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As we face the spread of Coronavirus, many of our workplaces have implemented working from home policies for the foreseeable future. Working from home to some people is a joy while for others it may be their worst nightmare. Altius Group’s Corporate Wellbeing Specialist, Sharon Richens, provides her expertise and support to help you and your team take care of your physical and psychological wellbeing in the weeks ahead.

Working from home can provide a welcome break from long travel times and busy working days, however it can also bring about other challenges including feelings of isolation, lack of motivation and loneliness. Taking steps to manage your wellbeing is very important to ensure individuals look after themselves during this turbulent time. Ensuring you maintain a feeling of connectedness to your work colleagues is critical for managing your own wellbeing and productivity.

Here are some simple ways to stay mentally and physically well:

  • Create a dedicated and comfortable workspace - ideally away from your kitchen, bedroom and television if you can. Set time aside to set up your workspace and review our Seven Steps to Optimal Home Office Ergonomics.
  • Stick to a schedule with a start time and finish time. Working from home can bring about more flexibility, however it is important to ensure that the work day ends, otherwise working from home can blur the lines between home and work time and make it harder to switch off at the end of the day.
  • Make time for movement, even though you are working from home. Simple movements are very effective: Stand 2-3 times per hour for 2mins; Do 5 squats every time you go to the bathroom; Fill up a water glass regularly to change your posture from sit to stand regularly and stand up or walk while you’re on the phone.
  • Track your steps and set yourself a personal daily goal. Have an accountability work mate and check-in with one another at the end of each day to see how you went against your own personal goal.
  • Aim to step outside each day. Exposure to natural light is important to help regulate our sleep and mood hormones. Fresh air is important to clear your mind and invigorate your energy levels. A 20 minute walking break at lunch time will set you up for improved concentration in the afternoon.
  • Ensure you schedule time every day for social interaction, both with your work colleagues and friends, Schedule a skype meeting and use the video function so you are speaking face to face, use facetime where possible or have your lunch break at the same time as a work colleague and use a video link to connect. Organise to speak to a friend at the end of your working day. Social interaction is an important part of being human - it facilitates a sense of belonging and connectedness.
  • Switch off from your devices to allow your brain time at the end of the day to wind down from connectivity. Aim to have at least one hour between being on laptops, phones, ipads and computers and going to bed. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you of your switch off time to help bring awareness to the habit.

Working from home may provide an opportunity to introduce a new habit which can contribute positively to your wellbeing. Over the weeks ahead our Workplace Wellbeing Modules, which cover all aspects of employee wellbeing, are available for delivery via webinar and video broadcast conferencing.