Working from home tips - healthy work/life balance and routine
Our Office Manager Leigh sent us round some great tips for working at home which we thought we'd share a summary of. It's important to protect yourself and do all you can to maintain a healthy work/life balance and routine through these uncertain times.
Keep a routine
Whilst lots of us don't have to get up at 6am without a commute, set a suitable alarm to give yourself time before you start work. Clean your teeth, have a shower, get dressed and eat breakfast as you normally would. Schedule lunch and snacks around your usual eating times and shut down your laptop at the end of the working day. Keeping close to your usual circadian rhythm (fancy word for body clock!) will really help with your wellbeing when everything feels a bit out of control!
Pick your workspace
This is especially hard if you don't have a home office but find a space that feels comfortable. If you have a messy house (we've all been there!) then free up the space from clutter so it doesn't act as a distraction. Also, don't feel like you have to sit in one space - if you're feeling uncomfortable or bored, switch it up and move from your dining table to your sofa for a while. You could even have a separate space for working and for calls like you would for normal meetings.
Don't sit in silence if it's not 'you'
Sometimes we crave silence and quiet but some of us are used to chatting with our team or work better with some background noise - make a playlist full of your top feel-good tracks, stick on your favourite radio station or even the background drone of daytime TV.
It's much easier to stay hydrated when you're constantly being asked by teammates, "do you want a drink" and much more difficult when you're alone. If you're particularly bad at getting enough water in a day, set little reminders in your phone to go and have a drink. We all feel much better when we're hydrated.
Just because you're working from home, doesn't mean you have to sit glued to your laptop all day. If anything this makes us less productive and will be a killer for our wellbeing. Schedule regular breaks throughout the day - step away from your laptop to go for a little walk, take your lunch in another space in the house, spend some time playing with a pet if you're lucky enough to have one (pets are amazing for our mental health!).
Sitting down all day, whatever our work space looks like, is not only damaging to our wellbeing but our physical selves too. Most of us will be working on laptops, hunching our sholders over and typing away. Rememer to stretch and stand up and wander around every half an hour or so. Take the opportunity at the end of the day to walk off the desk hunch, go for a run or find a workout that you can do at home. Exercise is mega important for our wellbeing and our immune system!
Stay in contact
Human contact is super important for our wellbeing and whilst we may be trying to navigate online meetings, if we're used to sitting in a sociable team all day, then being at home could start to feel lonely. Give a friend a call or schedule time for you and your colleagues to have a catch up virtually, so you aren't losing that social human interaction if it's important for you.
Avoid negative social media and news
Nothing is more poisonous to our wellbeing than social media or the news. Having the time at the moment means a rabbit hole of social media posts and news stories and this can mess with your head. Being around people (even virtually) and allowing yourself to think more logically can make you feel better - check in on yourself and what you're reading!
We have a really beautiful opportunity to do good here, within our local community, our social groups and for the people that we know and love. We have a lot of work to do but also have a lot of time now to reflect, process and support where we can.
Useful links for wellbeing and mental health