January 21, 2022

Five steps to combat the WFH fatigue this January

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Five steps to combat the WFH fatigue this January

This Monday (January 17, 2022) is a day of the year that gets a bad press – Blue Monday. Said to be the dourest day of the year, down to a combination of (usually) terrible weather, (another) Covid Christmas come-down, and less daylight, this particular WFH Monday has a blue mark against its name. 

What is Blue Monday?

Coined by a PR firm back in 2005, Blue Monday is a bit of a gimmick, but January can often feel like the longest month of the year.

On top of the fact that the majority of UK office workers have been working from home for nearly two years, the winter months can make being stuck within the same four walls even more difficult. We spoke to Rosanna Williamson, our Head of Innovation and Inclusion, to find out how she is helping team Trustmarque to be their best on any day of the year.

Rosanna Williamson

Working from home or living from work?

We asked Rosanna how she stays motivated during the working day: “personally, I benefit from trying to make my days as varied as possible. I mix it up by focussing on the Work and Wellbeing side of my role for a few hours, then end-of-year reviews and then thinking about our social value projects. A great playlist to accompany this always helps too.

As well as changing focus throughout the day, Rosanna adds “I put my lunch break into my calendar every day to try and preserve that time to eat and walk the dog. It’s important to remember to get up intermittently throughout the day to stretch and pop the kettle on.”

Work and Wellbeing

At Trustmarque we have been running our successful Work and Wellbeing sessions since the start of the pandemic to help colleagues reconnect with each other. Since joining Trustmarque last year, Rosanna has become a driving force behind these sessions. She adds “We try to focus content on mental wellbeing and social interaction and get behind national campaigns wherever possible. We supported colleagues during last November’s stress awareness week with workshops and shared tips for managing stress.”

More recently, in a bid to combat any January blues, Rosanna and her team came up with a novel idea: “On Monday 17 January, we hosted BREW Monday and invited colleagues to join our virtual meet-up with a cup of tea. We let the conversations flow and we even made a Spotify playlist as we all chipped in with our most uplifting tracks.” 

Rosanna’s five tips for staying focussed at home

  • Avoid doom scrolling on your phone in the morning, we all do it, but it can impact your mood first thing and lead to a downward spiral.

  • It started with a gif – start each team meeting with a 5/10 minute ‘check in’ before diving into work. An informal and easy way to do this is to ask everyone on the call to share a gif or sticker in the Teams chat that demonstrates how they’re thinking or feeling. You can also use Microsoft Viva to help your teams thrive.

  • Introduce ‘appreciative inquiry’ into meetings or reviews. Rather than spending a lot of time discussing lessons learned, or what went wrong, and we encourage each other to discuss what went well, or what we enjoyed.

  • Carve out time for breaks, consider starting meetings at five past the hour or finishing them at 10/5 to an hour so people aren’t hopping from one meeting to another. We encourage everyone to attend W+W sessions where topics resonate with you, or simply reach out to a colleague for a catch-up rather than a work chat.

  • Collaborate with Microsoft – colleagues might wish to beat WFH fatigue by keeping meetings upbeat by using Microsoft’s online interactive whiteboards. These can make meetings more engaging and give you new ways to collaborate.

Taking breaks

Keep up the good work, Rosanna!

Your chance to shine

If you’d like to find out more about our Work +Wellbeing Champion initiative, then please email [email protected].

If you like what you’re reading, then why not check out our careers page and come work for us.

Written by Julia Bluckert.