Mental Health Working from home
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“Office life” as we know it is on hold and 2020 has become the year of remote working and many natural everyday behaviours will sadly disappear.

mental health working from home

From the simple good mornings and hellos, to the passing smiles, the sound of laughter, the office banter and the celebration of team wins. The catching up with your peers or checking in on a colleague who’s been doing it tough.

These are just a few of the gold nuggets that bring people together, build trust, relationships and turn individual employees into effective teams with great cultures.

For many tech and business service companies, remote working is a common trend. However, many businesses have never gone down this road.

Remote working serves the immediate benefits of keeping the coronavirus at bay, but it can also fragment a team’s culture and can also affect the mental health of your people.

I mean seriously, it won’t be long until there’s a huge choir singing Akon’s ‘I am so lonely’… and we will actually mean it. Enforced isolation can quickly turn our happiness dials right down. Our daily social interactions increase our levels of wellbeing and provide us with the feeling of belonging. And they are critical not only to our work performance but our emotional wellness.

But the great news is there are easy steps we can take, as employers and employees, to make working at home, work for us and our mental health.


Socialisation: (THE BIG ONE!) We are only as strong as the team around us. Luckily we have “Mr Technology” to give us our daily fix. Schedule in coffee catch ups, lunches or an end of day vino or frothy on or Facetime. Seeing is connecting. Start a ‘Water Cooler Chat’ WhatsApp group chat with your team, upload photos and enjoy a bit of banter through the day.

Workstation Environment: Set yourself up for success. Create a comfortable and private place in your home. Even if you don’t have the perfect space and equipment, find the most supportive chair or get creative with your own DIY stand up desk. If you have hoarded 10 packs of toilet rolls, these will work a treat. P.S can you send me some? 🙂

Minimise Distraction: We produce better results when we are focussed on one thing. Put instagram #coronamemes on hold and focus on those priorities you need to get done in the morning.

Routine: Start and close the day with your normal routine. Shower, wash those hands 1000 times, get dressed and set your priorities for the day. I recommend turning off your work email notifications when you are done for the day. Switch off! #dontburnout 

Communication: take time to check in and ask how people in your team are really doing.

Fresh Air: Get that toosh outside at least twice a day and go smell the roses.

Breathe: When things get a little breathe overwhelming, try a little box breathing, it really helps to calm, control and collect. It focuses on all four corners of the breath: the inhale, breath hold, the exhale, and breath hold.

Food: If you have managed to get ingredients that can actually make a meal, and your cupboard is not filled with toilet paper, try to prep your lunch the night before so you can use your lunch break to actually sit, relax, enjoy and connect with your colleagues or friends.

Regular Breaks and Exercise: You have saved commute time so set that as your ‘you’ time. Meditate (clear your mind, set your intention for the day), take a walk, pound the payment or if you need some motivation sign up to an online exercise app – meet the KIC girls (my personal favourites) or workout with your colleagues on Zoom.

On your five minute breaks why not check out Melbourne Zoo’s live stream of their penguins, lions and baby snow leopards, yes please!

Create a ‘Kim’: Create an imaginary co-worker (such as Kim) who is responsible for everyone’s bad habits. You can blame her for the slow internet, the shitty phone reception, lack of food etc. Kim won’t take it personally but your partner, friend or family member who too is working from home might. Disclaimer – sorry to all Kim’s out there, we know you are lovely!

Stay connected, stay productive, stay happy!


Carly Halliday is a Senior Facilitator and DiSC Practitioner who has been inspiring and energising individuals and teams for the last seven years at Be Challenged.

“I love bringing people togehter to connect, develop trust, earn respect and inspire positive behavioural changes within people”

“Whether I’m facilitating to five people or 2000 people, the goal is to get every single person to be present, in the moment and fully invested in developing themselves, so they, along with their colleagues have unlimited potential in what they can achieve.”

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