Stay healthy whilst working from home

Mark the end of the day text as graphic Published Wednesday, 25th March 2020

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement to the nation on Monday, many of us are now working from home.

With the new social distancing guidelines also in place, the next few days and weeks will certainly prove different and create a new normal for us all. 

We’ll all be spending a lot more time in our homes both during the working day and in the evenings so it’s more important than ever that we look after our health and wellbeing.

Richard Taylor, Assistant Director for Human Resources, Organisational Redesign, and Engagement, said: “The Coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented situation, and the health and wellbeing of our Worcestershire County Council staff is a top priority.
We’ve been sharing advice, like many other organisations, and encouraging everyone working from home to take breaks and first and foremost, to look after themselves. It’s important when working from home to keep communicating, and have clear boundaries between time at home and time at work.”

Councillor Karen May, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Transformation and Commissioning, added:

“We all need to stay at home to preserve life, so working from home is now essential if you possibly can. You can feel compelled to sit at your desk for hours on end, but all good practice advice stresses the need for regular break, sensible hours and putting a priority on relaxation and fun. It can be a challenge, but staying fit and well is very important for everyone.”

The County Council has put together some useful tips and guidance aimed at making sure you put your health first.

These include:

  • Setting your alarm - Sticking to a familiar routine really helps - it’s still a workday. If you can, use the time you would normally spend travelling to work to get outside and go for a walk, this helps to avoid the ‘straight from bed to desk trap’.
  • Maintaining regular contact with your manager and colleagues - Setting up a regular skype call with your team can be helpful to feel connected, it provides an opportunity to share concerns, workloads and offer help and support to each other. A WhatsApp group can also help, it can feel like interacting on more of a personal level and can be faster when an emergency response is appropriate.
  • Taking regular breaks - Don’t be ‘on’ all the time. Be aware that if you were in the office you would make a coffee, pop to the shop, catch up with a colleague. Try not to fixate on or worry about being chained to the laptop.
  • Marking the end of the day -  Like your new morning ‘commute’, develop a ritual to end the working day. Find a way to naturally signal the end of your workday and establish some boundaries.

It’s really important during these times that we look after ourselves and we also look after those around us so we would encourage you all to try and follow the advice above.

There’s also a short animated video which highlights work from home tips to help you stay healthy.