3 Tips to Manage Mental Health When Working From Home
Many employees feel that there is a slew of advantages to working from home. From flexible working hours to a more comfortable working environment. From greater independence to the absence of a long morning commute. Studies, and anecdotal reports, have emphasized the many benefits of remote work.
However, there can be downsides. Several reports have emphasized that remote work can be tough on mental health. One claims that 80% of UK workers feel that working remotely has a negative impact on their mental health.
Working remotely may be advantageous in some ways, but it can be tough on your overall wellness if the right approaches are not adopted. Below is a list of tips on how to manage your mental health when working from home.
Create, and Stick to a Routine
Remote work can feel great at the beginning. You have more independence and more flexible working hours and conditions. However, this flexibility can start to feel more cumbersome as the lines between your working life and home life blur. Since there may be no set start and end time to your working day, you may feel that you are always on the clock. That work is dominating every aspect of your life.
Tackle this by creating a clear, and rigorous schedule for your day. Know when your work day starts and when it ends. And mark these times. When the work day is over, close your work laptop and turn off your work phone. Leave the area where you do your work. Instead of taking random 5 minutes for yourself throughout the day, incorporate scheduled breaks for yourself so you know when you won’t be by the laptop or immediately available to colleagues.
Create a Comfortable Working Environment
It’s important when working remotely to create an environment for yourself that is both comfortable and conducive to focus and productivity. Instead of checking emails in bed, take time to create an office space where you can really focus.
Invest in office furniture such as a comfortable desk and ergonomic chair. Buy a wireless keyboard. Often employers will partly reimburse you for these necessary purchases. Beyond simply recreating your office environment, make sure you are working in a quiet part of the house that gets plenty of ventilation and natural sunlight (for that important vit D.)
Cater your environment to your specific work needs. If you are someone who works better alone, make sure you do so. If you work better with the buzz of an office, connect with coworkers who might want to work together. Or simply get to a public place like a café where you’ll be surrounded by the ambient noise of people talking and tapping.
Take a Break, Get Outside, Move your Body
Working from home can mean that you are often stuck at home for a good portion of the day. This can initially feel great no more morning commutes! However, this can encourage a sedentary, interior lifestyle that is not good for your mental health.
Make sure you are proactively tackling this potential issue by scheduling breaks to get outside. If you are stretched for time, even just a 5-minute walk outside can be a big boost to your mental well-being. You feel better with that natural sunlight. You feel less confined to one place for your whole day. You also have carved out time away from the laptop and away from the stresses of work and the necessity of being productive.
Regular exercise can also be a big boost to your mental health. It releases endorphins and serotonin that can leave you feeling good throughout your working day. Take the time that you have saved on your commute to and from work and invest it in hitting the gym or going for a run.