Are you back from your hols feeling refreshed? Were you facing burnout beforehand? We look at how to take back control and manage the onset of remote working overload.
Remote working has always been hailed as the ‘perfect’ solution; no commute, reduced stress, time to focus; but, as we’re all discovering, it comes with its challenges as well. Loneliness, increased presenteeism pressure and the need to keep the team spirit momentum going, when all you want to do is slump in your chair.
Working in an office also has its challenges, but there are benefits. It can help drive creativity and act as a social hub or space for people to come together with a common purpose, which, in turn, improves wellbeing.
Right now, the fact is that we’re living through a pandemic. We’re away from the office, dealing with managing the day-to-day, whilst taking on additional workload…all from home. It’s little wonder we’re mentally exhausted!
Even though the holiday season is upon us, the challenges of remote working will still be there when we return, so it’s important to look at how to manage our mental wellbeing over the long term.
Recognising the importance of wellbeing
Work can be good for you. According to mental health charity, Mind, when employees feel their work is meaningful and they are valued and supported, they tend to have higher wellbeing levels, be more committed to the organisation’s goals and, importantly, they perform better too.
However, we are human, and we can slow down from time to time, it’s only natural. The key is recognising when this is happening and knowing when to put measures or actions in place to help manage mental fatigue and improve wellbeing.
Connect with the world around you
One of the common challenges that has emerged with homeworking is the cult of presenteeism. No longer is it about being seen in the office, it’s now about response times on Zoom, Skype, Teams or email. It’s crucial to take regular breaks during the day and connect with the outside world.
Whether that’s going for a walk with a friend, a bike ride or even a quick stroll, taking a bit of time out can help recharge the batteries and gives you a better focus when you return to your desk. Just stepping away for 15 minutes can make all the difference.
Exercise improves wellbeing. Fact. Getting active is vital when working from home as we tend to sit at our desks for longer, stare at our screens for longer and feel the need to stay ‘present’ for longer.
We all need to exercise, so taking time during your day to get the blood pumping is now more important than ever. Stepping away from your desk can also give you a better perspective on a problem or issue.
Getting those endorphins pumping will bring out the best in you and bring out an increased sense of wellbeing. It also helps combat fatigue and clear any brain ‘fog’ that you may be experiencing, especially if you’re tired.
Homeworking is a very different workstyle to being office-based – not everybody is productive at the same time during the day and the lines between work and homelife are more blurred. As a result, a lot of employers are still getting to grips with breaking free from the traditional 9-5, bringing your best and energised self will help drive that change.
How often during lockdown did you go for a walk and really noticed your area for the first time? Whether that’s discovering a park, noticing architecture or finding a new walking route, noticing where you are at that moment can bring about a sense of calm. By really looking at what’s around you, enables you to switch-off and engage in a more mindful experience.
Doing an online course or learning a new skill can also help give you a new focus that’s away from work. The buzz of perfecting something for the first time or completing a project can really help boost wellbeing.
Studying something new can also create clearer boundaries between work and personal life, enabling you to ‘shake off’ the working day more easily, and not feel the need to be present all the time.
Never has community and friendship been more important than right now. Engaging with local initiatives, or reconnecting with friends, is another way to ensure you give yourself a break to help you feel better about yourself and the world around you.
Getting back out there shifts the focus away from work and also helps you take stock on the priorities in life.
Although offices will start re-opening in August, remote or homeworking is here for the long haul. In order to stay the distance, selfcare and wellbeing are, and will continue to be, paramount. We’re all learning as we go right now, but the need to be your best, positive and energised self has never changed.
It’s ok to step away from your desk and it’s ok to take regular breaks. Just as you would in an office, the same rules should apply at home.
For more information on the 5 steps to wellbeing, click here