For all the benefits of working from home – no daily commute, no dress code, and no office politics – there’s no denying that the enforced change to our working lives is not without its challenges. In fact, no less than 56% of UK workers report feeling more anxious or stressed working from home, according to research by LinkedIn in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation. (1) So here are our top five mindfulness tips to promote wellness at home for you and your team.

Keep in touch

Going from a bustling office atmosphere to the relative quiet of home can be a bit of a culture shock. One study on Mental Health & Wellbeing in Europe found that 82% of Brits missed having personal encounters with people outside the home. (2) So, it’s good practice to arrange regular ‘keep in touch’ (KIT) calls with your colleagues. They don’t even have to be about work. You’ll both benefit from simply asking, ‘How are you doing?’ A bonus tip: If you pop the KIT calls into your diary it makes them more official and less likely to be forgotten.   

Create an office space

In your actual workplace, your workspace is clearly defined. At home, not so much. It’s easy to start working in the lounge and before you know it you’ve got paperwork in the kitchen and your laptop charging in the bedroom. The downside of this is that it makes it harder to switch off from ‘work mode’. To avoid this ‘always on’ feeling, try and create a defined office area within your home and restrict yourself to only working when you’re within that boundary. 

Stick to a routine

When your place of work and your home are the same location, the work-life balance can often blur. It’s no wonder one study found that UK workers are putting in 28 hours of overtime each month. (1) Creating – and sticking to – a routine won’t just ensure you start and finish on time and take regular breaks, but it can also boost your circadian rhythms which can lead to a better night’s sleep. This, in turn, can have a positive effect on mood.

Take a screen break

On average, we spend 4,866 hours a year looking at screens (3) which can lead to eye strain, headaches and mood changes. So it’s good to get into the habit of consciously looking away from your screen for a few seconds at least once an hour. Lockdown restrictions permitting, if you’re able to take a (socially distant) lunch break outside, you’ll reap the benefits. A new study found that just five minutes in nature can boost your wellbeing with 83% of UK adults believing that being outdoors is nature’s stress reliever. (4)

Provide support

By late March 2020, 68% of businesses had introduced at least one wellness benefit to support employees’ mental and emotional wellbeing. (5) As the market leaders in the corporate wellbeing industry, we’ve taken our wellbeing services online. As a result, we can help you set up a business supported programme of wellness workshops for your team. Designed to raise awareness of – and reduce the stigma around discussing – mental health and promote mental clarity and team building, you can choose from Mental Health Training, Corporate Wellbeing Workshops, Employee Health Checks and more. To find out more please contact our friendly team.

 

References

(1) https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/uk-workers-work-home-stress-anxiety-mental-health-survey-a9497776.html

(2) https://www.axa.com/en/press/publications/A-Report-on-Mental-Health-and-Wellbeing-in-Europe

(3) https://www.visiondirect.co.uk/blog/research-reveals-screen-time-habits

(4) https://www.femalefirst.co.uk/features/five-minutes-nature-boost-wellbeing-mood-mental-health-1267262.html

(5) https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-06-16-gartner-says-two-thirds-of-organizations-have-introdu