Mental Health Tips for Hybrid and Remote Workers
We asked some experts to share their mental health tips for hybrid and remote workers.
Working in a distributed team can put a strain on your mental health in a number of ways; being mindful and paying attention to how you feel is more important now than ever as our ways of work continue to shift and change.
From setting boundaries to staying connected, keep reading to discover some useful tips to keep you calm, productive and happy, wherever you’re working from.
Why should we prioritize mental health?
“Because without mental health, there is no health!”, according to Cauê Stefani Correia, CTO of online therapy company, Vittude.
But why is prioritizing mental health becoming so much more of a talking point today?
According to Emilia Molimpakis, co-founder of Thymia, a mental health tech start-up, the world today isn’t making things easy.
“Although mental health issues have been on the rise for decades, the pandemic brought with it a veritable tsunami of mental illness due to all of its devastating social and economic side effects…On top of that, the war in the Ukraine and the economic downturn is having even further ramifications on people's mental health worldwide. As a result, it is clear that companies and healthcare systems globally should do everything they can to offer help and support now to everyone that needs it.”
It’s clear that companies have a vital role to play in helping workers to focus on mental health and ensuring practices and facilities are available when needed. But it’s also down to us all as individuals to make sure we are looking after ourselves, and each other.
“Mental health impacts you, me - us - holistically. It is in every individual’s best interest to look after one’s mental health, yet we need the attention and support of our social environment, from friends and family, to colleagues and experts - to maintain our wellness. It is important to note that this is not an individual effort though. Asking a colleague how they are doing can be a catalysator for a more caring work atmosphere.” says Mervi Lamminen, CEO of Auntie, a preventative, solutions-focused mental health service.
It’s important to take a holistic view on health, both the physical and the mental.
According to Yehia El Ezabi, Marketing lead at online health service Esaal:
“Mental health is no less important than physical health. Both are two sides of the same coin...
...The harmony of the soul and the body creates a healthy, normal human being that is difficult to penetrate, whether at the level of physical or psychological diseases.”
What can I do?
Working remotely or in a hybrid model brings its own set of challenges when it comes to mental health. It can be lonely. It can be difficult to separate work from home life. Here are a few expert-backed tips to think about in your daily life:
Separate work and non-work life
“When working at home, try to create a clear separation between your work and non-work life in as many ways as you can.” suggests Emilia Molimpakis, CEO of Thymia. “Where possible, try to work in a different room to where you sleep or otherwise relax; put on work clothes to work and then change into relaxation clothes when you are done; try to check work emails, Slack messages (and the like) only when in designated work areas; all of these steps will help form natural relaxation and work cues to help you in keeping a healthy work-life balance and not collapsing the two into one mass, as often tends to happen when we work from home.”
When it comes to creating balance, Co-founder of online mental health service Wellnite, Paulo González, shares this advice:
“Hybrid or remote work does not always hold its promise of work-life balance; it can be as demanding as onsite or on-ground work. An important tip that we would give to hybrid or remote workers is to manage your time to give yourself some time to recharge. Being at home does not necessarily mean that you should be on your screen 24/7 just because you can; set a schedule for work and when to take a break. Take care of yourself and those around you – give time to other important things in life. Breathe and enjoy life.”
Take a break!
“Remember stress-relieving breaks!” says Lauri Hasanen, CEO of Happi Health.
Grab a cup of tea, go for a walk, play with your dog, whatever helps you to take your mind off work for a few minutes. Take short breaks regularly and don’t forget to take a proper lunch break!
Working in a distributed team can be lonely. In-person time with your colleagues may be rare, if you get any at all, and coffee machine chat is all but a distant memory for some.
Staying connected with your coworkers is important not only for productivity and a successful working environment, but also for mental health. “Be aware to not isolate from other people” says Cauê Stefani Correia, CTO of Vittude. We thrive off human interaction and it’s important to keep that in mind when working from various locations.
Vignesh Anand, CEO of online therapy company, Nuna, suggests that we “be conscious in building workplace relationships. [There’s] plenty of ways to do it online and make an effort to meet your colleagues once a month in-person.”
Working from the office a few days a week? Don’t forget about your remote team mates or those working from home. Reach out for a coffee chat to maintain regular contact.
Take a breath
Trying to keep calm and reduce stress are no-brainers for helping with mental health, whatever your working set up.
“Learn tactics for coping with stress and the ability to relax, try practicing different relaxation exercises. And finally, take time for yourself and follow a healthy lifestyle.” Says Yehia El Ezabi, Marketing lead at Esaal
You may have heard of a little thing called endorphins. Exercising releases this stress-reducing hormone. Whether it’s a walk in the park, a run or a HIIT workout, there’s more than just physical benefits to getting moving.
Did you know that we’ve spent a lot of time making the Whereby video conferencing experience a calm and stress-free one? From rounded corners, to calm colors, to a simple and easy to use interface, we’re trying to make meetings more productive and less stressful.