Working from Home

Working from home

Spending an increased amount at home, with limited social contact, can take a toll on our mental health. Extended periods at home can cause feelings of boredom and loneliness.

Working from home also takes away routine and structure that might be present in the workplace, such as a walk outside during lunch breaks.

Some staff may be familiar with working from home, or potentially already have a work from home arrangement in place. For those working from home for the first time, they may find the isolation and change in office environment difficult to handle.

Plan Ahead

We recommend that workplaces put in place a plan with their staff prior to entering a potential lengthy period of a work from home arrangement.

This could include:

• Ensuring each staff member knows who to contact if they require psychological support.

• Preparing for the social isolation by increasing buzz or scrum meetings throughout the week, using a video conferencing platform.

• Encouraging staff to create a new daily routine, such as regular breaks, time spent outside, and regular working hours.

Designate a Work from Home Area

You might not have the luxury of a study area, so you may need to use the dining table or a common living area. Set it up so it works for you. At the end of the day, pack away your workspace. This is a process which will let you shut off and wind down, as well as reduce any temptations to work at times outside of your scheduled work hours.

Prepare for Work

Dress in office appropriate attire. Avoid working from home in your pyjamas or tracksuit as it may impact on your focus, energy, and mental preparation for a day of work. Consider wearing your ‘casual Friday’ attire.

Take Frequent Breaks

Go outside, walk around, and stretch. At the office, you have incidental breaks, such as going to speak with a colleague or collecting printing. Without these breaks, working from home has the potential to see us sitting at our computers for longer periods of time.

Stay Connected with your Manager and Team

Let your manager and team know when you are taking a quick break or stepping away from your computer. Keep connected as a team to allocate tasks and have a shared understanding of what everyone is working on. Being outside of the structure of a natural office rhythm can lead to people jumping around from one task to another.

Make Yourself Accountable to Avoid Distraction

It is often easy to find things to do at home, such as putting on a load of washing or preparing dinner. A little distraction can cause disruption to your day. Ensure you prepare your day in the same way you would when attending work at the office. Use coffee breaks or lunch breaks to do any non-work-related activities.

Seek Support

If you are struggling with heightened anxiety, loneliness, or other mental health concerns whilst working from home, reach out for guidance and support.

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