Seven simple work from home wellbeing tips

8 min read | Thea Watson | Article | Workplace Wellbeing

Woman with hand on chin and thinking

Learn 7 great ways to keep your physical and mental health sharp when working at home.

Working from home can bring with it a number of challenges – whether they be in-home distractions or general technology frustrations. And, while a remote role opens up many different freedoms and opportunities, it can also be an isolating and even lonely experience.

No matter your situation, working remotely for a long period of time has the potential to negatively impact your mental health. It can also impact physically, with many being less active at home than they would be in an office. To look after our wellbeing, we must take steps to protect it.

So, what can you do to look after your wellbeing when working from home? How can you create healthy boundaries between your work and personal lives? Above all, how can you stay mentally and physically healthy whilst still being a productive and effective worker?

Working from home wellbeing at a glance

In recent years, our living and working spaces have become one and the same. This means that maintaining a good work-life balance can be difficult, especially for those in smaller living spaces, sharing with multiple people or with young children. 

While it can sometimes be difficult, it is important to switch off work at the end of the day and transition to home life. It’s also essential to maintain connections and talk to people. Here are our seven wellbeing ideas for working from home.

1. Maintain regular hours and routine 

Humans are creatures of habit. Keeping a regular schedule is important – set one, and stick to it. If you are new to home working, try to adhere to your normal office routine as much as possible. 

Get up, get dressed and ‘arrive’ at your desk 5 to 10 minutes early to go through emails and create your daily task list. Then, when the working day is done, log off and focus instead on your personal activities to avoid burnout.


2. Create a comfortable and clutter-free workspace 

Even if you aren’t lucky enough to have a study space or spare bedroom with a door, you can still create a work ‘zone’. Keep it free from clutter and away from household paraphernalia – this will help ensure you are not distracted by children or chores when you are working. 

Try to only work when you are in this space, creating a physical and mental boundary between your work and your personal life. Unless you have a separate space for work where you can close the door on it at the end of the day, try to pack up the laptop and clear the table of papers so you are not looking at them all evening. You need to avoid going and checking emails when you should be having down time.


3. Be a home worker, not a lone worker 

Communication really is the key to not feeling isolated or alone. Work out how you would like to communicate with colleagues. Too many lines of communication can prove distracting, but keep in touch at regular intervals throughout the day. 

Whilst most communications should of course be about work, try to begin and end the day with more personal conversations.


4. Face-to-face is still best 

Wherever possible, communicate with your colleagues via video chats. Face-to-face conversations help you feel more connected and are typically more engaging than conference calls. There is a wealth of technologies available to help facilitate this. 

Remember to dress appropriately for work. You should also choose your backdrop to ensure you’re comfortable with what your co-workers will see on their screens.


5. Take a break 

Like any working environment, it is important to take the occasional break to let your brain and body relax. Take a 10-minute walk, make some lunch or catch up with a friend over the phone. Short breaks will help give you the ability to refocus on your work tasks – ultimately supporting both your productivity and mental health.

We are working from laptops and phones with small screens, so make sure you look up every now and then and rest your eyes. Look at something in the distance. Stand outside for a moment or open the window and get some fresh air.


6. Maintain your physical health 

Eat well, sleep well and exercise well – these are the three cornerstones of good physical health. They should not be ignored just because you are working at home. Make sure you get up, stretch your legs and walk about regularly. Try exercises specifically designed for the home, it can change your frame of mind and help relax your muscles.

There are also plenty of at home exercise tutorials online. These cover the full range of ability levels – from the fittest amongst us to the not so fit– and serve as a great way to break up the day. Remember not to skip lunch, and certainly don’t compromise your sleep.


7. Remember to reflect 

Here at Hays, we like to end each day of remote working with a team call. We each run through a ‘win, learn and change’: something we have succeeded at, something we have learned and something we are excited to change tomorrow. 

Even if it’s not to other people, it’s important you take a step back and really reflect on the day. Recalling your successes and highlights whilst looking forward to the next day with optimism will help ensure a positive outlook.

What you need to remember about working from home wellbeing

It can be difficult to adjust to working from home. However, if you set healthy boundaries and prioritise your mental and physical wellbeing, you can keep your morale high and continue to be a productive employee.

For more career support, contact your local office to discuss potential opportunities. You can also read further career advice on our website.

About this author

Thea Watson, Marketing Director of Hays UK & I and UK Board member

Thea is responsible for the UK & Ireland marketing team. She also drives the strategic direction of the marketing function while looking closely at opportunities for growth, positioning in the marketplace and sales support. She was appointed to the Hays UK & I Board in July 2017, following joining the UK business in the summer of 2016.

Prior to her current role she was the Vice President of Marketing for the Hays Americas business, joining the business in 2012. Under her management she built the marketing function from general support to a strategic driver of sales, establishing a central marketing unit supporting Canada, US and four Latin American countries.

articleId- 47880596, groupId- 20151