With offices now open many people are moving into a more hybrid way of working, splitting their time between working from home and working from the office.
For some, this is by choice, and for others it is because their offices are managing the number of people inside the office at one time. But what does this move mean for our personal wellbeing?
Richie Norton, wellbeing contributor for the UK’s leading office solutions company Officeology said: “Whilst hybrid working can offer so many benefits such as more time at home with family and less money spent on commuting, for some it can come with it’s downsides too, such as a loss of routine and a lack of support. Maintaining your wellbeing is essential both inside and outside of your usual working environment, and with the added pressures of hybrid working doing so can be difficult.
“The first thing I would recommend is making sure that despite where you are working you take a lunch break away from your screen, giving your mind a chance to rest, recharge and refocus. Burnout will happen far quicker if you skip lunch breaks!”
Here are five more top tips on maintaining personal wellbeing when moving into hybrid working:
- Work out a routine
A daily routine can be beneficial for a number of reasons, not only does it give you full control of your day to day, but it will also help to improve your focus, productivity and organsation.
Hybrid working doesn’t have to rule out having a routine in place, instead, speak with your employer to see if you can set which days you work in the office and which day you work from home as opposed to them being swapped and changed on a weekly or monthly basis. Doing this will allow you to have more control of your week and allow you to plan and run your life around your working schedule in advance.
2nd Set calendar reminders for breaks
Ensuring that you take breaks throughout the day is important, not only is it good to give your eyes a break from staring at a glaring screen all day, but it is good for your wellbeing as well as your productivity.
It can be easy to get caught up in your work, so setting 2-3 calendar reminders throughout the day to prompt you to take a moment away from your desk is a great way to make sure you take that well needed break. Whether you take a few minutes to make a cup of tea, do a lap of the house or step into the garden for some fresh air, these moments away from your computer will help you to regain your focus and avoid any productivity slumps.
3rd Look after yourself
Something we could all do well to remember is that ‘you are number one’. This means taking time to properly look after yourself, not just mentally, but physically too. Not everyone has the luxury of being fully equipped to work from home, and missing a number of basic items can lead to physical ailments such as back ache, sore eyes and tension headaches.
To help prevent and reduce any back pain, spending 5-10 minutes every evening stretching or using some self massage tools, such as a foam roller, can help to release any tension and ease pain. It is all really important to take regular screen breaks to give you eyes a rest, doing this should help with sore, heavy eyes and tension headaches.
Taking time either in the evening or throughout the day to spend a moment by yourself, whether that be meditating or just sitting somewhere quiet with your thoughts, is a great way to recenter yourself. Meditation is particularly recommended when it comes to mental well-being as it can increase focus and concentration and lower levels of stress and anxiety.
4th Know when to stop
When working from home it can be tempting to work longer hours, but by doing this you are not only messing with your work – life balance but may also push yourself towards a burn out. Starting early and/or finishing later can actually make you more tired than normal, and in turn will likely make you less productive.
To remain as productive and alert as possible whilst working, try finishing your work day at the same time as you would if you were in the office, this will allow you to stick to a healthy and balanced routine despite where you are working. It will also allow you to make more time for things such as family time, or taking time to focus on yourself, with more time to wind down before bed.
Hybrid working has always been around, but for many, the concept and experience is very new, so it certainly won’t come without its teething issues. If you are feeling stressed or uncomfortable with your new working situation, then make sure you communicate your concerns with your manager. Not doing so and instead holding on to any issues or worries, will negatively impact the way you work and make working a far less enjoyable experience.
You should also make sure you communicate your ideas to your manager or your team. Workplace wellbeing is important, and it can always be improved. How people feel in the workplace and how they perceive wellbeing at work is very subjective, however sharing your ideas on how to improve it can only be beneficial. Whether you think team yoga sessions should be implemented or you think people could benefit from more regular 121’s with their managers, sharing these ideas with those who can action them could significantly improve wellbeing in the workplace for you and your colleagues.