Tag Archives: health

Working from Home: Physical and Mental Wellbeing


The Institute of Employment (IES) recently carried out a survey to evaluate the physical and mental wellbeing of employees working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. Thousands of employees have been forced to work from home raising concerns around the possible impacts this might have. Employers will have to attempt to manage these impacts including deterioration in mental and physical wellbeing, work morale and motivation.

Their survey considers the following:

  • Whether employees feel trust with their employers
  • Whether they are worried about job security
  • Have employees lost sleep worrying about finance, family, health, work-life balance, etc, and is this affecting their work morale?

Launched in March 2020, the survey was designed for homeworkers to measure their wellbeing whilst working from home during COVID-19.

7 ways to get a better work-life balance to improve physical and mental wellbeing.
This infographic from WeAreTheCity illustrates and explains 7 ways to get a better work-life balance, aiding in well-being.

Physical Wellbeing

The survey asked homeworkers, ‘how often have you had this condition in the last 2 weeks compared to normal?’ More than half of respondents suffered from aches/pains in neck, shoulder and back, eye strain, headaches or migraines and loss of sleep from worry resulting in fatigue. Less than half experienced aches/pains in knees, hips, wrist/hand and elbow, heartburn or indigestion, leg cramps and chest pain. 

These results illustrate that working at home as a result of COVID-19 is having an affect on many components of employee physical health. It also illustrates that a good ergonomic set up plays a significant part in employee’s physical wellbeing at work.

Emotional Wellbeing

It’s clear that the current situation is also having a detrimental influence on the emotional wellbeing of homeworkers. A significant amount of employees stated that they don’t feel rested, calm or relaxed. In addition feeling inactive and having no interest in their day, was noted. Some respondents also felt anxious about the health of family members and friends. 

It was recorded that respondents were also worried about family finance and job security. Loneliness and isolation featured heavily in responses with many suggesting they don’t feel cheerful or in good spirits. 

Mental Wellbeing

The survey used the WHO-5 well-being index to determine the mental health of employees working from home. This suggested that those who are suffering most are:

  • looking after elderly relatives; 
  • living with parents or renting;  
  • new to home renting; 
  • working more than 10 hours longer than contracted per week; and 
  • in less frequent contact with their boss and younger workers.

These categories cover the vast majority of employees working at home. It’s clear this situation is having an impact on thousands of people’s mental wellbeing across the country. 

Other health concerns

It was noted that over almost half of respondents worried that they were exercising less, they did not have enough time to get their work done and were working long and irregular hours. 

A significant percentage of home-workers admitted they were under too much work pressure, their alcohol consumption had increased, they were eating less healthily and had continued working despite illness.

Action for employers

The overall findings from the survey suggest that there has been a significant decline in both the physical and mental wellbeing of employees working from home. Results show that musculoskeletal health, diet and exercise has declined in the majority of homeworkers. 

However, the effects aren’t just physical, increased emotional concerns over finance, isolation, energy, work-life balance and family health were also recorded from the respondents. 

It’s clear that many employees working from home are facing a challenging time and support from fellow employees and most importantly employers is crucial during this crisis to maintain wellbeing, work morale and motivation.

There are a number of simple steps that employers should consider taking, as well as the normal compliance requirements around ergonomic set up (Display Screen Equipment). We recommend supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of employees with regular check ups – informal messaging groups or virtual coffee mornings are a good place to start. Regular contact with bosses and colleagues, particularly those at ‘high risk’ is essential. In addition, access to an Employee Assistance Programme would be valuable. 

We would also recommend that performance targets and monitoring may need to be adjusted accordingly, this may involve the reallocation of tasks and priorities.

If you would like support developing strategies for managing the physical and mental wellbeing of your employees who are working from home please do not hesitate to contact us on t: +44 (0)141 244 0181 or e: info@amalgamate-safety.com 

Taking care of employee and colleague wellbeing


Working during lockdown can be challenging for everyone – that’s why we need to be taking care of employee and colleague wellbeing, as well as our own. We’re being made more aware of the impact that quarantine and isolation can have on mental wellbeing. We need to look after ourselves, our friends, family, colleagues, employees, etc. 

However, isolation doesn’t mean zero contact with the outside world. We are lucky enough to live in a time where we can talk to people from across the world within the safety of our own homes. There are so many different platforms designed for virtual contact; Skype, iMessage, Email, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, the list goes on.

Here’s a few things we’ve put together which you can do to help your colleagues, and yourself, stay on top of your social interaction and wellbeing.


Working from home means we don’t have the same opportunity to bump into each other in the office and have a quick, casual chat. It might be that conversations with your team feels scripted because your only form of contact is centred around work. Set aside some time to have genuine conversations with the people you work with and ask them how they’re doing. Do little things together that will improve your team’s mood, this could be making a playlist for work, collective coffee breaks or lunch group calls. Include people that may have been furloughed as a way to keep them involved in the team dynamic.

Be Compassionate

It’s important to understand that people who are normally very self-sufficient and focused may be struggling without the office structure. People might have young children that don’t understand the situation. This can increase stress and anxiety levels, resulting in a decrease of work quantity and quality. Lend a hand to someone who might be feeling overwhelmed by their workload and if possible, encourage flexible working hours. Emphasise that once their working day is done, work equipment should be put away. A healthy balance between ‘work’ and ‘life’ needs to be established to maintain mental wellbeing.


A team needs to know they can talk to each other and ask for help when they need it. Everyone is busy and trying their best to continue their usual workflow which can lead to people feeling that they’re causing a disturbance or inconvenience when asking for help. Take some time to let people know that even though you’re busy, you’re not too busy to help. Let each other talk and vent without being judgmental. Keep in mind that everyone has different tolerance levels and things that one person may not find a big deal, could be keeping someone else up at night. If you think someone may be struggling in a way that you don’t know how to help, ask them if they want to speak to someone qualified and direct them to help through ‘higher-ups’, HR or Occupational Health.

Give Direction

There hasn’t been a scenario quite like this one in recent history. Finding a good balance between giving direction to your team and smothering them can be a challenge. Decide who within your team needs more attention to keep on track and who is managing well on their own. Encourage group interactions such as, “I’m finished this task but can’t get started on the next until xxx has finished their part. Is there anything I can do to help anyone else?” Each person should have a clear objective and know how to work towards it.

Have Fun

Whilst getting work done is everyone’s main objective, having fun should also be a high priority. Find things that your team can do outside of working hours as a group activity. Things like online yoga classes, quiz nights, cooking competitions, starting a TV show together etc. can be great. Activities like this can really help to bring a group together and improve morale. Even though you can’t be together physically you can still have fun and interact virtually to prevent feeling alone/isolated.

This infographic is designed to help take care of employee and colleague wellbeing by showing 16 different ways to connect, support, and recognise teams in times of uncertainty
RewardGateway have created this infographic showing 16 ways to Connect, Support and Recognise Teams in Times of Uncertainty, click here for their full article.

To Conlcude

Taking care of employee and colleague wellbeing is important, but so is looking after your own. Click here to read our article on maintaining wellbeing whilst working from home during COVID-19. You can also click here to read the NHS’s Every Mind Matters article on mental wellbeing while staying at home. 

If you have any further questions or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us by t: +44 (0)141 244 0181 or email: info@amalgamate-safety.com

Amalgamate Safety