In recent weeks, millions of workers have moved to their home office to follow the social isolation measures that are trying to curb the spread of the coronavirus. In such situations, practical framework conditions, such as setting up a new workplace in your home and connecting to the Internet and company network in the first few days and weeks, naturally have priority first. However, since there are no official announcements as to how long the measures will remain in force, many companies will consider how remote working can be made sustainable in the medium and long term.
One area that many employees will be particularly concerned with is mental health and how it could be affected by such a sudden change. That is why we have put together some tips for you in this article to alleviate stress and anxiety and to remain mentally balanced in the home office.
1. Set up your workplace appropriately
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a study at home. And even if you have one, you may not be used to spending many weeks in this room. If this is your first time working from home, you may not have many options where to set up your home office - especially if you share the apartment with family members or roommates who are also unexpectedly at home. If possible, place your temporary work in a place with plenty of natural light and ventilation. A regular dose of vitamin D from sunlight can help improve your mood significantly. You can also change your workplace during the day depending on the type of work and thus bring a breath of fresh air into the working day. Ultimately, it’s about setting up a workspace where you feel comfortable and productive. Even small details such as plants or pictures can help.
2. Put healthy communication first
If you are used to working in a large office where your colleagues are only a few meters away, it can be difficult to adapt to the new situation. You can’t just shout something over the table, you have to deliberately seek the conversation. So that this also works with remote working, you should communicate via different media. Although email is still the most common way to send information, questions, or documents, you shouldn’t always rely on it. Set up a virtual coffee or lunch break with your team. This can help individual employees not feel shielded and can improve teamwork in the long run.
3. Set boundaries between work and private life
Even experienced remote workers can find this a particular challenge as the boundaries between your work area and your home become blurred. If you don’t have to worry about commuting to/from your office, it can easily happen that you suddenly work longer or postpone tasks due to distractions. It is therefore important to set reasonable limits. You should take this into account:
● Set and adhere to the start and end times of the working day
● Make sure you have at least one fresh air a day
● Take regular breaks in different rooms of the house. Even ten minutes of coffee in the kitchen can make a difference
● Work concentrated throughout the day, then switch off your computer in the evening and, if possible, stop reading emails or messages
4. Be honest with your employer
Even before the virus broke out, mental health had been an important item on many companies’ agendas, since managers are now largely aware of the importance of mental health in the workplace. Whether your concerns, questions, or requests relating to childcare challenges, feeling isolated or overwhelmed, or simply connection problems, it is important that you express them to your manager and seek appropriate support. If you’re a manager yourself,
● Show empathy at all times
● Ask questions and listen carefully
● Try to put yourself in the position of the employee
● Forward useful tips from your HR department, for example
● Provide contacts for professional support.
Our last words,
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