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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Mental well-being at home - working from home

Your recruitment career

This series was made in collaboration with Bradley Placks, the co-founder of To Augment and Chris Allan, an occupational health advisor and a qualified mental health first aid trainer.

The pace and complexity of work is only increasing and with remote working and social distancing just adds another layer to the puzzle of work in our modern world.

While we might not have chosen to continually work from home, we can get used to a different rhythm of work and with the right perspective, we might see that it’s not such a bad thing.

I have broken this down into three principles: Routine, Environment and Connection. Let’s explore these below.

The first principle is Routine. When I’m talking to people in my remote clinics who are working from home: many who are managing well are maintaining good well-being and a really strong, positive routine. What does that mean? Let’s break it down. Waking up; Although you may be able to steal an extra half hour or so in bed, because you haven’t got the commute, it’s important that you get up at roughly the same time every day. This ensures you rhythm for the day ahead is set up and regular. When you are up, you are getting ready. Now you may not necessarily want to wear exactly the same clothes that you would if you were going into the office or to see clients, but having a reasonably smart presentation for yourself, gets you into the same, correct mindset for work. So that was principle one: routine.

Principle number two is Your Environment. Here, I want you to think about your workstation. Ideally not your bedroom. You want to be carving out a dedicated zone at home, for you to be able to do your work. It will be easier for you to switch off later and a lot easier for you to slip in and out of the work mindset. Another important aspect of your workspace is posture. Try Googling “NHS how to sit correctly”. This way you won’t end up with a sore neck or back at the end of your day. Another important aspect of your environment is taking breaks during your work-day. Look online for free work out routines check out REC Professional Benefits for some particularly good deals on online fitness. Joe Wicks is doing a great PE class and so does YouTube in general. If you want some recommendations, I’ve got plenty, so get in touch in the comments.

The third principle is Connection. Once you’ve got setup, one of the recommendations that I like to give is to take a few minutes to focus on your communication priorities. Which people are most important for you to connect with? Which channels, or resources are going to be the most useful for you? Who actually needs your contact the most? Is it an isolated colleague? Or is it an elderly family member? Is it your boss? It might be tempting to try and join every single meeting or group chat, but you have got to preserve your energy for the long haul. This is a marathon not a sprint.

As we adapt our work styles, you’ll want to think about whether you are using Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoom Meetings or WhatsApp Groups. You can use any of these for short check-in calls with colleagues, maybe at the start or end of your working day. If you are a line manager, perhaps you want to set a specific time for questions and answers with your team.

If there is one central message that I want to get across is that social distancing doesn’t need to mean social isolation. Whatever technology or software you use, make sure you stay socially connected with the world outside, even if you think you don’t need it yourself, I guarantee there are plenty of people out there that do.

Please reach out to us if you would like any more help or information with regards to mental health in the workplace.

This blog is part of a series about Mental well-being at home. You can view the entire playlist on YouTube, listen via Soundcloud or read the other entries by navigating below.

Working from home - Confidence - Mindset - Positivity - Versatility - Endurance - Mastery