Thrive at Work at Home
Our evidenced-based guide and tips for successfully working from home
It's a difficult time
Some people are suffering from illness or the illness of loved ones; others are facing imminent job loss or change; and yet others are socially isolated or stuck at locations away from home. All of us are united in our deep concern about the implications of coronavirus for our society and economy.
Work plays a vital role in maintaining individual and collective health and productivity in this uncertain future.
There are undoubtedly some perks of people working at home; no commuting being a big one. However, there are also some downsides and risks too, such as the potential for more distractions, and social isolation.
Fortunately there is considerable research evidence concerning how to maximise the benefits of working from home as well as how to minimize some of the downsides.
We provide some initial resources about how to enhance productivity and mental health and well-being of people working from home. Each day, we will provide a daily tip as a video and blog.
Daily video and blog series
1. Working from home: Why should we care about this topic?
Professor Sharon Parker introduces the series and argues that it is critical for Australia’s economy and the well-being of its people to promote effective working from home.
2. Set up your team for success during COVID-19 crisis
Professor Sharon Parker gives managers three tips for setting a team to work successfully from home:
1. Provide support | 2. Discuss how to work together | 3. Don’t forget the big picture.
3. Be kind to yourself: Self-Compassion in Difficult Times
Professor Sharon Parker discusses how, in the midst of uncertainty and stress, it is important not to avoid your emotions, to be kind to yourself, and not to judge yourself too harshly.
5. High quality connection (And we’re not talking about the Internet)
Professor Sharon Parker discusses how to go beyond simple connection between colleagues and build high quality connection with respectful engagement and task-enabling behaviours.
6. Tethered or trusted? The “There’s no excuse not to be at your desk” phenomenon
Professor Sharon Parker discusses the importance of conveying to your workers that you trust them, to give them as much autonomy and flexibility as suits the situation and the person, and focus on the results your team deliver.
7. Switching Off: Recovering After A Long Day At The Desk
Professor Sharon Parker discusses scientifically proven recovery activities to replenish the energy and resources you have used at work.
9. Are you a Zoom Zombie? How to take control of your virtual meetings
Professor Sharon Parker explains how opting for a phone call or an email is sometimes more appropriate than a virtual meeting and when video-conferencing is required, it's important to keep it short, take micro-breaks and also allow informal chit chat.
10. Struggling to stay focused? How to boost your work mojo
Professor Sharon Parker explains how to regain your focus at work using proven techniques to improve concentration, and why we tend to fall for the "attention hijackers".
11. Returning to the office: Four F’s to facilitate re-entry
Professor Sharon Parker outlines the four F's to mentally prepare ourselves for a return to the work office: Fear, fantasies, flexibility and fun.
12. Life is short: Gratitude as we ease out of lockdown
Professor Sharon Parker discusses how gratitude can help with your overall wellbeing and undo some of the negative physiological effects of emotions (e.g. worry and sadness).
Additional resources for Thriving at Work at Home
How managers can lead the way to healthy work environments
COVID-19 has drastically changed the face of our work life. Keeping your workforce mentally healthy has never been more important. Here, we look at strategies for creating a healthy work environment now – and into the future.
The Future of Work
In this joint podcast with Rebecca Cassells, Sharon Parker explores how the ‘working from home’ phenomenon has helped bolster Australia’s economy and how people can work most effectively from home to support their mental health.
Working from Home:
ABC radio interview
Professor Sharon Parker discusses the challenges of working from home and how to overcome them in an interview with Jessica Strutt (ABC Radio Perth).
This presentation from Sharon Parker will focus on how to ensure that working from home is healthy and productive. Professor Parker will first introduce the SMART model of work design.
Staying motivated while working remotely during a pandemic
In this Psychology Today blog post, Professor Marylene Gagne provides tips on how to stay motivated while monitoring
your psychological needs.
Need specific help or guidance for your team or organisation?
Your needs for supporting your workers might be unique to your situation. We provide rapid literature reviews, pulse checks on the mental health of your workers, in-depth customised surveys, Thrive at Work audits of mental health practices, evaluations of change, and more.
Participate in a Global Survey!
We invite you to participate in a global longitudinal research study on your current work experiences, the Thrive at Work at Home survey.
Even if you are not yet working at home, we ask you to participate, because we expect many of you will be soon (and if we capture your experience now, we can make useful comparisons with when you do transition).
We will track how you are doing over the next six months, with one survey per week for 4 weeks, and then one survey per month for another 4 months. We will provide aggregate, as well as personalized, feedback along the way, as well as some vouchers (or opportunities to donate on your behalf) half way through and on completion.
Please help us support research in this area to help people to thrive whilst working at home!