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Tips and advice for those working from home

3 July 2020

Many of you have been working from home over the past few months and we now know that this is something that you’ll need to continue doing until at least the end of September.

It’s important to remember that we’re not just working from home… we are at home, during a pandemic, trying to work.

Here are some really important evidence-based tips for managing working from home that may apply differently depending on your situation:

  • Let’s try and manage our expectations – there will be days or weeks where it feels hard to juggle things or focus. Speak to your manager if you feel like you need to adjust the balance between work and other commitments.
  • Let’s try and keep our boundaries – being super-available and hyper-connected is tempting, but ultimately exhausting, and can reduce our decision-making abilities. Let’s prioritise breaks, and keep an eye on the hours we are working.
  • Let’s try to mark our transitions – from ‘work-mode’ to ‘family or other-mode’. Wearing too many ‘hats’ at once can make things feel overwhelming. Try sticking with one ‘hat’ at a time, where possible.
  • Let’s try and keep connected to one another – those kitchen-chats matter, they reduce our stress levels. Let’s not rush into agendas.
  • Smile – if a dog or child comes onto a call or there’s a loud distraction at the door, that’s life, it’s ok!
  • Finishing the day – it can help to make a list of things you need to do tomorrow (saves the jobs running around in your head!) and to notice the things that went well in the day, however small they may feel.
  • And, let’s try to be kind to ourselves – we’re all doing the best we can, in difficult circumstances.

MIND have developed a Working at Home Wellness Action Plan which you may find useful. It contains advice and guidance and a tool you can complete to examine your current mental health while working at home.

The document also contains links to lots of external help and support sites. You can also use the range of wellbeing support that we have put in place for employees during the pandemic. This includes the confidential, 24 hour, Employee Assistance Programme which offers free emotional and practical support (including counselling), the Thrive: mental wellbeing app and tips on looking after your mental health and wellbeing from Joined Up Care Derbyshire.

Further advice and information about the practicalities of working from home is also available. This includes using display screen equipment, your working environment and data security.