Don’t forget to look out for you.
As we all know, a large proportion of the workforce is now into the swing of getting their job done at home. For many, this won’t be anything new and, for others, it could be a whole different way of life – particularly if you’re throwing other factors into the mix, such as home schooling, or caring for vulnerable relatives. Either way, nothing is normal at the moment. Staying at home is no longer a choice, but a moral obligation, and that – alongside all the other factors – can have a massive impact on our overall wellbeing, both mental and physical. We’ve put our heads together to come up with our top ‘self care’ tips to help keep things a little more in balance.
1. Keep checking in with your team
This one is particularly poignant if you’re more used to working within yelling distance of your colleagues. Keep those regular team meetings in the diary, and use one of the many web tools available to retain the structure that you use in the office.
2. Stay social
Related to point 1 above; if you hang out and chat at work in the comfy seating area, the kitchen, or at the water cooler, then you’ll want to (or even need to) do the same when you’re working remotely. Schedule virtual tea breaks to shoot the breeze. Set up a WhatsApp group or a Slack channel. Just keep talking, and retaining that sense of team spirit (read ‘banter’!!).
3. Don’t leave anyone out
It might sound obvious, but ensure the whole team knows about points 1 and 2 – when and where everything’s being held. There will naturally be differing levels of sociability amongst you, but everyone will benefit from seeing and hearing from people.
4. Show your face, when you can
One thing we’ve really noticed that makes a positive difference, is switching on those webcams, and actually seeing people. A voice call will suffice if that’s all that’s available, but the connection (and the benefits reaped from that) is made much stronger when we can involve sight and sound.
5. Compare coping strategies
If you’re running out of things to do (or your kids are), swap ideas with your colleagues. Found a great online art workshop recently? Share the link. Discovered an awesome free fitness app? Refer a friend. Having said that, it can also be strangely comforting to compare mundanities too – you are not alone in your boredom, anxieties, and potential cabin fever.
6. Switch up your workplace
You may not have the luxury of a home office but, even if you do, swap your scenery from time to time. Work from the sofa for an hour if you’re usually at the kitchen table. Hell, be luxurious and base yourself in bed for a morning (although perhaps not advisable for video calls!). Either way, a change is as good as a holiday, and it’ll help keep things a bit more interesting.
7. Don’t forget to move
We’re always told we should do this, even if we’re usually based in an office, and the same holds true for when you’re working from home. Make sure you take regular breaks to stretch, walk around, go into the garden if you have one. Sitting still for too long in one place won’t do anything to help your motivation levels, or your spine alignment.
8. Try and stick to a routine
We never quite get over being babies in this respect; most humans work best when there’s some kind of routine in place. It’s WAY too easy to float back towards your laptop after your working day is done, when it’s sitting in your kitchen/living room/home office – don’t do it. Try and stick to your usual core hours (albeit you may need to build in a bit of float if other things – in my case, children! – take up some of your attention during the day). Equally, it can be helpful to try and draw some distinction between things like what you wear on working and non-working days; mentally, your mindset is likely to subconsciously shift from one to the other too.
We’d love to hear what you’ve discovered that works for you along the way, so please do drop us a line and let us know! It could be productivity related, or simply that you’ve discovered an awesome new board game…tell us about it!