Now that most of us are two to three weeks into working from home, which for many is a new way of working. We've looked at mental wellbeing tips for remote workers.
Interestinly, remote working has become increasingly popular over the past few years, with 50% of employees working outside of their main office at least 2.5 days each week,according to IWG’s Global Workspace Survey. With good reason too.
It offers a better work-life balance for employees, with more flexibility and no need to commute – which has its own benefits for the environment. In turn, this helps employers attract and retain the top talent, with 80% of employees saying they would turn down employers who don’t offer flexible working if they had two similar job offers.
On top of that, the vast majority (85%) of companies surveyed have seen an increase in productivity, a reduction of expenditure and improved risk management as a result of remote working. Indeed, it can even become a necessity when risk management strategies come into play, minimising the disruption of severe weather, power cuts or illnesses, for instance.
However, with that comes a few challenges. Mental health charity Mind highlights three potential disadvantages of working from home:
Each of these can take their toll on your mental wellbeing. For example, the NHS cites research suggesting that checking emails outside of work, akin to not switching off, can be detrimental to mental health. Albeit a limited study, the findings suggest it reduces detachment from work, leading to people feeling more tired, less relaxed and having higher cortisol levels – a hormone linked to stress.
With that in mind, here are three tips to look after your mental wellbeing while working remotely.
Remote working and self-isolation don’t have to mean complete isolation from your colleagues. In their guide to remote working during the coronavirus outbreak, Mind highlights a number of key points relating to connection:
It’s easy for your attention to wander when working from home, according to the Mental Health Foundation. They suggest having a structured day to address this, which can also help when it comes to switching off from work at the end of the day:
Support is something that’s highlighted by both Mind and the Mental Health Foundation. It’s important that both employers and employees recognise that remote working is a challenge.
For employers that may mean offering various forms of support to all staff:
For employees, it means making use of all the support that’s available: