Top Tips To Support You Working From Home

Since Coronavirus (COVID-19) surfaced into our lives, everything has changed as we know it. We are all adjusting and adapting to the ‘new normal’- working from home, isolating, essential shopping and countless zoom calls. The word ‘unprecedented’ has never been heard so much before.

In light of these dark times, there have been many advantages of staying home and saving lives – no more commuting, saving the pennies on petrol, banana bread baking and spending quality time with those in our households. We are all reverting back to living the simpler times where mental wellbeing is at the forefront of everyones mind. Nature walks, meditation, reading books, playing board games and lengthy phone calls to distant relatives are just some of the new trending activities of 2021.

Unfortunately, the continuous mantra of ‘stay home, protect the NHS and save lives’ has caused a sharp rise in mental health issues including stress, anxiety, boredom and uncertainty. We at Hands Free empathise with you, like you, we’re also in the working from home tribe. We have collectively asked our fellow colleagues the top 5 tips to cope with Lockdown 3.0.

We are all in this together.

1. Routine

This is the foundation to start reconditioning your current wellbeing status. A solid and repetitive routine has proven to show more productivity in employees whilst boosting their general morale. Get up, get dressed and start your day! We like to map out our routine and plan the day every morning. This will give you focus and certainty of how your day is going to go. You can purchase daily planners online or get creative and make your own!

2. Create a workspace

If you didn’t know this already, it is important that you have a dedicated working space. This space should only be used for your work, this way your brain can transition between work mode and relaxing in other areas of your house when out of hours. Crossing these wires, like working from your sofa or in your bedroom is not advisable as this can impact your work life balance. Employers have a duty of care to ensure your new working environment is fit for purpose and a health risk assessment is carried out. If you feel you do not have the correct equipment such as desks, screens and computers you can request these from your employer. There is ‘home working’ guidance published on the Government website which your employer should take into account to ensure they are doing everything they can to support you (https://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/workers/home.htm).

3. Nature, breaks & exercise

There are many ways to boost your mood and ultimately create inner zen. If you can get outside on your lunch break. Go out in the garden, get some sunlight on your skin and let your senses absorb natures beauty. We are big pet lovers at Hands Free and many of us love taking our dogs for walks in local parks and woods. We strongly recommend short breaks more frequently during your working day, this is beneficial for your productivity levels and general wellbeing in comparison to one long break in the middle of your day. Make sure you get up and move every hour for 5 minutes (and yes that includes making yourself a cup of tea).

We’ve listed below some apps we’ve found to be helpful which are FREE to use:

Headspace (meditation app)

Calm (meditation app)

StretchMinder (stretch and break reminder app)

Take a break (break reminder app)

1 minute desk workout (stretch app)

Tomato Timer (task timing management and productivity app)

4. Brain power

Puzzles, games, word searches, teasers – there are lots of FREE games online and ways to get your brain thinking. We are a creative bunch at Hands Free and even we can struggle with ‘writers blog’ sometimes. Without bouncing off one another in the office, you sometimes need to get your brain ticking again. Keep an eye out as we will be posting some of our own brain teasers to keep you focused.

5. Hobbies

Being bound to our homes all day, every day can have a negative effect on our brain. Motivation, productivity and wellbeing levels start to decline. It is important during these times to introduce a new hobby or start an activity that you enjoy. Perhaps there was always that book you wanted to read, or that podcast you heard about but you never got around to listening to. This will boost your mood. We’ve listed a few firm favourites amongst the Hands Free crew:

Reading

Painting

Gardening

Baking

Learning new cooking recipes

Finding new walks

Quizzes with friends (using Zoom)

Gaming

Dog training and learning new tricks

Exercise challenges (couch to 5k, 30 day squat challenge)

 

We hope these tips have taught you something new or perhaps just made you feel that little bit more positive. There are tonnes of resources out there to support you should you feel you need it. We recommend to start by taking the ‘Every Mind Matters Quiz’ on the NHS website to review your current wellbeing status (https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/your-mind-plan-quiz/).

For further advise or guidance please look at the following websites:

www.mind.org.uk 

www.gov.uk 

www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/