Many of us have now been working from home for a whole year! Here I thought I would share some thoughts on what I've learnt on keeping yourself mentally healthy.
Looking back to March 2020 not many of us would have imagined that we would still be working at our desks and dining tables a whole year later. Pre pandemic most of us saw working from home as a bit of a treat, a welcome treat from the horrible rush-hour commute. Now, with most of us used to working from home, or becoming fed up with working from home there are still a few things to remember to keep us motivated and healthy.
Hopefully, after working from home for a year now you are used to sticking to boundaries that you put into place. A great example would be to be clear to your colleagues exactly when you will be available. Things like childcare arrangements can mean our daily work pattern has changed. If you're receiving phone call after phone call, emails, texts and messages whilst you are marching to school then perhaps you could suggest you are unresponsive at particular times. Being clear on what hours you work throughout the day will help your colleagues know when you will be available to work.
Boundaries also need to be set with your family or friends. It can be easy for people to ask you for a favour, perhaps a lift into town or some help with the DIY. Being clear and reminding them that you are still at work should make it easier to focus on the job at hand. Demanding that your two-year-old doesn't make any noise during a zoom meeting is never going to work and your employers wouldn't expect that.
It's more than likely that the idea of getting back to normal office life isn't going to happen anytime soon. Learning to accept that remote working is probably going to put a halt to several things you could naturally expect working in the office. Some that come to mind are progressing in your career, keeping up motivation and setting and achieving goals.
Both management and staff need to come to terms that the last 12 months were nowhere near normal working conditions. Appreciating that you cannot be reviewed like for like against the same period the previous year will help anybody that is struggling to keep up or meet any goals that at this present time are probably unrealistic and unachievable.
We need to be understanding and realistic that motivation levels may not be at the same constant levels that we are used to.
If however, you are chomping at the bit to set yourself some new challenges and goals then go for it! Just bear in mind that you need to remember where you are and you may need to adapt the way you achieve any new goals that you set.
Whilst we focus on being kind to ourselves and realistic with goals and acceptance of the situation we also need to be mindful of our colleagues. As much as we need to make sure we set our boundaries for home working we also need to be empathetic to the people we work with. Whilst many of us might enjoy working from home some of us might be struggling.
Being kind, thoughtful and patient with anybody that might be unusually short with you will only make working from home a bit more tolerable for us all.
Article Written by Matt Partridge
Web Developer & Digital Marketing Specialist