Whether you’re working from home permanently or just working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic, you still have rights around your health and wellbeing. Workplace wellbeing is super important to understand, especially in a time where the majority of South Africa’s workforce is operating remotely.
Not too long ago, the idea of working from home wasn’t as literal. You could get some work done in a coffee shop or even in a co-working space. But right now, socialising is anything but an optional add-on. We’re facing greater restrictions on where we work on terms of location.
In the home office environment, workplace wellbeing is more essential than it is in the traditional office setup. But the good news is that a few consistent measures will help you stay healthy (mentally and physically) in our current landscape.
Tips to improve workplace wellbeing while working from home
Make time for water-cooler moments
Most of us have already realised that some meetings we had in the office could have easily been settled with a few emails. But those “non-critical” meetings were also great for boosting morale and building a sense of community. If you’ve got a team that’s also working from home, try to schedule a daily or weekly team catch-up as a means of checking in on everyone. This will help all of you stay connected to your peers. Face-to-face contact lowers your risk of depression, but in times like these, video calls are much better than nothing at all.
Move your butt
Staying active is more of a challenge for most of us right now. You’re probably limited on when you can go out for physical exercise too. But staying active isn’t only good for your body, it’s great for your brain too! When you get moving, your body releases endorphins, which helps to manage stress. Don’t try to complete gruelling workouts every day, but don’t sit around all day. Light physical exercise that gets your heart pumping is all you need. Regardless of how you work it into your day, fitness plays a key role in workplace wellbeing during the current pandemic.
Take mindful breaks
As we all adjust to working from home, we also need to focus on creating productive work environments for ourselves, even if they’re on the kitchen tables. But along with the right productive work setup, you also need to plan your breaks. Working from home can lead to burnout as we try to do more at home than we did at the office, all in a bid to prove something to our managers. You should still take your breaks the way you would if you had been at the office. Increased productivity in remote employees stems from the fact that they take more frequent breaks, creating the right environment for productivity.
Let your creative juices flow
The home office is a much quieter set up than the 9-5 office gig, which also means that boredom and loss of purpose are very real threats. But your free time doesn’t have to be dead time. Spend your free time doing something creative, something personal and not related to your work. Time spent on creative tasks fosters enthusiasm and energy, which are key recipes for workplace wellbeing.
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