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Covid-19 Series. Top tips to help put your well-being first when home working.

As the UK responds to the Coronavirus pandemic, a lot of the UK workforce has been asked to work from home. WWTW Clinical Lead, Carolyn, has put together some top tips to help you to look after your wellbeing whilst working remotely.

Firstly, create a desk space.  You may not have a study as such, but creating a working zone will ensure you work to the best of your ability.  Try to avoid working in the bedroom – this is the space you need to keep for relaxing and sleeping in.  It doesn’t matter if you working from the kitchen table or in the living room, try to make the distinction between ‘work’ and ‘play’. 

Secondly, try to set up your workstation carefully to ensure you get as much natural light as possible.  If you’re working in poor light, you’re likely to increase fatigue through eye strain.  Good natural light will also help improve your mood!


By not making the journey into work each morning, it is a real opportunity to make the most of your extra time.  Try to wake up at same time you would have if you were travelling into work.  You’ll have time to get some odd jobs done; take the dog for a longer walk or even do a short work out or yoga routine – it’ll set you up for a successful day ahead.


It can be very tempting to spend all day in your PJ's when working from home.  Get dressed as if you’re heading for work – complete your usual morning routine, shower, breakfast and this will get you into the right frame of mind for a productive day.  You’ll feel better for it. 


It can be distracting to try to work in clutter.  Before you start, have a quick tidy up of any mess, wipe surfaces and make sure your work desk space is clear.  Also, at the end of the working day, clear everything away particularly if your workstation is in your lounge or kitchen for example. 


When working from home, it can be very easy to fall into bad habits such as working late into the evening or not taking a lunch break.  You really do need to maintain that healthy balance between work and play.  Make sure that there are very clear boundaries as to where you’re working and your working hours.  In the evenings, it’s vital to unwind – you don’t want your workstation/working day to morph into the evenings.  Particularly if things get to the point where you will need to self-isolate. 


I’m not encouraging stockpiling, but have some healthy snacks and treats in the cupboard to graze on during the day. 


Make time to move during the day.  Head outside for a walk during your lunch break (following government advice of course).    For the more energetic of us, a home workout or if possible, a jog outside.  Just taking regular breaks from the screen will help – you need to maintain a healthy work/life balance. 


It might be going a bit too far for some of you, but taking a few deep breaths at the end of the day, doing some meditation can bring some calm into the evening – it can help to refresh and recharge – there are some great YouTube videos to follow. 


Working from home might tempt you to have some late nights – aim to get your usual quota of sleep hours – your body will thank you for it.

Working from home isn't an excuse for late nights. You might not have a car journey in the morning, but in order to work productively you will need a good night's sleep. Aim to get around eight hours sleep so you have enough energy for the following day.

If you do work late into the evening, the bright light from your laptop will disrupt circadian rhythms.  Melatonin (sleep hormone) production can be acutely affected!  Switch off!

Good luck everyone – remember work/home balance.