KEEPING UP TO DATE
Working from home in Winter
3 August 2023
How great is working from home? Being able to walk outside in the sunshine on a much needed break between meetings, having fresh air coming through the windows of your home office, hanging your washing on the line at lunch time to dry it in sun, it’s really wonderful for your mental health! But what happens during winter? When you can’t go on that lunchtime walk or you can’t have your window open because of all the rain and its cold and grey and miserable outside?
Sometimes working from home when the weather is bad and it’s cold, can impact on our mental health. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health and it’s important to keep on top of how you are feeling both mentally and physically.
Below you will find some simple strategies to help increase your emotional resilience and mental wellbeing when working from home which don’t include basking in the sun.
We talk specifically about boundaries in another Blog, you can read more about it here. With more and more people working from home, it’s now more important than ever to implement strict boundaries between your home and work life. How you do this is going to differ depending on your circumstances but it’s important to have a clear line between when work and home life starts and ends. Starting and finishing work at a particular hour is an important step. Some other options could be, getting changed into work clothes, setting time in your diary which forces you to take a break or removing the apps from your phone so you can’t check emails at all hours.
Your home office set up
How you set up your remote office is important. If you can manage to not have your office in your bedroom, this is a great idea. Sleeping and working in the same room can affect sleeping patterns and your ability to switch off. Ideally you will be working at a desk, with natural light and a window you can open (weather permitting) to let in some fresh air.
Connection not co-location
Even though you are not physically in the same space as your colleagues, it’s very important to stay connected. Make time to talk with or virtually meet with colleagues outside of work related meetings. Take time at the start of meetings to discuss the weekend, outside of work interested and other non work related matters. Staying connected with others helps to lower stress and build resistance.
Being constantly contactable through our phones means that often we are connected 24/7. Many of us have an app on our phones for LinkedIn, Email, Teams, Slack and others. This can be really convenient at times but can make it difficult to switch off. Turning notifications off on apps, setting out of office hours and turning off your phone can help to provide some disconnection in order to refresh.
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