Many tout the concept of working from home as a means to boost overall productivity and well-being, and for good reason. It allows more flexibility around family and personal commitments, allows you to work in a comfortable space, and reduces the stress of commuting time and related expenses.
However, it is important to bear in mind that this working from home is only beneficial if done correctly, and telecommuting can negatively affect mental health and physical well-being rather than promote it, depending on the individual and the structures involved. have been created.
If you or your team have ever experienced “zoom fatigue,” worn down by a lack of regular physical contact with coworkers, or overworked by the sheer luxury of the “always-on” availability of your work laptop, take a breath and try these the five methods for improving mental and physical well-being at work:
1. Create a dedicated workspace
If possible, set aside a section of your home just for work. Using your bed, sofa or kitchen table to do your work blurs the lines between personal and professional tasks and makes it difficult to switch off when it’s time to return to your personal life or switch on when it’s time to work. Furthermore, the chances of these normal everyday living spaces being suitable for all-day office work on your laptop are highly unlikely and may compromise your posture, resulting in normal conditions such as shoulder, neck and back pain or even wrist discomfort with repeated laptop use and poor form.
Create a cozy corner in your home that “closes” once work is done, making it easier for you to disconnect from your work and enjoy time with your family. Research specific ergonomic requirements and personalize the space to make it truly yours and something you’ll enjoy and look forward to working in.
2. Use positive affirmations
Positive Affirmation Cards are a fantastic way to stay motivated and inspired while doing your work, enabling you to feel confident and have a positive self-image which will boost your image and personal brand as a leader. Keep a stack of self-affirmation cards at your desk so you can pull them up anytime, in between meetings or when you’re not feeling so positive.
Take it a step further and share some of these positive messages with your remote team in your team chat or as instant encouragement and boost their well-being in the process.
3. Establish your routine
Not everyone’s workday is a linear, standard 9-5, and that’s okay because that’s the beauty of working from home. it is flexible and can be adapted to your personal needs. However, it is important, especially as a leader, to set aside specific hours for work, including time to complete any extra work, striking a good balance between emergency overwork and deadlines and rest.
Establish a routine that fits your lifestyle and factors in your personal responsibilities, such as picking up and dropping off the kids at school, attending to a doctor’s appointment or regular check-up, or household chores. If your routine stretches into the evening and you find yourself working through the night to catch up, try to balance it out by working fewer hours the following afternoon, regaining time for sleep and rest.
4. Take regular breaks
Regular breaks are essential, not only to avoid fatigue and exhaustion from being in Zoom meetings and staring at a laptop all day, but also to prevent water retention in the lower extremities and your legs and to ensure blood flow.
By setting this example as a leader, you encourage your team members to do the same, and you’ll improve their job satisfaction in the process.
5. Organize informal reviews
Schedule regular short meetings with your colleagues and team for “coffee breaks” or 15-minute meetings. Use these occasions to talk about things outside of work and encourage your remote teams to do the same by switching coffee chats to meet with different team members each week to foster a positive culture of co-working, friendly team banter and support , similar to what they would experience at office water coolers.
Do this with your peers and have conversations with members of other groups not directly connected to you as well. It may seem a little unnatural at first, but after a while, you’ll notice that you gain a broader understanding of your organization’s needs and how everyone works together, and you’ll have fun networking with different people.
Through these informal meetings, taking breaks at regular intervals, especially on a day full of meetings, and using affirmations, a daily routine and a dedicated workspace, you can ensure that both you and your team are comfortable working in a way that optimizes overall well-being.