The vast majority of the UK workforce are not used to working from home. I have been speaking to a lot of companies and individuals who have all commented how tough it has been during the COVID-19 lock down to work from home. We all seem to be missing our work colleagues and now realise how engaging, motivating and generally beneficial that our offices are to our mental well-being! 

I found this fantastic video on Youtube which outlines 5 key steps to improve your mental health and well-being whilst working at home. Here are my take outs.

1. Keep connected

Ensure you keep connected to your boss, work colleagues, customers and suppliers. Make use of video technology as seeing someone's face is far more beneficial than just hearing their voice. Create regular check ins like sharing a virtual coffee and not talking about work and, instead, enjoy some smiles and laughter. Have a bit of fun.

2. Create a daily routine

Ensure you create and stick to a daily routine. It would be easy to sleep longer, slope around in your pyjamas all day and not have a shower but none of these will provide a positive benefit to you. Keep your bedtime and wake up routines the same as if you are commuting to the office. Make sure you take plenty of breaks during the day, have lunch away from your desk and have a start and end time to your day. It is too easy to keep working and this will only demotivate and tire you out in the long run.

3. Managing expectations

It is a weird world currently and what you achieve each day normally may not be possible. Agree your objectives with your boss and set yourself up for success. Create task lists that will ensure priorities are delivered and your agreed objectives met.

4. Control your environment

Minimise distractions. With your whole family working or being at home, there will be plenty of distractions but work together to have respect for each other and understand what you all need to achieve each day. It would be easy to sit on the sofa, laptop in hand and with the TV on but is this really going to be good for your output and well-being? You can watch TV as your wind down from work later in the day.

5. Utilise your commuting time

Whether you normally commute for 30 minutes or a few hours, this time is being given back to you and is a fantastic opportunity to invest in your self care. This could be exercise, reading, listening, mindfulness or any other activity that will help your mental health and well-being.

We don't know how long this lock down could last and remote working could also become more popular following it so adjust now and gain the benefits it provides.