Managing wellbeing from home
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a dramatic shakeup of how almost all organisations in the world do business, and for a majority of people, that has meant spending at least some time working from home.
For many, working from home has been a reality for two years now. But just because it’s a reality, it doesn’t mean it’s been mastered. Just like we’re asked to keep improving our work standards and productivity, it’s vital we remain open to looking at ways to ensure being confined to our homes doesn’t impact our mental wellbeing.
While most employers have provided the tools, software and the flexibility required to maximise employee output, there’s still a void of advice and support around how to maintain the mental health and wellbeing of staff in this changed work environment.
Here’s some key tips to keep staff wellbeing in check in the home working environment.
Creating a dedicated workspace is a game changer
It is well documented that creating a dedicated workspace, either in a separate room or in a section of a room, can help boost productivity when working from home by limiting distractions. But it also has a number of wellbeing benefits.
One issue that arises for many people working from home is that it can be hard to delineate ‘work time’ from ‘home time’, which makes it hard to switch off and relax when work responsibilities are over for the day.
Having a separate workspace that you are only present in during work hours will help alleviate that common work-from-home feeling of never being able to mentally clock off from work.
Create routines … and stick to them.
Routines and habits are harder to regulate when no one is looking. Even the most seasoned work-from-home-veterans can sometimes fall into the trap of treating work time and home time as ‘fluid’, particularly for those with families. Unfortunately, any benefits that might be gained from maximising time are invariably outweighed by the added stress of multi-tasking and never being about to properly switch off from work.
By creating or refining a clear work routine that includes a start time, end time and a lunch break we can better compartmentalise our work responsibilities and schedule them within designated hours.
Creating and maintain work routines such as waking early, exercising, showering, eating a healthy breakfast and dressing in work attire can also help.
Reach out, connect and create conversations.
While some people have revelled in the fact office chit-chat hasn’t followed them home and consider it a blessing for their sanity and productivity, the reality is we’re social beings and without interaction over a period of time we being to suffer.
We spend half our waking hours working, so naturally our work relationships are extremely important to our sense of connectedness.
As much as possible, try to collaborate with your colleagues over the phone and via video conferencing platforms such as Zoom. This will help to create a sense that the team is still working together towards its common goals and will help you feel less isolated.
Video catchups with colleagues don’t need to be strictly work-related, either.
In an office environment, workers chat over coffee in the break room and have a social get-together on Friday afternoons. Continuing these traditions while working from home can boost morale and strengthen relationships.
Put the phone down! Try a digital detox
Working from home means we are even more reliant on technology than we were before. An overwhelming majority of people also spend a significant portion of their non-working time connected to technology, whether that be social media, messaging platforms, gaming or streaming services. This can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and not present in the real world.
It may sound dystopian, but do yourself a favour and try a digital detox for a small period each night to connect with your family or connect with yourself.
Switching off from technology while exercising can also be a great way to recharge and feel connected to the world around you.
Monitoring wellbeing, it’ll make a world of difference
It’s more important than ever before that managers actively monitor the wellbeing of their teams. In a work from home environment, this could include regular, confidential check-ins to see how things are going.
There is also new technology available that can help managers monitoring the wellbeing of their teams, such as Hoap. Talent can use Hoap to log data about their wellbeing and make that information available both to themselves and to their manager so that it can be used to improve personal wellbeing and team performance.
If you're interested in encouraging more connection and communication in your organisation reach out to the Hoap team today to learn more how our platform is elevating wellbeing and performance for all.