As we enter week 8 of working from home, many of us will be reflecting on the rapid change to our lives that COVID-19 has imposed. Whilst many of us had been contemplating remote and flexible working as the future, none of us knew that soon we’d see the majority of the population forced to adapt and begin working from home at such short notice.
In 2019, Buffer published the State of Remote Work report and found that 99% of people said they’d like to work remotely at least ‘some of the time’ for the rest of their careers. Most wanted a flexible schedule and spoke about having the ability to work from any location.
At The Workstation, we know more than anyone what flexible working brings in terms of benefits and perks. More quality time with family, less time commuting or being on the road, and a better sense of a work/life balance.
Our serviced office suites, located in convenient and popular locations with easy access to amenities and travel routes have been increasingly popular with those looking for a flexible working life. Whether they are a small business, a startup, freelancer, or remote worker looking for a change of scenery and no long term contracts or leases.
We also know that for remote working to be possible, that technology plays a huge part in the success of this way of working. It’s why our virtual services work so well, especially in a pandemic like the one we’re currently facing, enabling businesses to continue to operate as normally as possible.
Putting aside the fact that remote and flexible working has been on the rise over the last few years, it’s important to note that many people that have been flung into working from home conditions may be feeling some of the effects that come with it, including isolation, loneliness, burnout, and issues with juggling other commitments such as child care.
One of the biggest reasons for one of our office suites to be rented is to remove the isolation of remote working. Coworking in an office space like ours, with the buzz of new ideas, innovation, and social interaction can do wonders for mental health and motivation.
Of course, other reasons include the ones listed above in terms of removing the commute time, increasing quality time with family and friends, and allowing a more flexible way of working.
So with lockdown meaning that many of us are having to adapt to working from home, 8 weeks on we can see the effect this is having on mental health across the population.
Some tips on how to make working from home better for your mental health:
- Make sure you have all of the equipment you could possibly need to enable you to do your job. If you get stuck, rely on assistance from your IT department and colleagues.
- Where possible, video call your colleagues instead of firing off an email or a Slack message. Face to face calls won’t substitute being in the room with a colleague but it will help if you have more social interaction in your daily routine.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just as you would turn around in the office to bounce ideas off of someone, call a colleague, message them or video call them for the same conversation and purpose. You might find it inspires you.
- Utilise the technologies available to keep you connected. Zoom, Skype, and Teams have been essential when it comes to keeping lines of communication open between colleagues as well as customers.
- Set a routine that works best for you and take regular breaks away from your computer screen. At the end of your workday, walk away from your ‘work’ area and spend time in a different room or a different space.
To ensure wellbeing during these uncertain times, it is important to find a balance that works best for you. Whether this means starting work earlier and clocking off earlier, or starting work later and finishing later… you might want to amend your schedule to help assist your mental health.
It isn’t a case of one size fits all, you may have found that over the last eight weeks your needs have changed. You may have started off springing out of bed earlier and being more productive, and found yourself become more lethargic or unmotivated as the weeks go on. Alternatively, you might have started confused or unsure where to begin and are now in a good rhythm. It’s important to tailor your working day from home, as you would in the office.