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Promotion of ‘work space’ wellness more important than ever

  • Photo: A glimpse into Glandore's Belfast city centre office building

    Written by Nial Borthistle, business development manager at Glandore Belfast

    The outbreak of COVID-19 has many of us feeling anxious, stressed, scared and sad. It’s normal to feel unsettled during a time of such upheaval and uncertainty, but that’s also why it’s even more important to look after your mental health.

    Employee wellness has been a growing concern for companies in recent years and while wellness programmes generally focus on staff within the office, Glandore has also been considering ways to promote wellness remotely. We think it’s really importantthat our members have the tools they need to maintain a healthy mind and a productive work-life balance while working at home.

    Firstly, understanding your own mental wellness is vital. It’s important to identify triggers and how best to remedy them. Our body is one interconnected system so focus on optimising the 4 pillars of health: food, sleep, movement and stress control.

    This can be easier said than done when the mind is working in overdrive. But there are some practical steps you can take to ease anxiety.

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    For example, keeping essential oils close by can help create a calming ambience. Lavender oils can also be helpful for sleep. Grounding props are useful items you carry with you when you feel anxious. Seeing them can help you bring you back to the present moment. I know of people who use a bracelet, keyring, or a positive quote or photo in their wallet, for example. 

     

    Learn what works for you because the quicker you can identify methods of smoothing the stress, the more capacity you’ll have to support others who also feeling vulnerable.

    Secondly, continue to look out for your employees and teammates while working at home. There is a huge percentage of people that feel lonely and isolated while working from home. With increased anxiety around CONVID-19 it is important that workplaces listen to the concerns of their staff and look out for their welfare.

    Communication is a huge part of successful and productive day to day activities. Why not make a friendly phone call each day to check in on their health and general welfare and to provide a safe space to allow staff to express their concerns. Your team will really appreciate this and return to work feeling at ease and supported.

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    It’s a good idea to have breaks in your day where you are avoiding social media, particularly when you want to remain focused on your job. But the internet has a big part to play in relaxation too. Meditation videos, Online Beginners Yoga classes or online exercise videos can be a great way to keep staff health in body and mind while working remotely.

    It can be harder to escape work physically when you are working from home, but employees need to be encouraged to have ‘off’ time. This means continuing to take their lunch breaks and to close their computers each evening. Staff can feel extra obligated to be “always on” when working from home, especially when there are urgent health and safety protocols to follow around the company.

    Finally, stay connected. Consider organising a cyber lunch or cyber coffee break. Everyone dials in to a video chat and has an informal chat with colleagues while having lunch or coffee. It’s a good way to keep track of any updates with work and also a great way to keep spirits up.

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    Glandore provides high-end private serviced offices, coworking space and shared workspaces to rent in Dublin, Cork and Belfast city centre.

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