As a business you will want to ensure that your employees workload is managed effectively and their overall wellbeing is prioritised at all times. For some, working from home is a welcome change and for others, it can be a difficult experience to which it takes a bit of time to acclimatise. Agile working, in one form or another, seems to be with us to stay, so it is worth having a think about yours and your employees individual working habits and how they might work best for you in your career generally.
There are a number of tips you might wish to encourage your employees to think about and try whilst working from home. Everyone is different so these are just some ideas to help improve physical and mental wellbeing:
- Try to stick to regular hours. As well as providing you with a structure to your day, the discipline can help motivate you and can help you to separate work from home life more easily;
- People can sometimes struggle with the lack of a commute, which helps some people to plan the day ahead more calmly and helps you wind down at the end of the day. It might therefore help to try and replicate this time. Take 10 minutes in the morning to go for a walk around the block to mentally prepare for your day. Repeat this at the end of the day to “switch off” and get back into “home” mode. This can also give you some exercise which helps with releasing endorphins;
- Keep meetings to a maximum of 50 minutes to allow time to have a break/stand up/get a cup of tea;
- Remember the physical benefits for your eyes and body of taking regular breaks. Make sure you stand up, move around and be away from your devices. Set a timer regularly through the day to remind you to do this if necessary;
- Schedule time in your diary for lunch and take this away from your desk;
- Get outside. Take a walk for 30 minutes during your day – even 10mins can make a difference. The importance of fresh air is always underrated;
- Try and work where there is plenty of natural light. This isn’t always possible, but if it is, move your work space towards the window. Sunlight triggers the brain to release the hormone serotonin. It helps people to feel calm and focussed, boosts their mood and reduces anxiety;
- Most people will be used to working in an office with a low level of noise and chatter. You could try simulating this by having the radio on quietly in the back ground. This can give people comfort without being distracting. Think about the conditions that help you to work best;
- Maintain social contact – and not just online. If you need to have a meeting with a colleague, consider taking the meeting outside and walking while you meet (subject to local or national restrictions of course). Arrange a coffee with someone and meet half way. Vary how you communicate with colleagues generally to ensure that the best balance is created to suit your personal preferences wherever possible;
- Be understanding of others’ challenges and difficulties. No one knows what personal difficulties people might be facing;
- If you are struggling, talk to someone. If you don’t feel able to talk to your family, or friends, a trusted colleague or your manager might be able to help or you could phone and talk to someone anonymously. Here are some helpful links:
- Encourage your teams to reach out for help or suggest ideas about how their life working from home could be improved.
- You could consider putting an Employee Assistance Program in place for your employees. An EAP Scheme is an employee benefit program that assists employees with personal problems and/or work-related problems that may impact their job performance, health, mental and emotional well-being. For more information please let the team at GF HR Consulting know and we’d be happy to help.