Top tips for positive health and wellbeing while working from home
It's been nearly 12 months since some staff started working from home on a regular or permanent basis. What was thought to have been a temporary measure has now become ‘the new normal’ and with many organisations seeing the benefits of home working on budgets, environmental impacts and increased flexibility, it looks like this way of working will be continuing into the future for many staff.
It's recognised that this transition to remote working has been more of a challenge for some individuals than others and it is appreciated that everyone is in a different situation.
It's important to take the time at this stage to review the routines we have built so far and think about how they could be improved to make health and wellbeing a priority, during the working week but also outside of this time too.
Lockdown 3, for many, has been the hardest due to the weather, reduced daylight and uncertainty around future plans but by supporting our own health and wellbeing can keep us focussed and positive during this time.
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Set your weekly schedule (plan breaks into this) and make it accessible to colleagues, manager and household members
- Switch off at the end of the day
- Separate work and home space, if possible or tidy away equipment at the end of the day
- Take regular screen breaks, it can be useful to set a regular alarm as a reminder
- Follow our Healthy Virtual Meetings guidance to prevent “Zoom fatigue”
- #useyourlunchtime – do some movement, housework, anything that gets you away from your desk and work for a break!
- Use 1:1 meetings to discuss issues such as workload or stress with your manager
- Connect with colleagues informally such as virtual coffee breaks or quizzes
- Get outside and experience daylight during the day
- Do something you enjoy for at least 5 minutes - read a book, watch TV, play a game, do a puzzle, garden, bake, do some craft, have a bath, dance, sing, anything that makes you smile!
- Use tools including mindfulness and 5 Ways to Wellbeing
- Access training including stress management and mental health awareness
- Use support services, if needed e.g. GP, confidential counselling
- Incorporate some activity into each day, through lunchtime walks or a yoga session, chair-based exercises, online videos or something else you enjoy. Put the time into your schedule if it helps you to achieve this
- “Commute” to and from work by walking around the block for 5-10 minutes
- Consider taking walking meetings if you don’t need to be at your computer to have a call with colleagues
- Ensure you are eating a balanced diet and thinking about portion sizes
- Look for swaps you can make for a healthier option
- Plan and prepare your meals and snacks in advance, this can prevent reaching for unhealthier items as well as helping with food waste and budgets
- Keep hydrated throughout the day, this can help with productivity, reduce headaches, aid digestion and much more. Take part in a hydration challenge if this is something you need to work on
- Take a look at our Healthy Eating Workshop video for further information and resources
- Ensure your working area and equipment is set up in the best possible way to prevent issues such back, neck or shoulder pain
- Request a DSE assessment or speak to your manager or Occupational Health regarding equipment, if necessary
- Move regularly throughout the day, at least for a few minutes every hour
- Stand up when making calls or during virtual meetings, if possible
- Take a look at our Lower Back Pain Workshop video and resources for further information on tips to improve and prevent back pain
- Ensure you keep to a regular routine for going to sleep and waking up
- Reduce screen time at least an hour before bed
- Reduce caffeine, alcohol and nicotine throughout the afternoon as these can all disturb sleep
- Make sure your bedroom temperature isn’t too hot or cold and try to create a calming environment
- Consider relaxation techniques before bed or when trying to get to sleep
- Don’t stay in bed for too long if you are struggling to get to sleep, get up complete your bedtime routine again, write down any thoughts and do something to relax
- Access training including sleep hygiene and meditation
There are further links and resources on the resources area of our website if you wish to explore any of these areas further.