Working From Home
⇐Back to the COVID HUB
⇓Work and Children
⇓Setting Up Your Workstation
Importance of Posture by Ocee Ergonomics
International SOS – Ensuring Mental Health Resilience Whilst Working from Home
9 Tips for a Healthy Ergonomic Workstation – Mayo Clinic
For many office workers, working from home now and again was a welcomed perk. However with restraints in place and most of us in lockdown for a second time, some never having actually gone back to the office between the last lockdown and now, balancing work, family, home schooling and alone time, is one of the biggest challenges. Some may have had the pressure of starting a new job during lockdown and not being able to meet any of your colleagues face to face, and some managers may be finding it difficult to manage their teams remotely for so many months. And it is looking likely office workers who are able to work remotely will be asked to continue doing so, even outside of lockdown enforcements, to protect themselves and the public until the pandemic is under control.
Not every house has the luxury of lots of space for the whole family while working from home, but the below tips and tricks should help you utilise the space you do have.
Create a dedicated workspace. Even if this means moving furniture or clearing an area for a temporary period. No matter how small, allocate a space for you to work from. If you have outside space, could you purchase a shed?
Natural light try to work from a space that offers natural light.
Rotate your working style, between standing and sitting. If you can purchase an adjustable stand for your laptop or use a higher surface then try rotating how you work. But make sure this is correctly set up
Set your hours, have a schedule, take regular breaks, stay hydrated and be sure to let the family know if you have important meetings for that day so they don’t disturb you. Lastly – switch off on time.
Do not work on your days off. Avoid getting into bad habits as this will start to affect your wellbeing. It’s important to take time out from work during times off, particularly in times of isolation.
At this point working from home may truly just feel like the new normal and you may have adapted well. This won’t be the case for everyone and if you have started to struggle with your mental health, work load or concentration it’s important to talk to someone. Speak to your employer if the work side of things is the issue, they should support you and perhaps be able to split your workload with colleagues and take some of the pressure off, or come up with a plan together that will help you work at home more effectively. If you are seriously struggling with your mental health, reach out to your friends and family for support. If you feel it’s more serious, your GP should be able to offer you support. Crisis teams like Samaritans, SANEline and CALM are available 24 hours a day for support, or for advice on how to support someone you may be worried about. For more information and the phone numbers see https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/crisis-services/helplines-listening-services/.
Starting a New Job In Lockdown That Requires Working From Home
A lot of industries have had to make cuts to their teams due to Covid, but plenty of industries are still booming and able to bring new team members on board. If you have started a new job in lockdown it likely feels very alien and potentially daunting, not having the normal face to face support and not being able to build face to face relationships with your new colleagues. If you feel the need for extra support, reach out to your manger, and maybe think about sending emails to colleagues introducing yourself to build some social rapport if you feel that is appropriate.
The MOB Group have a subscription service offering live streams to do with your mental and physical health and well-being while working from home in lockdown, , including yoga, Pilates, morning mindfulness and cookalongs. Find the link to the subscriptions page above.
Managers and Employers – How To Support Your Teams Working From Home
Check in with your teams regularly – ask how they are doing, and if there is anything they need your help with.
Encourage them to take time for themselves as well as their work – you may have deadlines to meet and need certain tasks completed, but make sure your team know time for themselves is important. If they chose to work late occasionally to complete something important, great, but encourage them to switch off at the end of the work day and take breaks.
New team members – has someone new joined the team during lockdown and not met you or any of the team face to face? Make sure you are giving them extra attention and support so they feel welcomed, and be patient if it’s taking a little longer for them to pick up your way of working remotely, it will be challenging settling into a new role under these strange circumstances and without lots of team members at hand to ask the small questions about new systems etc. Maybe organise a zoom meeting to specifically introduce and welcome the new team member on board.
Encourage socialising virtually with the team – lots of offices will have regular social gatherings, Friday drinks after work, outings for teams birthdays and company award ceremonies. In the absence of these opportunities for team bonding, suggest a team quiz via zoom, or Friday drinks over zoom for anyone that wants to get involved.
If you are worried about someone on your team, reach out and offer them a listening ear, or make sure they are getting the support they need. If your company has any resources for employees struggling with their mental health send them the necessary information.
Working from home with children
If the thought of working from home with your child seems impossible, you aren’t alone. Kids demand around-the-clock attention and with parenting juggling conference calls, never-ending emails and tight deadlines it an unimaginable challenge. But it can and has been done by many others. Here’s how:
Create a schedule, plan tasks to keep kids occupied and communicate daily activities at breakfast
Share your schedule with your partner so you can take turns to take care of your children
Utilize nap/sleep times this is the perfect opportunity to get any work tasks done that require your full attention, or take a little time out for yourself
Rotate toys or activities to keep them new and interesting, think about podcasts and educational videos they would enjoy as well as they’re toys and books
Don’t be too tough on yourself. If things don’t work out the way you’d hoped, default to spending time with your kids and make a plan to catch up on work after bed or the following day. If you have meetings reschedule and be honest. Colleagues and employers will be more understanding than you might imagine.