There was a time where “working from home” was only done by a select few, but in today’s world it’s a phrase everyone has become accustomed to. Although working from home has its benefits, it’s a new thing for a lot of us it’s going to take a toll on our mental health. Below highlights 10 ways to try and protect your mental health while home working.
1.Check- ins and virtual socialisation
Having a regular check in with employees is not only great for making sure everyone meets their targets, but also can be helpful to make sure people are coping and have someone to talk to.
Utilising these services is a great way to communicate with employees and see how they’re doing/feeling.
2. Provide your employees with resources and equipment
While working from home it is important that employers provide their employees all the resources necessary to complete their jobs.
Workplaces have now opted to include dedicated therapy services such as TalkSpace that provides secure and anonymous online therapy, from mental health professionals.
Company gift boxes are also a great way that employers are showing appreciation to their work from home workers. We have some available here!
3. Encourage physical fitness but also rest
When working from home, the line between work and home can easily become blurred. Many people forget to go outside and exercise, or their regular in person training classes may have been cancelled.
However, during the pandemic there has been a boom in online workout classes that can easily be done while at home.
4. Celebrate your employees
When working from home and trying to balance their home life with their job in the middle of a global pandemic, the confidence of an employee’s ability to do their job well can drop.
Celebrating your employees’ achievements and providing them incentives for continuous great work can go a long way to show them that they are appreciated, boosting their self-esteem and ensuring a happy employee.
Showing appreciation doesn’t need to involve a grand gesture, it can be a so-called small thing such as an email saying “good job”.
Providing employees with bonuses for completing a project, or a birthday is also a good way to keep employees happy and therefore causes them to keep providing excellent work.
As said before, sending employees gifts is a great way to show appreciation while they are working from home. These gift boxes are available here.
5. Trust workers
Trusting your employees is more important than ever right now. You need to trust that your staff will get the work done while at home.
If they were good, productive employees in the office it’s likely that they will be the same at home.
Many people are trying even harder while working from home, out of fear that their bosses don’t trust them, and fear losing their jobs.
6. Acknowledge the fact that it’s okay not to be okay
Toxic positivity is something that’s not talked about enough.
It consists of the assumption that despite a person’s emotional pain and turmoil, they should only have a positive mindset. When feelings of stress and anxiety present themselves, we feel the best strategy is to pretend that our negative feelings don’t exist.
We try to convince ourselves that our negative emotions aren’t important.
An important first step to improving your mental health while working from home is understanding that it’s ok to not be ok.
Take a deep breath, focus on what you can change with the resources you have. The biggest mistake is to stress out on situations that are not under your control.
7. Try to look for the benefits rather than the negatives of being at home
Although there can be downsides from home working, there are also a tonne of positive benefits of working from home!
- Spending less money on going out, save it for something you’ve always wanted to do or buy, or donate to a good cause.
- Less time commuting.
- Reading that book you’ve had for ages or watching a series you haven’t had time for before.
- Time to learn something new (language, skill etc)
- Catch up on overdue DIY projects.
8. Make time for things you enjoy
As outlined above, working from home can cut down time from commuting among other things, and therefore give you more time to enjoy all the things you love. It can be going out with friends for drinks, watching a movie, playing games or any activity that you can get lost in.
Taking time for yourself helps us put things into perspective.
While you might have had a stressful day at work, doing something you love can ease the stress you feel and improve your mental health.
9. Create a WFH schedule and set boundaries
Office work usually has a fixed schedule. You get into the office to start work at 9 and then finish at 5. After that you can do all the other activities you enjoy.
However, working from home doesn’t work that way…
When working from home it’s crucial to create a WFH schedule and set boundaries. Be clear to your co-workers about your availability times.
Setting boundaries will help you organise your life better and keep your mental health in check.
10. Be kind to yourself
The most important thing you can do for your mental health is to be kind to yourself. Remember, this is an unusual situation and things will not feel normal.
Be realistic about what you can achieve given the circumstances, and relax when your work is done.
Due to recent events it is clear to see that working from home is here to stay. That doesn’t mean it’s all bad though as working from home can have clear benefits over being in the office 5 days a week.
However, because the effects of working from home has on our mental health is still relatively new for all of us, it’s important we take measures to protect it the best we can.
This can be done by:
- virtual socialisation
- Having the right equipment
- Physical activity
- Trust between employer and employee
- Acknowledge its ok to not be ok
- Look for the benefits
- Doing things you enjoy
- Creating a schedule
- Being kinder to yourself