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Digital Wellness


A U of T colleague forwarded some tips on the psychology of successful telecommuting, which we've reproduced below. We know they may not all be practicable for every one of you, but we hope you find something helpful among them.

Establish a Separate Work Area

Having a separate work area helps you focus on work during work hours, and helps you take your mind off work afterwards. Keep a clear separation in your mind as to where work ends and where your personal life begins.

Use a Good Chair

Working from a couch or a non-suitable chair is not sustainable day after day. Back problems creep up slowly and can take days to become apparent, and even lo. 

Stick to Regular Office Hours

Working the hours you are accustomed to is not only beneficial to your colleagues who may need to work with you, but also to your own well-being. Like having a separate work area, it is a technique for maintaining work-life balance

Get Some Face Time

Turn on your camera during meetings on Teams or Zoom. See others, and let yourself be seen. We are social creatures by nature, and making visual contact will help you stay connected with your teammates.

Take Breaks and Move Around

If you're working at home, away form the workplace's distractions, it can be easy to forget to take a break. Great for productivity? Not really: sitting glued to your chair and computer all day will ultimately drain your energy and darken your mood. Even if you don't have the opportunity to get out of your home, you should try to move around in your living space or do some kind of exercise, and do it often. Step away from your desk or device several times every day, and stay away for away for at least ten or fifteen minutes each time. You will be happier and more productive as a result.

Stay Social With Your Team

It is easy to feel disconnected after a week working remotely. Some of us get the majority of our social interaction at the office. If you are bored or lonely and you feel the need to talk to someone, take a break and chat or videoconference on Teams. Use your spare time to share successes, frustrations, or anything you would casually chat about during the work day.

Establish Routines

Just as you have your routines for regular work days in the office, establishing start-of-day and end-of-day routines at home will help you to feel that you have begun and completed your working day.

Get Outside

If you are not among those who are required to self-isolate, go outside and take walks regularly. Working at home, then spending evenings in your home, can prove taxing to your psychological well-being. The fresh air and natural sunlight will do you good.

Also, working from home significantly reduces the amount of walking the average person does in a day, so make up for that lost exercise by going out for a stroll.

Unless you've been instructed not to, it's still OK to take a walk, as long as you're not walking close to someone else.

Talk About Issues or Frustrations

For some, the transition to working at home will present unexpected challenges. Many describe the experience as disorienting and upsetting. If you are struggling to cope, don't let your bad feelings build up; talk to your team or supervisor about it. You are certainly not the only one having difficulty.  We’re all attempting this together, and we can all help each other to succeed.

If You Are Feeling Overwhelmed

Our colleagues at the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development have compiling a list of COVID-19 Coping Resources for the OISE Community