Portrait of smiling man working at home

While working from home has been the overall safest option for our physical health throughout the pandemic, many businesses sometimes overlook the impact that this can have on our mental well-being. From less social interaction with colleagues to being cooped up within the same four walls each day, there are several elements that, over time, can have a lasting effect on our performance when working remotely.  This can particularly impact on tenants, who have less flexibility on changes to their environment and may not be able to create a separate space for work.

In this article, we explore the common side effects of working from home, and what we can do to help minimise these, making remote working a more positive experience for employees.

Feeling Less Connected

According to a recent survey, the most common side effect that UK workers experience when working from home is feeling less connected to colleagues – with 67% of team members reporting this. This is hugely important to recognise, as not only can this impact successful collaborative work across projects, but it can also vastly affect employee morale. One great way to tackle this is by providing weekly interactive team activities across Teams or Zoom. That way, you’re getting everyone together for some light-hearted fun, breaking away from work, and enjoying the social interaction with one another that employees would typically draw on within the office.

Taking Less Exercise

Another common pitfall of working from home is lack of exercise (and motivation to do so). When you’re already in the comfort of your own home, there’s less temptation to want to escape from breaks, or on your lunch hour, like there is when you’re in a corporate office environment. This can lead to many of us failing to take the breaks necessary when working remotely. According to recent reports, over 30% of Brits aren’t getting enough daily exercise – with both men and women spending too much time sitting at work or home.

Doing a home workout is one way to help curb this – but if you’re working in a small space be careful not to damage any of your possessions in the process. If you’re renting your current property, it’s a good idea to take out renters insurance before turning your lounge into a temporary gym once a day! Another way to tackle inactivity at home is by putting reminders in your calendar to go for a lunchtime walk. This is the perfect way to give yourself a nudge to get out, stretch your legs, and enjoy an hour of fresh air.

Lack of Productivity

The final culprit that many of us have to contend with when working remotely is procrastination – which can lead to a lack of productivity.

When working in our usual office environment, there are no distractions and it’s easy to knuckle down and focus.

Working from home can have a completely different impact on us – with many of us getting distracted by visible household chores that need completing, our phones and personal devices, and even our children if they’re in the house with us – and this can be a particular challenge for tenants.

The ideal way to tackle this is to create a separate space, where possible, within your home – but if you can’t do that, think about getting a folding desk or a temporary screen that you can put away after work.

If none of that is an option, then creating a mental barrier is the next best thing.  Get dressed for work, leave the front door and come in the back door so that you physically and mentally create a “work-mode” as opposed to “home-mode” – and reverse when you finish. This can help to channel our mind to focus on the work in front of us, blocking out the rest until it’s time to log off.