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World Mental Health Day; Keeping Connected whilst Working From Home

In a recent article, The Telegraph stated the psychological effects of covid-19 relating to anxiety, stress, depression and loneliness. This weekend, on Saturday 10th October, marks World Mental Health Day providing an important opportunity to address subjects surrounding mental wellbeing in the workplace.

As companies like ourselves look at the long term benefits of enabling employees to work from home, we must be aware of how we support our community through uncertainty, times of change and how we can prevent potential isolation that can occur when we are unable to spend time with colleagues and work friends.

Let’s look at key habits, tech tools and resources to support the mental wellbeing of the Atlantic Technologies team, partners, clients, friends and our wider community whilst we continue to work from home.

Mental Health Routines for Working From Home

Leave the house daily when working from home

Leaving the house in the morning, and again in the evening, are key habits recommended for boosting endorphins, energy and productivity whilst working from home. Not commuting and less moving around the office means that we miss out on NEAT activity and Vitamin D from natural sunlight. A short walk two or three times a day ensures that your body benefits from movement on a mental and physical level.

Desk Set-up for Injury Prevention

Ergonomics and office set-up is the next step. Whether you are working from home once a week, or every day, your posture will impact your overall wellbeing. Aches and pains from poor set-up creates additional angst and stress that (despite popular belief) are not a part of growing up. These can be avoided by taking the following steps

  • Make sure your chair is supportive
  • Bring your screen to eye level – a separate desktop is also advised
  • Place your keyboard and mouse on your desk to enable you to type with your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle

Keeping in Touch with Colleagues whilst Working Remotely

Communication and community are both integral to day to day happiness of employees and colleagues. Using Zoom, Teams or Google Meets will enable you to create the following communication that employees would usually benefit from in an office setting:

  • An open-door policy to voice ideas and concerns
  • Habitual coffee breaks with work friends
  • After work entertainment such drinks, a quiz, or 1:1 catch-ups and conversations

How you bookend your days have a big impact on your week. If you are working from your bedroom, lounge, or kitchen table, ensure that you are able to physically put your work away at the end of the day. Create space in a cupboard, divide your room with a screen or put your notebook and stationary in a box until the next morning to enable you to completely switch off without your emails or your to-do-list in the corner of your eye.

Technology for Mental Health, Mental Fitness, and Mental Wellbeing whilst Working From Home

Video calling platforms have become an integral part of our day-to-day life at Atlantic Technologies. Video calls encourage us to get dressed properly in the morning, enable us to read other peoples expressions for accurate understanding of emotions, and to continue camaraderie outside of ‘office hours’ with an end of the week drink or two. Alongside video communication, here are a few apps recommended by our team for mental wellbeing:

  • Headspace; from winding down at the end of the day, to reconfiguring your energy throughout the day, Headspace makes mindfulness and meditation quick and accessible – especially during busy and stressful periods.
  • Minderful: Your mental health is much like a muscle. In order to keep things in shape, it is important to practice mental fitness. From movement, to painting, to baking, to birdwatching, Minderful has over 50 examples of mental fitness for you to try
  • Activity: There is a direct correlation between your mental and physical health. The Activity tracker on your phone will enable you to track your steps, your exercise and your standing. 10,000 steps is a great aim to start with. If your mood is low, you might see that your movement has been low too.
  • Whoop: With 24/7 data monitoring, Whoop is the ultimate recovery tool. It tracks your exercise, sleep, muscle recovery and how much sleep you need for ultimate recovery. If, like us, you enjoy visual data from a single source of truth, you’ll enjoy Whoop.
  • Centr: If you do not feel you have time to manage your food and your exercise alongside everything else you have to do, Centr by Chris Hemsworth takes care of it for you with easy to follow meal plans and short daily exercise programmes. It breaks your macros and calories down to help you understand your wellbeing through data.
  • Audiobooks: Recommended reads and audiobooks include Own The Day, The Subtle Art of Not Giving AF and Atomic Habits

Resources and Helplines for Mental Health Matters

Atlantic Technologies have an open door policy to discuss concerns, even when we are working remotely. We encourage men and women to reach out and open up about mental health concerns should you need someone to lend an ear. No problem is too big or too small, and if you would like help outside of work, here are some resources that we recommend:

  • Samaritans has a 24/7 helpline of people who are ready and waiting to listen to you – we all need a friendly ear sometimes
  • Men’s Health Forum has 24/7 stress support for men via text, chat an email
  • No Panic offers support to people with panic attacks and OCD
  • CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably for men ages 15-35
  • SANE provides mental health support for those affected by mental illness, their families and their carers