Over the last few years, working from anywhere has become our new normal. We’re well-versed in using Zoom, attending virtual Friday drinks and working from non-office environments — whether it’s our home, a coffee shop, a hotel, or an airport lounge. There’s no denying that this work from anywhere culture comes with many advantages - no commute, better work life balance, more flexibility and more opportunity. However, it can also bring with it feelings of isolation, vulnerability, lack of motivation, uncertainty and anxiety.
These 7 easy to implement mental health tips will help you take care of yourself and feel more productive and motivated.
1. Find a routine
It’s easy to blur the line between work and personal time; after all, what used to be your home and used for social interactions, sleeping, eating and relaxing has now become your office used for work meetings, emails and tight deadlines. This makes it easy to slip out of routine and form unhealthy habits.
As tempting as it is to enjoy sleeping in and working in your pajamas, see if you can follow your normal work patterns. Get up at the same time, make your breakfast and change into your work clothes. You could even use your old commute time to exercise, listen to music, meditate or go on a walk. All of this will help you to mentally prepare for the day ahead and get you into the ‘I’m going to work’ mindset.
When your workday ends, it can be easy to carry on tapping your keyboard late into the evening. Try to be diligent and stop working. Pack away your laptop and switch off your emails. Focus on your home life and the evening ahead, just like you would if you were leaving the office.
2. Design your home office
As comfortable and novel as working from the sofa with Netflix on quietly in the background might seem, it can affect motivation and productivity. It’s important to create a dedicated workstation in your home.
Set up your home office with everything that you need - desk, chair, mouse, keyboard, laptop, screen, chargers, paper, pens. Have fun with it and make your workspace your own - add in candles, plants or artwork that help you feel relaxed and happy. A service like allwhere can help set you up with everything that you need for your first day and also procure any equipment you might need throughout your time at your company.
If you don’t have a separate room in your home for an office, see if you can find a quiet space that’s away from distraction. Alternatively, you could consider using a co-working space or spending time in a cafe for some human interaction. Sometimes a change of scenery can boost productivity!
3. Take breaks
Something as simple as taking a break can work wonders for alleviating stress and can boost productivity. Always take your lunch break and regular screen breaks. The beauty of working from home is that you can do something different on your break - head to your local coffee shop, read your book, do a quick yoga class or go outside for a walk.
Set an alarm on your phone or block some time in your work calendar so that you don’t get caught up in work tasks and forget to take a break.
4. Keep talking
Working remotely might mean that you don’t have much face to face human interaction in your workday. This can bring with it feelings of loneliness and isolation. Make sure to stay in touch with your teammates and manager - schedule video calls and pick up the phone rather than email where possible.
Make sure you socialize virtually; attend any organized virtual Friday drinks and suggest informal catch ups or Zoom coffee dates with your team.
If you are struggling, speak up and talk to your manager, the HR team or your colleagues. It’s likely many of them are feeling the same way.
5. Set boundaries
It’s really easy to lose track of time when working remotely and to be tempted to work longer hours. Try to set a schedule and stick to it; aim to start and finish at your normal work times and talk to your manager if you need to be more flexible in the way you work - if you have a gap in childcare for example.
Set boundaries with your family too if they’re around during your workday. Perhaps your other half is also working from home or the kids are around after school. Remind them that you have work to do; you could even share your schedule so that they know when you’re free.
6. Stand and stretch
Sitting all day is unhealthy whether you’re working from home or in the office. But, working remotely means that your morning commute is taken out of the equation and you can no longer walk over to your manager’s desk or meet a colleague in the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Therefore, it’s likely you’re staying seated for a lot longer.
If it’s possible, look into getting a standing desk. Standing whilst you work can reduce lower back pain, improve mood and boost productivity, and you can easily pick one up from Amazon.
When you have a break scheduled, don’t sit and watch YouTube videos — get up, stretch, walk to the kitchen or outside for a breath of fresh air.
7. Be kind to yourself
Take time to reflect on your mental health and look out for any changes in your mood or feelings. Practice self care and be sure to message your manager or a colleague if you are feeling stressed, isolated or worried.
Mental health tips for employers and managers
As a manager it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees’ mental health is not being compromised. Here’s a few ways you can do your part in making sure your employees are happy, motivated and feeling their best.
Firstly, look out for the signs of mental health decline. Your employee might not always tell you if they’re feeling low. Are they:
- Expressing language around loneliness, and isolation?
- Working long hours and showing signs of being unable to ‘switch off from work’?
- Seeming less motivated or productive?
- Feeling anxious or uncertain about their performance on work tasks?
- Complaining of insomnia or sleep issues?
Ensure that you:
- Check in regularly
- Send out care packages
- Organize regular social events
- Be mindful of people’s personal situations
- Encourage flexibility but honor boundaries
You could also consider implementing an organization-wide wellbeing package. There are many companies who offer packages that include mental health tips, meditation, exercise classes and more. Services such as Gympass give employees access to thousands of gyms and studios, and Justworks offers services such as telephone counseling and fitness memberships.
Put mental health first
It’s clear that mental health is something that needs to be looked out for in any work situation, but, particularly when employees are working remotely.
With the right care in place and by following some of the tips above, employees can nurture their mental health and enjoy the benefits of a work from anywhere world.
allwhere equips teams with everything they need to work from anywhere. We’ll help you create a world-class workplace with a suite of services such as: outsourced, centralized procurement; full lifecycle asset management (deployment, replacement, retrieval, storage, disposal, and redeployment); and more to help teams navigate the future of work. To learn more, book a demo with us here.