Advice for working from home
24 March 2020
With many of us now operating remotely, we have prepared some helpful advice for those who are working from home.
Exercise: Even if you don't think you exercise a lot, you will be taking moderate exercise when you commute and walk around the office. Try to build some exercise into your routine. For example (and if you are not self-isolating), a 1 km walk around the block during the time that you would have been commuting. If you are self-isolating, there are lots of exercise apps available (e.g. https://yogawithad riene .com/free-yoga-videos/) but if you live in a house with stairs, you could also walk
up-and-down the stairs 10 times.
Acknowledge: It's normal to feel anxious and afraid when things are so uncertain. Acknowledge any anxiety and work on coping mechanisms that can help you with that. There are good meditation and relaxation apps available (e.g. Headspace) and other people find it helpful to have a jigsaw on the go, read a book or listen to music. It can also help to focus on nature (e.g. watch the progress of things growing in your garden, observing the details of trees on the street, or tending to a houseplant). Spending some time being thankful for things (however modest) also helps to drive out stress and helps maintain a feeling of calm/wellbeing.
Information: It's important to ensure that you have all the necessary public health information, but multiple (and competing) sources of information can do more harm than good. Try to set a limit on how much time you spend following the media and challenge yourself on what is a trusted source.
Take control: Things are likely to be uncertain for a few months and it can be hard to deal with a situation you don't control. Focus on the things that you can control. For example, washing your hands regularly; drinking plenty of fluids; eating healthily; and taking some exercise.
Connect: Although you may not be able to see people you care about as frequently as usual, make sure you can continue to connect with them. Emotional support is a critical part of our physical and mental wellbeing. If you're finding it hard without more informal dialogue with colleagues, consider setting up a smaller WhatsApp group or a virtual tea-break (using Bluejeans to check-in with each other without discussing work).
Routine: Try to establish a routine, in particular when you get up and go to bed. Sleeping is really important to our physical and mental health, but it can be very easy to lose your routine (and so become harder to sleep) if you are at home all day. Aim to set a finish time when you switch off for the day. We also don't expect you to be glued to your laptop. We all need to take little breaks throughout the day and know that won't just be at normal lunchtimes.
Ask: If you're concerned about work, or are experiencing any difficulty when working from home, please speak to your manager or a member of the HR team.
Covid 19 - Coronavirus
Our advice on responding to the coronavirus outbreak.