As we enter a third national lockdown this January, many of us will find ourselves, once again, working from home. Although some people find it easy to adapt to working from home, or perhaps do so full time, for others, it can be extremely difficult to get used to a new environment and way of working.
For those struggling to get into the swing of things while homeworking, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you look after your mental health and enhance efficiency:
Maintain a routine
It can be easy to let work-life spill over into your personal life while working from home. To combat this, try to stick to a routine similar to the one you would be following if you were working from the office: maintain your sleeping patterns and times you have breakfast and lunch, as well as your regular finish time. Most importantly, when you’ve finished, make sure to log off and stop thinking about work for the day. Giving yourself some time to unwind and focus on your family/home life will help you feel ready to go and focused for the next day.
In what would usually be your morning ‘commute time’, we suggest doing something proactive that will look after your mental health such as going for a walk, exercising, or reading a book. This will relax your mind before you log in for the day.
Get dressed for work
It’s important to set yourself strict boundaries about how you will work from home. While it seems easy to roll out of bed and switch on your laptop in your pyjamas, getting up and dressed for work will help you feel refreshed and help your mind prepare to start the day, whereas you may find you’re less productive if you stay in your sleepwear.
Set out a dedicated workspace
One great tip to help keep your home and work lives separate is to set out a dedicated space to work. Make sure everything you need to work efficiently (e.g. your pens, paper, laptop, mobile, chargers etc) is set up in your workspace before you start. If possible, choose a separate room and shut the door.
Not only will this help you work more efficiently, by providing you with a quiet space away from the noise and distractions of those you live with, but it will also help with your mental health. When you enter that space, you will be in ‘work-mode’ and ready to get things done. However, as soon as you log off and leave your dedicated work area, you are finished for the day.
Try to sit at a desk or a table where you can. While sitting in bed may seem comfortable, sitting with bad posture for prolonged periods can cause health and back problems. If you do not have an adjustable office chair, try using cushions or a footrest to support you at your home desk. Click here to read NHS guidelines on setting up your home workspace correctly.
Be kind to yourself
Although we are all trying to function as normally as possible, it’s important to remember that the circumstances we are living in are unusual and stressful. It is common to feel anxious or stressed and perhaps have days which are less productive than usual. But try to be realistic about what you can achieve in a day and make sure to relax once the workday is over.
For further advice, you can click here for a Coronavirus and isolation toolkit provided by mentalhealthatwork.org.uk.
Or, if you’re a member of Crest Plus Umbrella, click here to log in to our members portal and access our online video resources which range from mental health tips to home workouts, and support with home tutoring.