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5 ways you can look after yourself and your mental health when working remotely.

Remembering a time when we joined the dreaded daily commute every morning to the office, has begun to feel like a distant memory. And, with offices still reluctant to open their doors to workers, it has meant that we are now well versed in our WFH or working remotely routines. For some, the impact of working from the humble and comfortable setting of their homes has been a positive experience, but for others, it has been more of a struggle.

The results of a new survey by Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity, have revealed that working from home may have significantly impacted our mental health. According to their findings, an overwhelming 80% of Brits feel that working from home has negatively impacted their mental health.

It goes without saying that WFH has provided us with the opportunity to spend more time with our families and be far more flexible with how we go about our working day. Yet, by working away from our office, we have lost out on our daily interactions. Looking after ourselves should always be a priority, but with a pandemic present and having to incorporate a completely new way of working, it is more important than ever.

With our government rolling out stronger measures to address the spread of the virus, we are having to come to terms with the prospect of extended periods of working autonomously, preventing social contact with colleagues, friends and extended family. As social creatures, this can have detrimental effects on our mental health, and frankly, we don’t have time for that. Read on for our 5 tips on how you can look after your mental health while WFH and working remotely.

Work outside of your home space

Working at home has all kinds of benefits: less commute stress, saving money on all those coffees and lunches, you can create the exact working space you have always wanted… and the fact you can literally roll out of bed and crawl straight to your computer. However, as great as these benefits are, cooping yourself in your home day in and day out, isn’t going to do wonders for your mental health.

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Brain fog, sticking to a routine, working slowly, prangy wifi and boredom have crept up on us during the last 7 months of WFH. We have tried to motivate ourselves to focus, but it was always going to be hard when Netflix kept calling out our name. But, there is now a WFH alternative: working remotely and venturing outside of your home.

At Tally you can book suitable and on demand spaces close to where you live. No longer will you be confined to the four walls of your home; now you are able to get out of your PJ’s and dress into real clothes. By working remotely away from your home, you’ll be more likely to have a productive day of work, be able to interact with people and immerse yourself in a new environment. Yes please!

Stay active

This is always easier said than done. Waking up early, going for a run or visiting the gym always sounds good the night before, but when the ridiculously loud alarm clock chimes away in the early hours of the morning, the desire to be proactive quickly fades. As groggy as you may feel, and as half asleep, as you may be - dragging yourself out of bed and putting on your gym clothes - will instantly lead a helping hand in waking yourself up and starting your day right.

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It is widely known that exercise improves not only your overall health and mental health but also your efficiency to stay productive throughout the day. An instant stress reducer; exercise is shown to combat fatigue and improve performance at work. So, put that cup of coffee down, as a brisk 20-minute walk beyond your front door, will wake you up and allow you to have a more productive day.

Keep up your social interactions

Whether it’s popping out of your house to get a coffee, working remotely from a workspace you’ve found on Tally, or just a simple Zoom call with your colleagues or friends, we think it’s essential to keep up your social interactions while WFH.

The last thing we want is to feel lonely and isolated, and in a survey by Total Jobs, they found that 74% of young workers have experienced loneliness during the lockdown. And, is clearly of utmost importance that we take a stance to tackle this issue head-on.

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Let’s set a plan to make a conscious effort to have coffee catch up calls, or maybe schedule a virtual lunch date. Just because you aren’t there in person to make arrangements, doesn’t mean that you can’t send a quick Slack or Teams message to make plans. A small message does go a long way!

Creating work-life boundaries while WFH and working remotely

In order to stay on top of work and be motivated every day, it's important to create some home office rules and routines. Remember it is important to take breaks; without your colleagues heading towards the kitchen for copious amounts of tea and coffee breaks, we can often forget to leave our seat at home. If remembering to take breaks is something you struggle with, set a reminder in your calendar, and make sure you work around a lunch break.

By creating a small routine like waking up and working out at the same time every day, using the same mug for your tea breaks and making sure to have a solid lunch break, will be sure to slip you into a beneficial routine that will help combat any slump you may feel while WFH and working remotely.

Focus on getting a good night sleep

Research from King’s College London has shown that more than half of us have struggled with our sleep since lockdown began. If this has been the case for you, it is important to try out different ways of keeping our bedrooms for sleeping, and not for anything else.

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The number one rule: try not to work in bed. This one can be hard as the temptation of working from a warm and cosy setting is almost too irresistible, but it’s plain and simple: working in your bed will create a whole host of issues.

You run the risk of your bedroom no longer being as relaxing as it once was. The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard at Harvard backs up the idea that work shouldn’t happen where you sleep, and explain that by, “keeping computers, TVs, and work materials out of the room will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.” Meaning that it will be much harder for you to switch off and fall asleep after working in bed all day.

It’s essential that our bedrooms stay a peaceful space, and any stress and negativity towards work stays well outside its walls. It may seem obvious that focusing on getting a good night sleep will benefit the way we work, but when it comes to looking after our mental health as we WFH, getting our 8 hours of sleep in, is a fantastic way to improve mental wellbeing.

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