Looking after your wellbeing when working remotely

Heart of the City | 6 April 2020 | News
Looking after your wellbeing when working remotely

Last week we hosted a webinar with Noa Burger, a specialist in workplace wellbeing and mental health. She spoke to some of our members about practical ways to look after your mental health and the wellbeing of your employees at a time when most people are working from home.

Inspired by this, we wanted to share what the Heart of the City team is doing to make sure our wellbeing isn’t suffering as we all work from home. We’ve moved our weekly team meeting to a daily video call in the morning to make sure we’re in touch with each other. It’s a nice balance of work chat and life chat, so we know what everyone’s working on and we also know everyone’s flour stock levels!

Here are some other tips:

Start the day right

It’ll help to start your day in a good mood if you can, and having a shower and getting dressed will help. Try not to be tempted to stay in your pyjamas as you’re likely to feel more motivated and ready for the day.

After that, make sure you’ve got a good working setup. Put some nice flowers on your table or play uplifting music if you can still concentrate. And think about where you’re sitting. It’s better to have natural light and something to distract your eye from the screen sometimes. Most of us won’t have proper office chairs designed for long periods of sitting so you might need to remind yourself to sit up every so often if you’re a sloucher!

Signal the end of the working day

Do something to separate the evening from the workday so you’re not going straight from your kitchen table to your sofa. Shut your laptop down at the end of the day, put it away and turn your phone off. After that, read a book, do some drawing or whatever your interests are – all in a different room to the one you’ve been working in, if you can. Or if you’ve saved your daily exercise until the end of the day, now would be a great time to go for a walk so you can return home and start your evening.

Don’t social distance virtually

While we can’t physically spend time with our colleagues, try not to distance yourself virtually as well, especially if you live alone. It’s important to keep in touch through video calls, and some of our team find them to be especially effective for calls between larger numbers of people.

Don’t forget to move

Try to move every hour as it’ll make you more productive and give your brain a break. You’re allowed outside once a day, and it’s important for your wellbeing to use it, to get some exercise and some fresh air. Some of our team are going for a pre-work run, even if the weather is bad, or a post-work walk. If you don’t manage to go outside every day, make sure you open your windows or if you’re lucky enough to have a garden or balcony, stand outside for a couple of minutes!

Some of us are also doing evening yoga. There are some great teachers doing live classes for a wide range of abilities and experience like Yoga with Isabell and non-profit YogaHome.

…But don’t worry if you’re finding it hard

You’ll probably have seen lots on social media about how you can use this time to be really productive: start running, become a great cook, write that book… the list goes on. But this is an unusual situation for all of us, and some people will be finding it hard to use this time productively. Don’t worry if you’re not feeling at the top of your game all the time!

Don’t beat yourself up if your toddler is watching more Peppa Pig than usual so you can get through your Skype call, and if you can’t concentrate one of your tasks, don’t worry – move on to something else and return to it when you’re feeling better.

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