Remote working and the impact on mental health

There has to be a real shift in mindset when employers think about their Working Remotely/Home policies. As well as building trust and engagement with employees, it’s imperative that employers give mental health a priority and provide support where it’s needed.

There are lots of ways employers can help employees get the most from working remotely and there needs to be agreement about setting boundaries right from the start of the relationship.

Employees sometimes find that working remotely/from home can lead to burn-out, actually working too hard that it’s having a negative effect on their health. If this is happening, it’s really important to look at the working day and find ways to separate out work life from home life:

Communicate with who you live with

Ensure that everyone in your household knows you are working from home so they can help minimise noise and other distractions. This might be really important if you live in a house-share or with children/teens.

Reduce distractions if you can

Everyone has their own distractions – whether it’s the fridge, looking at social media or simply just not getting into the work in hand. It’s not easy when you’ve not got colleagues around you so you have to really learn to focus and concentrate on what needs to be done. If you find yourself getting distracted – like the fridge for example, don’t work in the kitchen if you possibly can – find another suitable workspace away where you can immerse yourself in the task in hand.

Specify strict working hours

It’s a good idea to let your household know what your office hours so they can work around you and reorganise themselves around you eg. they may need to do some kind of music/instrument practice – which could be done after you have ‘clocked off’ for the evening

Set clear objectives for each day

Sometimes it can quite simply be overwhelming facing what tasks need to be done first. Make a list and try and prioritise key tasks. Lots of companies are starting to use a community platform where they can communicate to each team member and everyone can see what needs to be done and when.

Work out your breaks and lunch hour

If you can try and get into a routine, you’ll become more productive. Set out your working hours and decide when you’ll have breaks. It’s really important that you keep moving during the day and taking a break allows you to get up, move and make a drink or grab a healthy snack.

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