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6 Mins

How to take care of your wellbeing when working from home

March 20, 2023
Kiera Benson

Since the pandemic, working from home has become the new normal for a lot of people. While there are definitely benefits to working from home (goodbye commute and hello tracksuit bottoms), there are also downsides, like not being able to speak to people in-person and having difficulty separating your work space from your personal space. We’ve put together some tips to help you create healthy work-from-home habits that prioritise your physical and mental health.

Get into a morning routine

When you work from home, there isn’t the same pressure to get up, get dressed and leave the house on time (unless you’re doing the school run first, of course). Although this sounds like a good thing, it can also mean that you don’t make time to prepare yourself for the day ahead.

We suggest managing your morning as if you were commuting. Get up at a regular time that means you’ve had enough sleep, eat breakfast and change out of your pyjamas. You could even add some movement to your day by walking via your local coffee shop, following an online yoga class, or going to the gym, depending on what suits you. When you’ve established your new routine, remember to be consistent.  

Create a dedicated work space

It’s important that you have a dedicated workstation with everything you need in one place. Ideally, this should be somewhere quiet and away from the areas where you relax. Although it’s tempting to sit on the sofa while working, this isn’t good for your posture and it can blur the lines between work and your personal space. Instead, sit at a table or desk in a supportive chair.

You may want to set boundaries by reminding your family or the people you live with that when you’re in that space, you’re at work and you need to focus.  

Connect with your colleagues

In an office, you naturally interact with people throughout the day. You may have a morning catch-up with your co-workers, or sit together at lunch time. These opportunities for conversation make it easier to build relationships with people and get to know them on a professional and personal level.

In comparison, it may feel harder to connect with your team while working from home. So, when you do contact your co-workers, why not try using methods of communication that feel more human? For example, send a voice note rather than an instant message, and video call with the camera on. Plus, making the effort to send that ‘good morning’ message really goes a long way, even if it’s virtual.

Separate home and work

When you work in an office, you can shut down your computer and leave your working day behind. However, when you work from home, your ‘office’ and your personal space crossover, and it’s harder to separate the two. This may make it difficult for you to switch off in the evenings, which can lead to stress.

While it’s important to have a dedicated work space within your home, it’s also crucial that you set yourself boundaries. At the end of the day, stop reading your emails, turn off your laptop and close the door to your work space. Prioritise your rest time to prevent yourself from burning out.  

Remember to move

The chances are that by cutting out your commute to the office, you’re also missing the opportunity to get some steps in. And, since meetings at home are virtual, you may not have many reasons to get out of your chair throughout the day.

It’s important that we move around and use our muscles as often as possible so that we stay fit. Perhaps you could get a standing desk, or take a work call while walking. If not, make time to get some fresh air on your lunch break instead.

Stretching also helps you to maintain a good posture, especially when you’re sat at a desk for long periods of time. Be sure to stand up every 30 minutes to stretch your chest and extend your spine. This will reverse the hunched sitting position and reduce back and neck pain.

Another way to release tension in your body is through breathing exercises. Take five minutes to breathe deeply enough that your abdomen rises and your chest expands. This technique can also help you to feel less stressed and more focused throughout the working day.  

If you’re struggling with work-related stress or burn out, ieso offer online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which may help. Find out more about whether CBT is right for you.

ieso Online Therapy
This blog has been written by a member of the clinical team at ieso.

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