As we all find ourselves under restrictions again and many of us work from home, work-life balance is under the spotlight again. The fact is, if you live and work in the same place it’s hard to separate the two – and that can have a negative effect on our wellbeing.
Many of us struggle to achieve the magic balance at the best of times but at home it’s easier to work longer hours at home and harder to relax.
Our recent Round Table event widely discussed the wellbeing implications of home working, and guests had suggestions for how to avoid the traps of “always on” culture?
Use your phone settings
Most smartphones have a “do not disturb” feature built into their settings, which stops all notifications while you’re in bed, or during your evening downtime. The icons will still appear, but the noise and vibrations will stop. To make sure you stay in touch with family, or urgent calls, you can usually make exceptions for people in your “favourites” list. Some also have features to allow notifications under certain circumstances – for example if someone calls you three times in a row, that’s probably an important call. These features are great for helping you switch off after work.
Schedule in your downtime
An essential part of work-life balance is taking time out – to rest and reset. If you’ve got your head down at home, without colleagues to have a break with, this can be easy to forget. Take a step back from your work by setting alarms for regular breaks – for example, iPhone users can ask Siri to set a timer for five minutes so you can take a break when the timer is up, or to remind you on the hour to get up and move around.
Most phones have fitness features – like Apple Health for iPhones and Google Fit on Android – to count steps, monitor exercise and more. You can encourage your employees to connect with each other for a little healthy competition and motivation. Wearable devices such as Fitbits can help with this and help make it fun as well as good for health. Perhaps organise a weekly step or distance challenge to get teams outside and away from their desks.
Time to chill
Time at the end of the day to relax and switch off is vital to achieve a better work-life balance. Our devices are not all work and no play – take time to watch Netflix, listen to music through Spotify, or play games from the app store. Listening to podcasts is an especially good way to switch off – you can’t let your mind think about work if you’re gripped by the latest episode. Even better if you can safely exercise while you watch or listen.
Stress from work can be overwhelming, affecting us emotionally and physically. Apps like Headspace have gained a huge following for meditation and mindfulness, which reportedly lead to increased happiness, and better health. Headspace has mediation sequences aimed for helping stress, anxiety sleep and work productivity. It might not be for some people, but if ‘Microsoft Teams fatigue’ is starting to take its toll, a quick 10-minutes of Zen-like calm might help you refocus.
With devices boasting so many powerful features, it’s easy to forget that phones were designed for chatting! Sometimes you just need to tell someone how you’re feeling to help you process the stress of a hard day. And there’s nothing like a pick-me-up natter with a friend, family member or colleague to lift the spirits. Don’t forget to pick up the phone to check in on others too, especially if you feel they may have been struggling.
Let us help
At Onecom we recently hit gold standard for the Investors in People Award. As part of our ‘People Plan’, we have worked hard to ensure that Onecom has consistently been a great place to work. It has been our priority to create a fun and inclusive atmosphere and ensure our employees have a healthy work-life balance.