Working From Home? Here are Six Simple Tips to Maintain Wellbeing

George Killingbeck

01 Jan 2022

Steelcase insights wellbeing

A deep dive into how you can prioritise your mental and physical health whilst working remotely.

It seems unlikely that anyone is looking forward to working from home again. The very thought of remote working conjures up difficult memories from the height of the pandemic; shrieking teenagers stumbling in on conference calls, an inability to take a step back from work in the evenings and limited social interactions with colleagues.

However, with covid cases on the rise, employees are once again facing the daunting prospect of working from home.

Regardless of your experiences during the pandemic, changes in life circumstances and preferences mean that the strategies that once helped us work productively may no longer be effective. As a result, there has never been a more important time to reassess your needs and prioritise your wellbeing, particularly as remote working is here to stay with more than 60% of businesses planning to adopt hybrid working models.

Steelcase researchers have identified Six Dimensions of Wellbeing to help you establish a healthy, engaged and productive working from home experience…


The uncertainty and fear triggered by the pandemic has caused our minds to jump into overdrive. Worries such as ‘Are my family going to be safe?’, ‘Will I keep my job?’ and ‘When will life return to normal?’ have become commonplace. It isn’t surprising that anxiety levels have increased whilst productivity has deteriorated.

Mindfulness, the act of being attentive to the present moment, is a useful technique that prevents us from becoming caught up in a downward spiral of negative thoughts.

  • Humans struggle to multitask. As we focus on the physical sensations we experience in our bodies, the thinking mind tends to settle down. Try to direct your attention towards what you’re hearing, touching, seeing and smelling.
  • Become engaged in the flow of work by focussing fully on the task at hand. Constantly checking the time will take you out of a flow state, negatively impacting your performance and making the day pass more slowly.
  • Meditation is a great way to practice being mindful. If your concentration is dwindling at work, spend 5 to 10 minutes paying close attention to your breathing in order to return to the present moment. Why not try the 4-7-8 breathing technique?
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Feeling connected to and cared for by other people is an essential human need. Physical isolation and difficulty communicating with colleagues has a detrimental impact on wellbeing, which is why finding a replacement for the informal workplace interactions that usually sustain us is crucial.

  • Set aside time at the beginning of meetings to enjoy conversations with colleagues before getting down to business.
  • Arrange to have online chats with colleagues over a warm cup of coffee as you would in person, rather than just interacting during formal meetings.
  • Connecting to the wider organisation will help to alleviate feelings of isolation. Setting up daily team meetings and organisation-wide events can create a sense of belonging for employees.


Staying healthy requires good sleep, exercise and a comfortable, safe environment. Switching from a purpose-built office to a makeshift, at-home setup makes it harder for us to look after ourselves. However, there are several simple tips you can implement to stay healthy whilst working from home.

  • Set aside time to stretch, move around your office or do some chair yoga. Changing postures is crucial when your workstation isn’t as ergonomic as you’d like.
  • Purchasing a high-quality chair and desk is a worthwhile investment as more businesses begin to adopt hybrid working models. Think of it as saving yourself the cost of physio appointments in the future!
  • Make the most of the time spent on phone calls by walking around. Not only does the movement reduce tension in our bodies but it also boosts our mood and enhances our ability to retain information.
  • Re-energize by interacting with nature. Let fresh air into your workspace, go for a refreshing walk and purchase house plants for your office.
  • Whilst at home there is often a temptation to have a quick peak at your laptop outside of office hours. However, it’s crucial to establish clear boundaries between work and relaxation to protect your mental health. Be sure to turn off your laptop and put it away once you’ve finished for the day.


Humans are motivated when they see that their actions are having a positive impact on the world around them, but this is more challenging when working remotely and solely on devices. It’s crucial that organisations and employees explore ways of making work feel more tangible.

  • Create an online checklist to monitor how projects are progressing and which tasks have been completed. This will allow you to congratulate yourself for the changes you have implemented.
  • Have regular meetings and appraisals to assess how you are doing, discuss the challenges you are facing and celebrate the victories.
  • Write down the date and note down what you have achieved on that given day, even if you have only taken a few steps forward towards your goals.


The uncertainty, negative news reports and fear surrounding the pandemic have understandably led to feelings of anxiety and helplessness for many. It’s very easy to fall into the rabbit hole of negative thinking but it’s important to try to make the best of a challenging situation.

  • Start a gratitude journal, noting down three things that you are grateful each day. Writing down why you are grateful for each of the points on your list will increase your feelings of appreciation.
  • Make a daily practice of helping someone else in need wherever possible. Research indicates that selfless service to others boosts our moods whilst also benefitting the person we are helping.


Increasingly, people want to stay true to themselves and not hide behind a mask at work. However, video conferencing can feel extremely exposing as colleagues get a direct view of your life and relationships. You’d never have to worry about a family member walking in on an in-person work meeting, but employees had to deal with similar situations each day during lockdown. It’s important to make adaptations when working from home so that employees can maintain authenticity without feeling over-exposed.

  • Team leaders should be encouraged to share their personal challenges, empathise with employees and acknowledge that these are challenging times so that team members feel relaxed when something goes wrong.
  • Communicate clearly with your family about meeting start and end times so that they don’t disturb you.
  • Set up an area that is ‘camera friendly’, where there is good lighting and a clear background behind you. Alternatively, you can utilise the blur feature on video conferencing software that blurs out the background.

Working from home may be an unwelcome change but by applying these tips and reassessing your needs you can navigate these challenging times, making remote working work for you. Know that there’s no right or wrong way to work; take forward the suggestions that work for you and leave the rest. Above all, remember to be forgiving and kind to yourself and everyone else.

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