Working remotely or from home can be lonely so here are 10 ideas that can make all the difference. If you are new to working from home then it can be a big change. Despite being a technologist, I am going to ignore the technology in this post ... and instead, focus on the human aspects i.e. mental health and wellbeing. In particular, I have a list of 10 things to do that will make people feel less isolated in these difficult times. So, here goes:

1. Variety: use the flexibility to ensure that there is variety throughout the day. There is a strong possibility that people will work more hours, not less, so try to do different activities as much as possible.
2. Coffee: have a virtual coffee break with someone or a group of others. I appreciate that being on a conference call with a blaring coffee maker can be a challenge but it is a good time to have a gossip and catch up on both work and personal news.
3. Buddy: work out a rotating office buddy system so everyone has at least one other mate to talk to throughout the day and then rotate for the following day. This can be combined, if desired, with the coffee idea above. In addition, there are buddy solutions that work for like minded remote workers e.g. Cafecito https://meetcafecito.com/
4. Mood Journal: keep a journal of how you feel and keep an eye on what it says over the medium term. If there is a downward trend then ask for help, your boss, your buddy, Human Resources are all good starting points and there are also lots of resources online. Whatever or whoever you choose, it is good to talk.
5. Stand-ups: Particularly in IT/technology, the idea of a daily stand-up where everyone discusses what they are doing and what they need help with. This works well in a remote environment, although the standing may not be essential, it is a great way to keep up to date and help your co-workers.
6. Lunch & Learn: these are an excellent way to get an introduction to a new skill or topic and translate well into a remote environment. The expert leading the training or discussion can talk to the group while they eat their lunch. It is recommended that the group mute so that the sound of munching is not deafening and slides/documents after the lunch can be a fantastic addition.
7. Thank You: saying thank you is always important for both teams and individuals. In a remote environment, this is equally important so showing appreciation via a group email or a private social media group, is a great idea.
8. Steps: doing a group, daily competition for the number of steps taken around the house, it can be great for involving any children, is not only fun but also good exercise too.
9. Breathing Exercises: doing regular breathing exercises is excellent for mental well being and there are lots of suggestion online.
10.Team Yoga: finally, this can be highly amusing. Doing team yoga via video conference can be a hilarious end to the day and great for stretching too.
 
Further ideas around remote working can be found here, here and here.

I hope that these suggestions are useful (and possibly amusing). Please feel free to add your own in the comments section below.
 
All the best.
 
Pete

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