It has been a week since we were put into a second lockdown in England, which has seen many of us going back to working from home. Coronavirus has changed everything, and we have all had to adjust to new ways of living and working. Although some people have found that working from home can be hugely beneficial for their wellbeing; not having to commute to work and structuring their day around their personal life more easily, we understand that it can also be a stressful and anxious time for others. The lack of structure and interaction with your colleagues can feel very isolating. Working from home, the increased stress levels and feeling of loneliness that come with it can also impact other areas of our lives; such as difficulty sleeping and a negative impact on our mental health.
At Troo, we are also adapting to working from home and have put together a few of our top tips, which include small changes you can make to your daily routine to ease your worries, be more productive and ensure you are maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
The Health and Safety Executive recommends that short, frequent breaks are more satisfactory than occasional, longer breaks. We believe that you should aim to take a quick 5-10 minute screen break for every 50 minutes you spend at a screen, to allow breaks from concentrating on the screen, sitting in the same position or repetitive input work.
This could be simply hanging out the washing or playing with your furry friend. Organise a few different short breaks throughout the day; a quick phone call with your friend or family member at 11am, followed by a brisk walk at lunch and a coffee break at 3pm. These short breaks will help you be more productive when you come back to your work and help you manage feelings of stress.
We have become used to being surrounded by our colleagues everyday and being able to bounce ideas off of each and communicate easily, which makes working from home extremely isolating and lonely. Staying in touch with your colleagues, friends and family is a great way to boost their mental wellbeing as well as your own.
Schedule daily or weekly calls with your co-workers to ensure you are staying on top of work and talk through any concerns you may be having. Do the same for your family, friends and loved ones. Ask how they're doing and whether there are ways you can support each other, they are more than likely also finding aspects of this second lockdown or working from home difficult too.
Although exercise is great for our physical health, it's important not to underestimate how much good it can also do for our mental health. Regular exercise is one of the best strategies for combating stress, increasing energy and productivity, and improving your quality of sleep.
We know there isn't always time for a full on HIIT workout in the middle of the day, so why not try incorporating brisk walking breaks into your daily routine? You are still able to meet one person from outside your household for exercise or if you don't live near your friends, you can plan a walk and phone call catch-up once a week.
It may feel counterproductive to take time out of your working day to organise all the work that still needs to be done, but it’s sure to benefit your mental health in the long run. It allows you to prioritise your workload and avoid overworking yourself.
Try and set clear tasks and things you want to achieve for the week ahead and break that down into a day by day to-do list. Remember, you might not always get as much done at home, but some days you might get loads done!
To conclude, the most important tip we have is to be kind to yourself! Remember, this is an unusual situation and things will not feel normal, so don't be too hard on yourself if it's taking you a while to adapt to your new routine. We are all in this together and nothing lasts forever.