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Naomi Hefter, Capita

You are probably tired of reading, seeing and hearing all the news about Covid19.

Whether it’s from the media, the government, gifs, memes, jokes, stats, reports – even artists are bombarding us with paintings and sculptures of loo rolls! But there is one subject in all of this that is crucial to address when it comes to this pandemic – our mental health.

Whether you yourself have, or know someone personally who has, caught this dreadful disease, you have a business where you have been forced to close, or you are in isolation feeling incredibly alone, all of these things could have an effect on your mental health.

Working from home is all about where you can sit in your pyjamas, get that extra hour in bed instead of commuting and being in the comfort in your own home. It all sounds great – until it’s every single day, which is likely to damage your efficiency and your confidence. Ladders conducted a survey and found that thousands of remote workers across the UK over the course of 2019 were asked about the downsides of location flexibility. 49% of remote workers noted that their biggest struggle was wellness related. More specifically, 19% felt lonely, causing distraction in their work.

Now in 2020, with our current global pandemic, TSheets found that constant working from home can put people in jeopardy of poor health and cognitive decline. The risk of lack of sleep and depression is a risk too.

So, there’s no doubt a lack of in-office connections can decrease creativity and productivity, but there are certainly ways to help with the feeling of isolation and decrease in motivation. A change in community across the entire nation has massively improved, bringing us all together (emotionally and spiritually). The app, Nextdoor, designed around local communities, has added a new interactive map to let neighbours offer help to one another during the coronavirus outbreak. The tool lets you mark yourself as available to help with anything from grocery shopping to childcare. As well as this, people have been leaving notes through neighbours’ doors with the ‘Hello, I can help’ message, letting elderly or lonely people know there is someone out there who can give support.

I’m sure there are a few of us old enough to remember fitness fanatic Mr Motivator when he would join breakfast TV to help stay at home mums keep fit when in doors. Well he is back, and out there right now campaigning to make sure all of our physical wellbeing is maintained and to keep us as active as possible during this time. He told talkSPORT, “It’s a difficult time for a lot of us but the first thing we’ve all got to understand is there is a curative power in exercise. No matter what ailment you have, you need to do some activity”. You can check out his tips and routines on the talkSPORT website.

Capita have continuously reached out to all workers with reassurance, advice and consistent support and assistance in how to cope with remote working and keeping safe. Simple steps given that really do go a long way in feeling better include:

  • Taking a shower and getting dressed as if you’re going to the office.
  • Maintaining a healthy work-life balance by logging your time and setting limits. Be strict on start and finish times. Work for 8 hours daily not longer.
  • Working remotely can feel quite isolating – please make sure you look after your wellbeing and check in on team members. Instead of emailing - use Microsoft Teams and Skype to catch up and even do the everyday small talk!
  • Wherever possible, keep your camera on as you engage with your colleagues, just like you would if you were meeting in person.
  • Keep a Good mood. Listen to some music, and spend time creatively.
  • Eat regularly and healthy meals. Keep the kitchen stocked with healthy snacks and meals.

So, when we can all see the light at the end of this bleak tunnel, we may have changed our attitudes towards each other completely, appreciating one another and feeling more empathy to those around us. And with the novelty of remote working that has well and truly worn off, remember, be careful what you wish for.

If you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling you can contact MIND on 020 8519 212 or visit their website which gives advice with anxiety and how to cope at this time.

You can also look up #inthistogether online and on social media platforms to know that you aren’t alone in this.

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