenge, especially for people who are not used to working from home. To help you stay healthy and productive during this time, here are some useful tips on protecting your wellbeing while working from home.
Create a separate workspace
When you work from home, you must have a dedicated space to complete your work tasks. If possible, this should be in a separate area of your home that is quiet and away from potential distractions. Make sure that your workspace is designed to encourage productivity. For instance, you must have a quality chair and desk where you can sit to complete your work tasks. This will ensure that you can sit comfortably and remain focused on your tasks throughout the working day.
A high-quality chair and desk will also help you maintain a good posture and minimise your likelihood of developing health conditions such as back and shoulder pain. You can further enhance your workspace by keeping the area clean and clutter-free and ensuring that you have sufficient lighting. Nature can also have a positive impact on productivity. One study found that spending just 50 minutes outdoors can boost a person’s mood, along with improving their memory and attention to detail. Incorporating nature into your home office by adding houseplants or fresh flowers, can help you create a healthy and productive working environment.
Follow a work routine
When you work from home, it may be tempting to abandon your usual work schedule, have lie-ins, and sit around in your pajamas all day. However, you will quickly realise that your productivity and wellbeing will suffer without a routine. According to mental health charity, The Blurt Foundation, having a daily routine helps us adapt to change, develop healthy habits, and manage stress more effectively. When you start working from home, decide on a work schedule and stick with it i.e. you may decide to work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Or you might prefer to complete your work tasks between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Working from home gives you the flexibility to choose your working hours, but it’s important to remain organised.
Take regular breaks
When you work from home, you may try and complete your work tasks as quickly as possible so that you can finish earlier. However, working in this way can lead to stress and burnout which will harm your work performance and wellbeing in the long-run. For that reason, you must take regular breaks from your work tasks to relax and recharge. The Health and Safety Executive recommends taking short, frequent breaks i.e. a 10-minute break for every 60 minutes of work.
Make sure that you move away from your workstation to give yourself a proper break from your work tasks. You could spend your break reading a chapter of your book, catching up on your favourite television programmes, or relaxing in your garden. Mowers Online explains how; “gardens have to be recognised for their skill at unburdening us psychologically and providing an important outlet for stress relief.” Get some fresh air and enjoy the benefits of nature by going on a walk around the block, or visiting a local park.
Stay in touch with your colleagues
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is dealing with the lack of social contact. Working remotely can create feelings of loneliness and isolation, particularly for people who enjoy a busy office environment. Fortunately, you can easily stay in touch with your work colleagues, clients, and customers using communication technology such as instant messaging apps and Skype. Make sure that you maintain your workplace relationships by staying in regular contact with your colleagues and managers. Your colleague may be able to give you useful advice and guidance on how to work more effectively from home.
Working from home certainly has its advantages, but it is not always as easy as it sounds. Make sure that you are prepared for the transition and ready to overcome any challenges you may face. Use the above tips to help you stay productive, healthy, and happy while working from home over the coming weeks!