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Insights Homeworking and wellbeing. How to keep it all together.

16 April 2020 

Dear Jenny, how do I manage my well-being while home working?

These are challenging times for people across the world. And with so many of us working from home and juggling extra responsibilities, it’s crucial that we’re a source of real comfort and encouragement to each other. So we've asked our people to share their experiences and realize they're not alone. 

image of Jenny

In the first of three Q&As, Jenny, Regional Director at Faithful+Gould, a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group, candidly answers questions about making this huge adjustment to home-working. As someone who spends her days taking care of her team across the South Central and Thames Valley regions of the UK, she’s got some great ideas.

Dear Jenny,
I've always slept well, but I'm suddenly finding it very hard to switch off at night. What would you suggest? – Jo

It's really unsettling at the moment, and the uncertainty is scary sometimes. I think the best advice is to make sure you have downtime from screen time. Any form of social media or news app is flooded with stories of COVID-19. There are also a lot of fake stories out there which can be really fearful.  

General good advice is to switch off your screen an hour before going to bed, and this is a really good way to start. Something to take your mind off the current situation is by far the best thing to do. I know that when I'm fully engrossed and concentrating on something else, I forget that COVID-19 even exists for those short periods. Maybe reading a good book could help too.  

Dear Jenny,
I struggle with noise and chaos. Any ideas for me locked down with my big family? Help! – Jane

Firstly, have you looked at the Atkins Working From Home SharePoint site? There’s loads of great advice that might help. 

Secondly, can you find a quiet space anywhere? If not, then my suggestion would be to agree times that you're left in peace to get on with your work. It's tough because your family is out of routine too. But you could try instilling a daily routine so that you get some downtime away from the chaos.  

Using a pair of headphones might also be a good solution, particularly if you’re distracted by background noise and can’t find a quiet space. Find whatever music helps you, whether that’s classical or maybe some heavy rock to drown out the other noise!  

Lastly, have you tried any of the apps available for mindfulness and meditation? They might allow you to wind down in the evenings when the stress of the day is nearing an end. This would set you up well for a good night's sleep, too.  

Dear Jenny,
It's just 'me, myself and I' in lock-down. What are your top tips for winding down in the evenings after work – and not getting bored over the weekends! – Kev

Do you have any hobbies that you could continue or even expand on during lock-down? Maybe you could start something new? There are plenty of great online videos that could help you learn a new skill or even a language. Why not set yourself a target during lock-down?

At weekends, the temptation is to do some box-set binging. But lounging on a sofa for days will quickly get boring. Make sure you get into a weekend routine, have your meals at the same times and set yourself mini targets of things to achieve. There's probably plenty you could be doing and, if you’re like me, you’ve likely been putting them off for years! So focus on achieving things rather than being bored.

Staying in touch with people is important too. Remember, there are plenty of online tools. Could you join an online pub quiz or game group? Loads of people are in the same position as you, and it’s never been easier to reach out.

Read about some of the other ways we're supporting our people's wellbeing.