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Mental Health in home office is a relevant aspect

Mental health in the home office

The home office is revolutionizing work and life, and mental health is an important aspect that employers and employees should keep in mind. Employees can no longer work together in an office and work may take place exclusively in a home office. How does this affect mental health and what factors should you consider in terms of mental stress in remote work?

How does digital working affect health?

Digital working offers many benefits for companies, such as accelerating business processes and becoming more competitive. For employees, working in a home office means, above all, a better work-life balance.

To guarantee these improvements for both entrepreneurs and teammates, you should pay attention to mental health. After all, digitalization brings some changes for employees as well as challenges in their daily work routine. As an employer of a successful remote company, it is important to be aware of these and offer support in everyday work.

 

The following aspects should be considered concerning mental health:

  • The appropriate work location for the home office.
  • The organization of the workload and multitasking.
  • The constant flow of information.
  • The coordination of virtual collaboration.
  • The limited personal contact.
  • The accelerated work processes.
  • The constant availability independent of time and place.
  • Performing sedentary work.

 

How do you stay mentally healthy in the home office?

A fundamental feel-good factor is a right workstation. An ergonomically equipped workspace, for example, can contribute to this. Sufficient light and a quiet workplace where the employee can concentrate are other important factors. To maintain mental health, the employee should have good organization and structure. This starts in their personal life. Endurance sports, fitness, or other athletic activities have been shown to support mental well-being.

 

In a report on physical activity and health, the RKI writes the following: “Physical activity has a beneficial effect on emotional and mental health in both mentally ill and healthy individuals”. With this in mind, workers should be encouraged to take time for themselves every day and incorporate physical activity into their daily routine.

 

Organization and work effort play just as important a role for employers. Make sure workers can complete their tasks in a timeframe that is convenient for them and avoid overtime. A work laptop and cellphone can help employees break from work after hours and better separate their personal and work lives. This way, you can focus the flow of information within work time and there will be no overwhelm due to constant accessibility.

 

Allow employees to maintain contact with each other virtually as well. To do this, you can set up virtual team meetings and internal employee chat rooms for exchanges. Promote positive interaction with each other, use smileys when chatting to express positive feelings, and make regular feedback appointments to encourage and support employees in their work.

 

Workplace relaxation tips

Regular physical relaxation and shutting off your mind will help you become more balanced. If you work in a home office, you should pay special attention to your own needs. To that end, here are some tips that will help you relax.

 

Breathing exercises  

Breathing is an important part of dealing with stress. If you pause and take a few deep breaths in and out, you will notice how your body relaxes and your thoughts sort themselves out. Such breathing pauses can be deliberately scheduled several times throughout the day via smartphone reminders.

 

Deal openly with fears  

Anxiety is also an important factor in professional life that has a significant impact on mental health. If you dare to name this fear openly, you will automatically learn to deal with it better. In anxiety-ridden situations, controlled breathing in and out can also be very helpful.

 

Pay attention to exercise and nutrition  

A balanced lifestyle helps to be successful in professional life as well. Nothing is worse than overexerting yourself. By getting the necessary exercise and eating a healthy diet, you strengthen your body and therefore your mind.

 

Harnessing the power of plants  

Even the most relaxed employee can get into a stressful situation where no breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques will help. Instead of turning to sleep pills or other medications, you can harness the power of plants. Valerian, Johannis herbs, hops, lemon balm, passionflower herb, lavender, and roseroot have been used for centuries to treat stress symptoms.

 

outsourcing4work- An experienced home office partner at your side  

Working in a home office brings various challenges for employers and employees and mental health plays a relevant role. outsourcing4work has been successfully working 100% remotely for many years. With our experience and a well-established digital infra- and communication structure, we support our customers as a partner for IT and BPO services, as a mediator of IT professionals and consultant in matters of remote teams.

Would you like to learn more? Then book an appointment for a free initial consultation with our experts.

Ergonomic working in the home office

Ergonomic working in the home office     

How can you design and promote ergonomic working in the home office? Working from home offers many advantages. You benefit from more flexibility and an individual workplace. But when it comes to health and safety, this new form of work requires a rethink, as employees are no longer physically present in the office.    

 

Ergonomic working – teleworking or mobile working?    

When talking about ergonomic working in the home office, the terms teleworking and mobile working are often used. However, these are not synonyms, but two different concepts.  

In teleworking, which is also legally defined, the employer sets up a workplace for the employee in his or her private area. There is also the possibility of switching between the workplace in the company and the home office. Teleworking is also subject to the Workplace Ordinance.

Mobile working, on the other hand, describes working with one’s own devices, such as a tablet, laptop or computer outside the company. In this case, the employee is responsible for setting up his or her own workplace. The term “mobile working” has not yet been legally defined.    

Employers must fulfil their protection obligations for both teleworking and mobile working. Regardless of which home office form you choose, the Working Hours Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act must always be observed. Furthermore, the furnishing of the workplace is fundamental for productive work in the home office.   

 

Ergonomic working in the home office     

You can use a variety of means to work ergonomically in a home office. First of all, you need a suitable and quiet room in which you feel comfortable. You should make sure that the room temperature is pleasant, that there is plenty of light, that the view from the window is as good as possible and that the desk is large. In addition, there are other generally applicable criteria that you should consider so that working from home is healthy and productive.    

 

Ergonomic furniture and work materials     

Setting up the workplace ergonomically does not have to be difficult. The office chair should be individually adjustable and the employee’s eyes should be able to look straight ahead at the screen. An ergonomic desk helps to ensure a comfortable working posture. The chair and the desk should not restrict legroom, as the freedom of movement of the legs contributes significantly to the feeling of well-being at the workplace. Also, make sure that the keyboard and mouse meet ergonomic criteria. It is also a good idea to use a separate mouse when working on a laptop.   

 

Define working hours and tasks    

Get up later, no rush hour and no long ride on a crowded train. Employees can really save time in the home office. But how does this affect working hours?  In fact, many employees report significantly higher productivity. However, it is important here to supplement the initial exuberance of teleworking with realistic expectations and defined working hours. Because employees can quickly overexert themselves with the extra time they gain. So set fixed working hours or a defined duration of work beforehand. Agreeing on breaks also helps to structure the working day. If possible, workers should also leave the room, go for a walk or retreat to a place of wellbeing.    

 

Avoiding psychological stress    

Psychological stress should be avoided in every working relationship. In the home office, one of the challenges is not being able to maintain physical contact. Here it is helpful to assign a responsible person to the employees for their worries and needs. You should also pay attention to daily communication within the team. While some people enjoy the freedom of mobile working, others may feel overwhelmed by it. Open and honest communication helps to ensure that the whole team is doing well, which in turn strengthens the company and boosts productivity.   

 

Learning from the professionals  

The companies that have the most experience with occupational safety and ergonomic working in the home office are those that have been dealing with remote working models and working from home for many years and live the philosophy of remote work themselves. On the website of NewWorkLife, for example, you can find helpful information and tips on the topic of remote work as well as a blog series in which German remote companies regularly introduce themselves – including outsourcing4work 

As a partner, consultant and mediator of IT professionals and provider of cost-efficient BPO solutions, we have been working 100% remotely for many years and are one of the oldest and largest German remote companies. Ergonomic working in the home office is also a major concern for our company. We are happy to share our many years of experience in workplace design with you. Visit our website to learn more about outsourcing4work.