World Wellness Week
This week (22nd - 26th June) is World Wellbeing Week! Now in its second year, Wellbeing week provides the opportunity for participants worldwide to promote an overall awareness for the wide-ranging aspects of wellbeing, including social, physical, emotional, financial, career, community and environmental wellbeing.
We wanted to take this opportunity to focus on the importance of wellbeing whilst working from home. With the steep increase in remote working tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams and Zoom, it’s possible for employees to be ‘plugged in’ to work for far longer, as on average, those working from home are racking up an extra 28 hours of monthly overtime since lockdown began. It equates to nearly four days’ work.
As research recently commissioned by LinkedIn and the Mental Health Foundation, has revealed that four in five (79%) think that the extended period of remote working has encouraged a culture dubbed ‘e-presenteeism’, meaning employees feel that they should be online and available as much as possible even if out of hours, or if they are unwell.
Three-quarters (75%) feel that the issue has the potential to negatively impact employees’ mental health by causing additional stress, burnout and anxiety. And this isn’t lost on managers. More than half (54%) think mental health issues such as anxiety, burnout, isolation and loneliness have become more prevalent among employees in their company due to the impact of coronavirus on the way we work, and 56% fear lower team morale.
So what can we do about it?
Here are 5 easy steps to help you focus on your wellbeing whilst working remotely:
Don’t be alone – there are many others in your situation right now. Speak to friends, family and colleagues about how they are managing. Try to maintain healthy social contact between co-workers and exchange notes on how you are each coping with working from home. The equivalent of a ‘virtual’ coffee machine chat can be achieved and maintained through social media, conference calling and/or a simple telephone chat, and is a healthy part of maintaining good working relationships. Whilst you might be relying on your line-manager for help and support at this time, remember that they might need support too – so check in with their wellbeing when you can.
Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood. If you exercise regularly, it can reduce your stress and symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and help with recovery from mental health issues.
Think about the activities you genuinely enjoy and can lose yourself in, it doesn't necessarily have to be yoga or meditation but these are great for your wellbeing. Maybe it's a hobby you haven't done for a while but used to enjoy. Enjoying yourself helps beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something boosts your self-esteem. Concentrating on a hobby like gardening, baking or reading can help you forget your worries for a while and change your mood.
Research has shown that education programmes provide a simple, low cost way of helping people to reduce symptoms of mild to moderate depression and anxiety. There are so many amazing, free webinars and podcasts available right now. It is a great time to take advantage of this and learn something new.
Give to Others
People who are kind and compassionate see clear benefits to their wellbeing and happiness. They may even live longer. Kindness can also help reduce stress and improve our emotional wellbeing! Wow, there you go, lots of reasons to be kind and do something for other people.