This week, Senior Health Improvement Officer Lauren McLachlan, talks about managing your work life balance.
The past year has seen a dramatic shift in how many of us work. We’ve had to adjust from office based working and face-to-face meetings with customers, to working from home and only seeing our clients and colleagues remotely.
As well as being a vital part in keeping us safe and protecting the Island, remote working has brought about a significant step towards flexible working – with changes to hours, working patterns and communication styles – some of these changes we will continue to see even after we can return to some sort of normality.
While working more flexibly undoubtedly has benefits, for some of us it can be difficult to switch off. Our greater flexibility in hours worked, and easy access to emails or messaging means that you might be finding it difficult to create boundaries and keep a routine with a healthy work/life balance – which is essential to our overall mental wellbeing.
We’ve put together this list of five tips to getting the balance right;
Disconnect out of hours – make sure you switch off when you are not working. Speak to your line manager and decide a working pattern that is realistic and suits the needs of home life, home schooling etc. Agree a pattern and stick to it, this creates boundaries for you, your family and your boss.
- Don’t keep your device logged in
- Turn off notifications when you’re not working
- Don’t be tempted to keep refreshing, if urgent your line manager will call
Have regular team catch ups - it is really important to still feel connected to work and ‘in the loop’, this doesn’t always have to be work related – just catching up or telling jokes can revitalise, bond and improve any team. Make sure that you are checking in with each other, and that work is evenly distributed.
Take regular breaks – make sure you take a lunch break. Have a coffee break as you would in your normal work place make sure your home working set up works for you, make sure you move around during the day, aim to stretch and walk about at regular intervals. Check in with yourself regularly, are you doing ok? Rest if you are tired and pick up again fresh.
If possible, work from a dedicated space – in this way, when you leave that space, you leave work. Simple things like arranging a space by a window, not sitting somewhere cluttered and busy. If possible try to keep a work space away from family space - some people have even been creative with tents, garden sheds and attic spaces.
Protect home life- Everyone is busy at the moment but don’t allow work to take over, family and friend time is so important for your overall wellbeing.
For more tools and resources on mental wellbeing visit: areyouok.gov.im or if you would like to speak to someone call the Community Support and Information Line team on +44 1624 686262.