The pandemic has blurred the divisions between work and home, and while this has its benefits, it is important to protect your wellbeing while working from home, say the experts at Bupa Global.
For many people, home is the place they return to, to unburden themselves of the stresses and strains of life. But during the pandemic, many aspects of life have merged, and homes have had to provide not only a safe haven for individuals and their families, but a functional space to work from, too.
Recent data from Bupa Global’s Executive Wellbeing Index† shows that 38 per cent of high-net-worth individuals plan to continue working from home, and almost one in five will work from their holiday home.
But mental health experts advise that the blurring of divisions between work and home-life and the impact on wellbeing can be complex. So, what steps can people take to protect their family space and wellbeing, and ensure the ‘home-boardroom’ is productive and fulfilling?
Create physical and mental boundaries
For Dr Luke James, Bupa Global’s Medical Director, it’s crucial to create clear boundaries at home: “We hear from many executives that they’re not able to turn off, or that they’re struggling to concentrate, and it’s here where a physical workspace, which can be exited after the working day is over, can really help.”
It also means imposing psychological boundaries too, ensuring that both work time and family time are protected. For some, this means shutting down emails and collaborative technologies once the working day is over, or reducing non-urgent calls at weekends. For others, preserving lunch breaks and time to exercise is particularly important.
Stay focused on the ‘life-work’ balance you want
For many, life is not going back to ‘business as usual’ anytime soon. Bupa Global’s research found that more than half of global executives do not plan to return to the same fast pace of life, and many have spent more time focusing on their wellbeing, passions and hobbies.
“This is important for protecting wellbeing and mental health. We also believe that individuals, families and employers must be committed to talking openly about concerns, and to seeking help early,” says Dr James.
Get help when you need it
Stigmas around mental health conditions can lead to delays in getting treatment. But early diagnosis can have a positive impact on the long-term prognosis.
Dr James concludes: “At Bupa Global, we recognise that mental health is just as important as physical health and believe in helping people to feel their best and stay that way too. We know that when a family member is struggling with their mental health, it can impact the whole family – that’s why we offer extensive mental health cover for individuals and their families.”