- Connections and interactions with others are essential to our social health, yet it is this element of life that is currently most at risk. When working from home, the impromptu conversations that typically occur at work will need to become more deliberate as we make a more conscious effort to connect with peers.
- Planned, virtual connections (perhaps a 3pm coffee break with your team) and sustaining some form of normalcy will go a long way in promoting team cohesion and camaraderie. Continue to have the same meetings and team gatherings that you would have if you were in the office – just make them virtual.
- There are undoubtedly psychological challenges that are faced when working from home. Loneliness or anxiety will arise in some people, particularly as it is currently unclear how long it will be until things are ‘normal’ again. Practicing mindfulness activities, such as meditation, can be an effective way to support mental health.
- Understanding where your work starts and stops will be important to ensure that you don’t blur the line between home and work life. Creating a designated work area and having clearly defined work hours can help you to stay focused on work and then switch off at the end of the day. Working from home should not mean that you are expected to work outside of business hours.
- Demonstrating care for your peers can go a long way in supporting their mental health and ability to cope with the current crisis. For leaders, it is now more important than ever to model empathy and compassion to reassure employees and ease any stress or anxiety that they may be experiencing.
- A comfortable work set-up is paramount in supporting physical health when working from home. Employees may not have the same tools and equipment at home as they do in the office but it is important to take steps to try to make the home work area as comfortable and supportive as is possible.
- Being at home often results in more sedentary behaviours. Remembering to stand up, move around and stretch regularly will have a positive impact on physical health and can also assist with staying productive.
- A critical aspect of sustaining physical health is drinking water and eating well, so try not to binge eat all the extra food that you have purchased and choose healthy food options instead of reaching for that block of chocolate.
As COVID-19 forces most of us to enter into unchartered waters, let’s all ensure that we make our health and wellbeing a priority. Remember to be safe and engage in healthy habits that support your physical, social and mental health.