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Here's some tips to help you take care of your wellbeing while working from home

One of the biggest changes for many people brought about by COVID-19 over the last couple of years has been working from home. 

According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2020, 37% of working UK adults did at least some work from home – this was up from 27% the previous year. 

When asked about homeworking, the ONS found that working adults stated work-life balance was the greatest positive.

The lack of tiring and expensive commutes may be a boon for many, but WFH can also pose challenges, for example some of us might feel isolated.

Here are some tips to help you feel more productive and motivated, and to take care of your wellbeing while working from home.

Have a routine

We are creatures of habit and, without a daily routine, the boundaries between work and personal time can become blurred. Follow your normal sleep and work patterns if you can, and stay consistent.

Get up at the same time daily, eat breakfast and get dressed. Use what would be your usual ‘commute time’ to take some exercise, get some fresh air, read or listen to music before logging on.

Importantly, when your shift or work day has ended, stop working – resist the temptation to send one more email! Focus on your home life and try to get to bed at your usual time. 

Create your own clutter-free workspace

If you are lucky enough, set up a home ‘office’ in a quiet space away from other people and distractions. Gather everything you need for your work and shut the door if you can.

It’s important to be comfortable. While it might be tempting to curl up on a sofa, it’s much better to sit at a desk or table, just as you would in an office. Use NHS guidelines to set up your workspace correctly, as much as you possibly can.

If you do not have office furniture such as an adjustable chair, try using cushions to support your back or a box as a footrest.

Focus only on your work when you are in this space to create a boundary between your professional and personal lives.

It can be difficult if there are other distractions to deal with, such as children at home, who may think you are on holiday and want to spend time with you.

Have a discussion about your needs with those you live with. Remind them that you have work to do and need to be able to concentrate.

Take a break

Manage stress levels by taking regular breaks. Try to take a lunch break away from your work space and take regular screen breaks throughout the day. This will give you time to concentrate on something else and you will feel more focused when you return. Even just a few minutes of a short break each hour can help your productivity.

Try to spend time outdoors when you can. Regular time in green space is great for mental health.

Stay healthy

Eat, sleep and exercise well. Don’t skip breakfast, don’t work through lunch and resist popping to the kitchen for snacks. Don’t compromise your sleep. Keep up physical activity, whether it’s by going for a walk in your neighbourhood or using online exercise tutorials for a front room workout.

Ask for help 

If you begin to feel overwhelmed, ask for help. Technology issues may have left you frustrated or you may be feeling isolated. Don’t be afraid to talk to your manager or HR team about how you are feeling. 

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