Increasingly more people are working from home since the Covid pandemic. While this can be great for some as it means no longer having to deal with the daily commute, for others it can be incredibly lonely and isolating. There are those that struggle with working on their own all day, wishing they could go back to the office as they miss the social side of work and no longer feel connected to colleagues. Some find it hard to switch off and are working harder and longer than they ever did for fear of looking as though they are not doing enough.
The experts at Horizon Health, providers of mental health consulting services, say that looking after your mental health when working from home is especially important as it is easy to get stuck in a rut. It can be hard to maintain motivation and focus, which can ultimately lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. Nonetheless, the following tips should help you maintain overall health and well-being when working at home.
Establish a Routine
When working from home establishing a routine is essential because without it you might find your work and home life getting in the way of each other. Pick a start time and stick to it. Act as though you were still working away from home and get up at the same time. Have your breakfast and get dressed.
Take your lunch break and have it away from the computer. And most importantly, when it is time to clock off, turn your computer off (or, at the very least, stop doing anything else work-related). This is your home time, and it should now be spent with family.
Create a Work Space
Not everyone has the room to dedicate to a home office, but if you are going to be working from home for the foreseeable future then you should create a specific work area that is free from distractions and allows you to focus on work. If there is no one else in the house during the day, you can probably work from the kitchen or dining table. However, if there are others in the home, such as young children, it would make sense to work in a different room where you can close the door.
Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthily
You might be surprised to know that what you eat and drink can have a negative impact on your mental well-being. When working from home, you should drink plenty of water and have healthy snacks during the day. Avoid junk food and do not skip meals as this can cause sugar spikes and dips that can have a negative impact on your ability to concentrate.
Stay Connected with Colleagues
Whether you speak to colleagues on the phone or through a messaging service, it is important to stay connected. Maintaining that relationship and discussing aspects of your work will help to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Conference calls are a terrific way to stay in touch. You could also arrange to meet up for a business lunch from time to time so that you can meet up in person.
Working from home can have a negative impact on mental health, especially if you allow it to interfere with your home life. It is important therefore to stay connected to colleagues and to establish a clear routine and boundaries. Create your own workspace and make sure you take breaks during the day. Finally, draw clear lines between work and home life to avoid burnout.