Over the past year, we have had to adapt to a new reality and many of us had to turn our home into an office overnight. Blending these two environments seems strange, since our home is now always associated with work, causing some difficulties in our ability to focus, disconnect, and balance the various aspects of our lives. Let’s discuss some ways to optimize our wellbeing when working from home.
Some Things to Try
While we have been working remotely, we developed ways to help us stay focused and maintain our mental and physical health:
- Instill habits like dressing up for your day, exercising regularly, taking periodic breaks to make a tea/coffee, just as if we were in the office.
- When you really need to focus, change your online collaboration tool status to “Do not disturb”, so that people won’t expect you to answer right away.
- If possible, separate your work and sleep environments – we know that this can be hard as we do not all live in homes with a lot of space,. However, if possible, this will help you sleep as your brain will not associate the place where you are meant to rest with work.
TIP: if you are having trouble sleeping, try leaving your electronics, such as your cell phone, tablet or laptop, in another room.
- Make an excuse to take a walk – if your grocery store or pharmacy is within walking distance of your home, use this errand as an excuse to get some fresh air (it is also eco-friendly!)
- Feeling stiff and robotic? Keep a yoga mat nearby and every hour or so, stretch out your muscles and breathe (yoga mat not required!)
- Shut it down – when it is time to disconnect for the evening or weekend, do not just lock your computer in sleep mode. You are much less likely to “check your emails really quick” if you shut down your computer completely than if you can “wake it” at the touch of a finger.
Did You Know?
- Music and art are therapeutic: the creative process allows us to express ourselves and address many aspects of our personal lives including stress management. Remember, we do not have to be Mozart or Picasso – it is not about skill, but about letting our creativity focus our thoughts and energy.
- Plants! Adding some green to our workspace can improve our concentration and productivity. When there are plants around, our perceptions of vitality are increased, which has an impact on our energy levels.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to speak with your manager or colleagues for support. Sharing advice and our own experiences can help each other understand that we are not alone even if we feel physically isolated when working remotely. If you have access to an Employee Assistance Program, take advantage and connect with them – they will provide you with professional support and tools.
If you notice a change of behaviour in one of your colleagues, make it a point to reach out. Although it can be hard to detect this type of change over virtual communication, it won’t hurt to ask. It can be a simple message to touch base and see how they’re doing.
Advisor, HR, People & Culture
As a recent graduate, Keara joined Pvisio to launch her career in HR consulting. Open-minded and collaborative, she helps organizations prosper by providing continued support and advice. Keara helps clients elaborate their ideas on paper with her advanced writing skills, and subsequently brings them to life by developing efficient applied processes.
If you have questions on how to maintain a healthy work environment remotely, do not hesitate to contact her.