As many staff adjust and acclimatise, you may be finding that the day to day reality of working from home can be very challenging.
The challenges will come for many different personal reasons, for example being on our own at home during the day or trying to balance caring responsibilities. Each case will be unique and often difficult, and we know not all days will be the same.
Working from home has as much to do with the work you have planned to complete as well as your mental approach and attitude to the situation. Here’s some tips to maintain your wellbeing and please feel free to share your own tips StaffWellbeing@QUB #wfh.
Try to start and end the day with a routine. Get dressed, go for a walk, prioritise your jobs, get the coffee on! Use the time that you’re normally commuting for doing an online yoga class, getting out for a walk or calling a friend/family member for a catch up.
When working from home, you're your own personal manager. Without things like an in-person meeting schedule to break up your day, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out. To stay productive, set goals for what you'll do and when over the course of the day/week.
We understand that balancing your caring responsibilities with working from home is going to be challenging. We know that you may not be able to commit to carrying out a full or 'normal' day of work in these circumstances. If you’re struggling, contact your line manager and let them know about the challenges you are experiencing so that the University can best support you.
Get some Vitamin D and fresh air
We’re spending a lot of time indoors at the moment, so open the windows to let in as much natural daylight and fresh air as possible. If possible, get outside and take a walk or go for a run - just make sure to wash your hands as soon as you return home.
It’s important to talk and remain connected to colleagues, and if we can’t be in the same room, then use technology, such as Microsoft Teams, to keep in touch. Use video calls where you can instead of phone calls, as it’s easier to gauge how someone is when you can see them.
Open your shades when the sun comes up, or step outside. Bringing sunlight into your home will help balance your circadian rhythm for better sleep and energy management. And stepping outside for even just a quick breath of fresh air will make you feel more alive and less isolated.
Think about food prep for the week and maybe batch cook on Sunday. Try and have healthy snacks in the cupboards, otherwise you’ll eat all the chocolate.
Regular breaks and exercise
It's good to have a routine when you're working from home, but work shouldn't become monotonous and you shouldn't stay glued to your screen all day. It's important to take regular screen breaks and get up from your desk and move around just as you would normally.
Every 25 minutes try to get up and stretch, breathe, go outside, go up and down the stairs – anything to move your body! Working out at home can offer some advantages such as convenience and privacy. You can download a yoga app for example or visit a website that offers workouts that are customised and require little or no equipment.
Ask for help
It may be the first time you’ve had to work from home, and new technology can be daunting, so reach out to a colleague and ask for some help.