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Top tips on coping with the winter blues when working from home

Research has found that 29% of the UK population suffers from a degree of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the winter, also known as the winter blues.

We’ve already looked at five ways to beat the winter blues. However, the coronavirus pandemic has meant that more people are likely to be facing some form of lockdown restrictions and working from home during winter in 2020.

As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, we look at some top tips on how employers and employees can get through the winter months while working from home.

Top remote-working tips for employers during winter

Here are a few of the ways managers and business owners can support their staff when working from home over the winter months.

Mental health and wellbeing support

Managing employees’ mental health is more important than ever.

It’s critical that organisations recognise the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people’s mental health.

People who are more outgoing and thrive in a social environment are likely to be more affected by the remoteness of working from home.

Make sure that formal wellbeing support is available for your staff.

Check in regularly with your employees

Communication is key to making sure that your staff feel supported when working from home during the winter months.

Apply some of the lessons you might have learned from working remotely in earlier lockdowns.

Whether you have regular structured check-ins or just casual chats, make sure you know how staff are doing.

Try to bring some of your office culture into virtual meetings.

Keep your webcam on for better face-to-face interaction but remember that not everyone will be comfortable with this.

Technology is great, but are staff suffering from so-called Zoom fatigue?

Sometimes a telephone conversation will be a welcome break from all that screen time.

Help staff develop but don’t forget yourself

This is a perfect opportunity to explore any training requirements.

Highlight the skills that your organisation and staff will need in the future and start to make plans for the New Year.

While it might be tempting to completely focus on others, you also need to avoid the risk of burnout during these stressful times.

Lead by example and give yourself some space and time to relax.

Finish on time at a reasonable hour and get plenty of exercise.

Top tips for staff working from home during winter

Here are a few of the ways that employees can avoid the winter blues when working from home.

Keep active and stick to a routine

Just 20 minutes of activity can raise your heart rate enough to make you feel energetic and happier.

Set time each day for exercise, even if it’s just a quick walk. And make sure that exercise is one part of your daily routine.

You should start and end your days at reasonable hours. Working into the evening when it becomes darker a lot earlier will affect your circadian rhythm. This is the 24-hour cycle that is part of the body's internal clock.

Make sure you get plenty of natural daylight throughout the day. This will help you sleep better at night.

Keep in touch with others

Stay in touch with your work colleagues as well as your friends and family

Take time to call them on the phone or catch up with a video message.

It doesn’t always have to be about work. You might want help with something work-related or just a virtual chat.

Eat healthily

The winter months and the festive period can be notorious for overindulging.

Don’t be tempted to binge on sweet treats and junk food while working from home.

It’s all too easy to make every break a trip to the fridge or biscuit tin.

Our tips for healthy eating in the workplace might have been written when we were all working in the office more often, but the advice remains the same: Avoid too many processed foods and eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg.

Whether you’re an employer managing a remote team or someone working from home, winter can be a tough time to remain positive.

With help and support, employers and employees can survive the winter blues, while coping with the stress of working from home during a global pandemic.

If you’d like to find out how our occupational health services can do just that, contact the team at Fusion today.

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Categories: CoronavirusHealth & WellbeingMental HealthOccupational Health

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