Advice for Managers – Working from Home
Guidance Sheet 2/3 – Mental Wellbeing whilst Working from Home
Our first guidance sheet considered managing a remote team. In this section we will consider managing your mental wellbeing whilst working from home.
The NHS has set out five steps to mental wellbeing:
- Be Active
- Keep Learning
- Give to Others
- Be Mindful
If you can build a little of each of these activities into your daily routine, research shows you are likely to be more positive and have better mental wellbeing.
Connect regularly with others. Of course this is more challenging as our movements are restricted. However, there are still ways to connect meaningfully with others.
You could consider:
- Using ‘Teams’ or ‘Zoom’ to video your colleagues
- Connect with friends through Facetime, Whatsapp or Messenger
- Set up regular video meetings or regular video coffee breaks to replicate what you would do in the office
Research shows that being active for the recommended 150 minutes a week can reduce levels of depression by up to a third.
Eat healthily, drink water, get the kids or family members living with you involved, be creative!
Build regular periods of exercise into your day. It doesn’t have to be a cardio intensive workout, gentler exercise is also good.
- Go out for a walk in the countryside if you can (following the health guidelines in place at the time obviously).
- Access online workouts – Youtube is a great resource for this.
- If you are a member of a gym, they may have online classes you can access.
- Some companies such as Les Mills are offering free trials (just make sure you cancel them in the time limit if you don’t want to carry them on!)
- Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) is doing a free online workout for kids every morning at 9am and Tumble Tots is available online – join in with the kids.
- Set up the badminton in the garden or play ping pong on the dining table.
Just make sure you are moving regularly.
Learning something new and keeping your brain active and engaged is as important as keeping your body healthy when it comes to mental wellbeing. You don’t have do to a PHD,
Some ideas could be to:
- Access daily TED talks
- Read that self-help book that’s been on your shelf for years
- Do some e-learning or MOOCS (massive open online courses – free to access and delivered by highly reputable educational establishments and trainers)
- Do a DIY project or take up a new craft (you can still order online!)
- Borrow an e-book from your library. They are closed but most are offering e-book loans
Give to Others
Help others where you can. You don’t have to win the Nobel Peace Prize, just do small things each day that let others know you are thinking of them:
- Check in with your neighbours – through the window if necessary
- If you’ve managed to get a groceries delivery slot, see if others need items and add to your order
- Volunteer, if you’re able and not in a high risk group
- Make your partner a cup of tea or make dinner
- Create a jar with your family of things you are going to do together when the restrictions are lifted
- The list is endless – use your imagination
Mindfulness is very popular at the moment. Essentially, it is about paying attention to the present moment, your thoughts and feelings and letting go of what you can’t control.
Try to switch off regularly from social and general media, perhaps do some work in the garden and connect to nature, go for a walk in the countryside, do some yoga or meditation and actively think about what you have in your life that you can be grateful for.
If you need any further advice on implementing wellbeing programmes or managing health or absence, please contact Agile HR and we will be very happy to discuss your requirements.
Our next guidance sheet covers Working Well from Home and Making the most of Technology.
Remember, stay positive, you’ve got this!
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