Top Tips on Working from Home

Working from home for a prolonged period of time has been a huge change for many of us in the UK and abroad. It can take a surprising toll on one’s mental health, particularly if one is working from home alone or if we do not take steps to manage our day. As it’s Mental Health Week this week, Beckie Abell of the Blanchards Bailey litigation team has provided these top tips for looking after your mental health whilst working from home.

1. Get into a routine

The mental association we make with work and our place of work can make us more productive which in turn can lead to a sense of achievement. That sends of satisfaction in a job well done. When working from home, it is important to do all the things we'd normally do to prepare for going into an office for example or any place of work. Things like set our alarm, make a coffee, and most importantly get dressed and make ourselves presentable - don’t spend all day in your favourite onesie!

When working from home, we become our own manager. Without things like in-person meetings and interaction to break up the day, we can be very quick to lose focus or burn out. Many of our team have found in working from home that setting specific tasks or creating a schedule or to-do list helps to build up a routine. Be mindful that your motivation will naturally ebb and flow throughout the day. When working from home, however, it's all the more important to know when those ebbs and flows will take place and plan your schedule around it. If you know your energy tends to be lower in the afternoon, maybe don’t arrange to have that important video meeting right after lunch.

2. Become a virtual reality star

When you're working from home, you could spend whole days or even weeks without speaking to anyone which can be massively isolating.  However as the world has recently become aware, with so many apps and services out there, virtual meetings are a great way to feel connected during these times.  At Blanchards Bailey we’ve kept up our monthly “Pay Day Drinks” by holding these virtually and we’ve found that maintaining this routine and structure really helps keep the team’s spirits up. If you are missing your lunchtime chats with your colleagues a “virtual lunch” is another way to bring back some normality.

3. Take regular breaks

The human brain isn't necessarily made for the long hours of focusing on specific tasks that we ask it to do. It’s why we get tired and can burn out, even if we’re not being physically active. Studies show that the brain actually solves more problems subconsciously when we are daydreaming than it does when we are focusing on something. A recent BBC article recommends the Pomodoro Technique, a method of time management that breaks your working day into 25-minute chunks with Each chunk followed by a five-minute break.  If this isn’t possible, make sure as a minimum that you set aside your regular lunch hour and step away from your working environment.

4. Learn to say “No”

It's easy when you work from home to carry on working late into the night or pick up more than you can fit into a working day.  It is important not to just say "yes" to everything or to carry on working because we don’t have our usual daily structure but rather we need to set boundaries with people in our real-life relationships. And it’s ok - they’ll understand. We’re all human. So Take time out for yourself to breathe, take coffee breaks, go out for walks, and leave the desk. It’s important to schedule time to do things for yourself.

5. Get as much fresh air as you can

Some studies have found that being surrounded by nature can promote more brain activity, and other studies have found that we associate the colour green with things like happiness, comfort, hope, excitement, and a sense of peace.  Therefore, it makes sense to spend as much time as we can trying to increase our mental wellbeing during these unusual times.

Often, it can be hard to step away from our desks and get a daily dose of fresh air. We get caught up in our work. As many as two-thirds of employees in the UK don’t stop work to eat lunch for even 20 minutes.  However, taking a break for a stroll allows us to get the fresh air our body needs.  It’s also a good time to gather your thoughts which can do wonders for your health and wellbeing and can promote more creative thinking and productivity.


Businesses all across the UK are taking steps to ensure that their teams stay happy and healthy whilst working from home. Our HR and Employment team are able to advise on best practice and risk assessments to help your business continue to run smoothly whether your team is working from home or you are phasing out of lockdown under a “new normal”. Please contact us on 01258 459361 or to discuss how we can help. 

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