Stress Awareness Day: 10 tips for working from home
As England heads into a second national lockdown, ISMA’s Carole Spiers provides some tips for working from home during this stressful time.
Stress Awareness Day, which occurs this year on 4 November 2020, was created by the Founder of International Stress Management Association (ISMA) Carole Spiers in 1998.
This week, Carole is speaking at an online Stress and Wellbeing Summit, covering stress management, workplace wellbeing and how to develop resilience during unprecedented times, as a result of the pandemic. In this ‘new normal’, businesses and individuals face huge challenges with thousands of people likely to be working from home for the first time in their lives.
“With over half of adults reporting that their mental health worsened during the first lockdown (MIND Survey, June 2020), it’s more important than ever to get wellbeing working for home-workers,” said Carole.
ISMA has produced 10 tips on working from home productively:
- Dress for work
Find a place that’s exclusively yours during working hours. Get dressed every morning and don’t stay in pyjamas and slippers every day. If you’re making video calls, you need to be dressed for camera.
- Adapting to change
We are creatures of habit and don’t like change. In the current situation, we must adapt and get used to change quickly. Think positively about ways of using your time in isolation most productively.
- Exercise and eat healthily
Allow time for exercise each day – whether a short walk or an online fitness class and diarise it. Be aware of eating healthily and get creative with your cooking if some food items aren’t available.
- Using technology
When you’re used to working with colleagues, it isn’t easy being by yourself. Make full use of video conferencing and phone apps to stay in touch with colleagues and others in your circle.
- Working with family at home
Having to work with small children at home doesn’t help concentration. If you have a partner, share the load. If you live alone with children, get them occupied with an activity before you start to work.
- Plan work in blocks of time
Normal hours 9-5 may not be valid for now. If you have children, you may choose to work in the evening as well. But make sure you take regular breaks and set yourself goals during the day.
- Find a buddy
Working at home can be lonely and you may feel isolated. With no distractions from colleagues, think of someone you can ‘buddy’ with, so you can share experiences and give each other support.
- Getting the right balance
What works for you doesn’t necessarily work for someone else. It will take practice until you find the right balance. Speak to people used to working alone and see what tips and ideas they can share.
- Home and work life
At the end of your day, switch off your computer, tidy your desk and close the door. This routine will become a daily habit and help with balancing your work time and home life.
- Sleeping at night
Due to worry and anxiety, it may be hard to sleep at night, so plan your bedtime. It’s no use working late and thinking you’ll fall sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. Don’t eat rich foods or drink too much coffee after 8pm.
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