COVID 19: Adjusting to working from home

We recognise that some of you may be working from home during this time.

If you are working from home and don’t usually, the change to routine and process can be difficult. During this difficult time, we want to help you protect your own mental health and wellbeing. Whilst working from home, it’s important to consider how you can focus the five way to wellbeing:

  1. 1. Take notice – be in the present, take note of things around you.
  2. 2. Be active – being more active, enjoying the outdoors and having a healthy, balanced diet can improve how we feel.
  3. 3. Connect – social relationships are key to promoting good wellbeing.
  4. 4. Keep learning – do something for yourself and take time to learn something new.
  5. 5. Give – giving makes us feel good. This could be as simple as saying thank you.

It might not feel like the right time to be thinking of these things, but it is crucial for your mental health.

Tips for working at home

  1. Establish a routine

It is important to try to establish a new routine whilst working from home, and an ideal opportunity to build in existing or new wellbeing activity. Try to maintain regular hours and create new routines. Try to stick to finishing at the time you planned, turn off your computer and put papers way.

  1. Have dedicated space to work

Establish a home/work boundary, even if you set up your work space each day. Try to set up a dedicated space ideally with a properly adjusted desk and chair, like your usual work space. Make sure you can work comfortably, ideally this should be a space where you are less likely to be disturbed.

  1. Take breaks

Make sure you schedule in regular breaks. It’s good to have a routine when you’re working from home, but work shouldn’t become too rigid. It’s important to take regular screen breaks when you need to and get up from your desk and move around just as you would in an office. If it makes you feel better, put your breaks in your calendar so people know where you are.

  1. Get dressed

Getting dressed and having a wash will help you feel prepared for the day and improve your state of mind. You may wish to dress in what you usually would wear for work, some find this put them in the ‘work’ mindset. For others, just getting dressed and out of the clothes worn for relaxing and sleeping really helps. Getting dressed will also increase your likelihood of leaving the house.

  1. Leave the house

Use the opportunity to be active. As you are not leaving the house to go to work, use the opportunity to get out the house and go for a walk. You can enjoy nature, the sunlight and the fresh air – all good for your wellbeing.

  1. Stay connected

People will be working in isolation, and there is less change to engage with colleagues. Make sure you plan in time to speak on the phone, and video call. Think about running virtual team meetings, or even virtual coffee breaks, to encourage interaction.

  1. Ask for help

As you are not sat with colleagues, they are less likely to see if you are stressed or struggling. Make sure you reach out if you are feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Look out for others

If you haven’t heard from one or your colleagues, or they seem quiet, give them a call, check in with them, they may be struggling.

When the workday is over

Make the most of not having to commute and use the extra time to focus on your wellbeing.

  • Plan in activities linked to the five ways to wellbeing. See our wellbeing fact sheet for more ideas.
  • Get a good night’s sleep – if you struggle with sleep perhaps look at your routine and how you wind down before you go to bed. Check out our sleep fact sheet for tips.
  • Try to stay relaxed – refer to our mindfulness fact sheet for information on useful exercises and apps.
  • Focus on your health – cutting down on alcohol and caffeine can have a positive effect on our wellbeing and can also improve sleep. We have a great fact sheet on healthy eating.