Okay, so you’ve worked from home before, once a month, once a week, it’s no big deal, right? But you’re now into week two with a long road ahead.
Many people will now have added the extra pressure of their children at home, the family/work balance is now definitely blurred. So, what can you do to remain productive and sane?
You’ve already read the many homeworking tips from the broadsheets and lifestyle bloggers but what next?
First of all, it doesn’t hurt to bookmark the articles you’ve already read and read them again. New habits will form quicker than you think and there’s nothing wrong with pausing to check how you’re doing and whether your set-up will work in the long term.
Our website includes guidance on how to set up, what will be your new office for the foreseeable future. Whilst the HSE have stated that you do not need to complete a DSE workstation assessment if you are temporarily working from home, the good practices you adopted at your office should still be considered at home.
A big part of working from home and dealing with the current crisis is managing your mental health. It will come as no surprise our article on ‘10 ways to promote positive mental health’ is currently the one of the most popular on our website.
Prior to the lockdown we were just about to launch a new Mental Health First Aid course, provisional dates were picked and our trainers ready to go. While it may unfortunately be a while before we can run these courses, our trainers are able to share some the wisdom. The course is backed by Mental Health First Aid England who have developed the following poster for working from home and much more.
In addition to this, we have asked around our own team who are all working from home about what the biggest challenges are for them and these were some of their comments:
- With all of us at home it’s a fight for who gets to work at the desk, and who has to work on the couch with their laptop or at the kitchen bench on a stool.
- It’s embarrassing when you’re on a conference call with a colleague, or worse – a customer, and the kids start a fight.
- Fitting in home-schooling.
- Confidentiality is an issue. It’s hard to keep the kids from overhearing conversations.
- My pets think they have a right to my time just because I’m there.
I guess we’re all in the same boat. Feel free to share your home-working issues on our social media channels and hopefully someone on our network will have a solution to help you.
If you’re feeling anxious or isolated, remember that support is out there.
Talk to your Mental Health First Aider. If your company has trained Mental Health First Aiders or Champions, make a note of their contact details, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with them if you need to. They can use their skills to support anyone struggling with their mental health by signposting them to the appropriate support, both in and outside of the workplace.
Speak to your HR team or Employee Assistance Programme if your organisation has this in place.
Mental Health Helplines. Samaritans offer free, confidential support 24 hours a day on 116 123. A list of national mental health services and helplines are available at mentalhealth.org.uk.
If there’s any advice we can give, just call us on 03456 122144 and we’ll do our best to help.
Keep your staff and business safe.
Director – THSP Risk Management