00:01 Okay, so hi everybody, my name is Annie and I'm a health advisor based in London.
00:05 In my role we like to focus on positive lifestyles to promote health and
00:09 well-being so today we're going to have a talk about how to make homeworking
00:13 work for you and your household. So striking the right balance between work
00:20 and leisure can be a challenge for many different reasons.
00:22 So, what we'll look at today is: work-life balance, digital detox, how technology can
00:28 support us and also improving sleep. Now, Londoners actually spend about three
00:35 weeks more at work a year than the rest of the UK, according to data, and with an
00:39 average working week of around 40.4 hours for males
00:43 and 35.2 hours for females in London, it's important to strike the right
00:46 balance between work and leisure. Many of us are now part of the Sandwich
00:50 Generation, which is generation of people whose caring responsibilities span two
00:55 generations. You might, for example, be caring for your children and ageing
00:59 parents or in-laws. For some people, things like being
01:03 self-employed or running your own business can also add to the pressure.
01:07 With current guidelines, we're potentially working from home a lot more
01:11 now and this can disrupt our typical routine, leaving us to go one way or the
01:14 other. We might procrastinate more when we're not in the usual office
01:18 surroundings, with our work uniforms on, or we might be very productive but more
01:22 inclined to work longer hours over the weekend because we have laptops and work phones on at home.
01:27 You might find that you're responding to client and business
01:31 requests outside of traditional business hours, or you might find it hard to
01:34 switch off and separate your work from home life. Working outside of usual
01:38 business hours is now also more common, as the world is more connected, so you
01:43 might be expected to work across different global markets, and therefore
01:46 time zones, or to deliver goods around the clock so why is it important having
01:52 a good work-life balance is recognized by nice which is the organisation
01:56 colonization that provides national guidance guidance and advice to improve
02:00 health and social care and I think that it's very important for mental health it
02:05 encourages workplaces to support work-life balance through policies as a
02:09 good balance can protect people's physical and mental health.
02:12 For example, it might help to protect against high blood pressure, drinking too
02:16 much alcohol and depression. So if people look after themselves and achieve a good
02:21 balance, they'll be more productive and less likely to experience burnout.
02:26 Within this topic, it's important to mention that you need to find out what works for you.
02:30 There will be something different for everyone.
02:34 Some people are more workaholics and thrive off the adrenaline, whilst others
02:38 prefer a more structured working day. Also if you are in a managerial role, you
02:43 need to be mindful of how your work behaviours can impact the team.
02:48 Scheduling early morning meetings or sending emails late at night can set a precedent for
02:51 the rest of the team to do the same. When reviewing your work-life balance,
02:55 it's essential to consider external factors, like your relationships or
02:59 family commitments, so if you are getting pressure from you at the half, for
03:03 example, saying: "You're always checking you work phone!" it might be time to
03:06 readdress things. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed while working, it
03:12 can have a significant impact on both your personal life and productivity, so
03:16 it's best to seek support from your manager before you reach a point where
03:19 you can't cope, as you might be able to make some small changes to your routine
03:23 that will prove to be the solution to your problem. Let's have a little look
03:27 at some tips to help us get that right balance. Now although we are social
03:33 distancing, we can still use the hoursthat you're working, either from
03:36 home or out and about, to look at how to get that right work-life balance. Firstly,
03:42 as I mentioned briefly, try get support from your employer. Discuss your workload
03:47 with your manager. Let them know how you're coping and trying to manage people's
03:51 expectations on what you can deliver and when. If possible, have regular meetings
03:56 or one-to-ones and talk to you manager about your working
03:59 arrangements. So, depending on the nature of your role, you might be able to
04:04 have flexible working hours or compress your working week into a set number of
04:08 days. And if you are working from home and looking after children at the same
04:11 time, flexible hours might be beneficial for you. Now remember to use your annual
04:17 leave. You are entitled to it, so do use it. It's probably going be one for when
04:22 we were safely able to go back to work and spend time
04:24 with our friends. We can think of it something to look forward to. Of
04:28 course, you might still want to use your annual leave at the moment and we might
04:32 just need a day off just to relax at home and speak to family and friends.
04:38 Remember that saying 'no' is okay, so learn to say 'no' if you can't take on extra work
04:43 or responsibility. Make sure you're able to explain why; you can't just say "no"
04:47 your boss - "Nope, I don't want to do that!". Accept the things that you can't change
04:51 and concentrate on the things that you do have control over. If possible, we also
04:57 say try and stick to your contracted hours, so see if there are ways that you
05:01 can work smarter, rather than harder or longer, and to achieve tasks within your
05:05 contracted hours. I think it's really important at the moment to try to develop
05:10 good relationships with your colleagues. It can help to create like a social
05:14 network at work and particularly important now we spend more time social
05:18 distancing. We want to use Skype, WhatsApp, email - you can use anything to check in
05:24 with each other. Your work colleagues do know the work that you're doing and can
05:28 actually help you stay focused and motivated. Now alongside this, do try and
05:34 be aware of the signs of work-related stress. Almost 12 million working
05:39 days are lost each year because of perceived work-related stress and stress
05:42 can contribute to such conditions as anxiety or depression. Nearly half a
05:47 million people in the UK have work-related stress at a level that's
05:50 making them ill, so it is important to recognise the signs of their
05:54 work-related stress to know if you need to adjust your work-life balance.
05:58 Signs can include: feeling that you can't cope, constantly worrying, finding it hard
06:04 to concentrate and remember things, feeling disappointed with yourself or
06:08 lacking confidence and seeing only the negative things in life. If you are
06:13 feeling those sorts of feelings, do get in touch with your manager and our
06:17 people who were unto you and try and get some support. Now this might not work for
06:26 everybody, but some people are working from home with children, so let's have a
06:31 look at some things just to consider. First of all I'm going to say take
06:35 advantage of technology - there's loads of apps and TV available for
06:39 children. At the moment I know that Joe Wick, The Body Coach, is doing like a 30
06:44 minute PE session each day for kids, which is great. And don't feel guilty if
06:49 they are looking at screens more often than usual. It's a time to do whatever
06:53 works for you and your family best. As I mentioned before, be flexible with
06:58 working hours - it might mean speaking to your manager and seeing if you can start
07:01 later, or have more breaks so you're able to care for your children. Do make the
07:07 most of nap time, whether that's trying to fit in chores, or work that you need
07:11 to do, or it might be taking the time to recharge yourself; giving yourself time
07:16 to have a 10 minute yoga class or read a book, or even practice mindfulness.
07:22 Some people are lucky to have a sort of an office area to work in from home,
07:28 others might not, but finding a specific working area can really help.
07:32 I'm finding that setting out a section on the kitchen table makes me more
07:37 productive and I won't be having any visitors so the mess isn't such a
07:40 problem. We also want to focus on positives, so whilst it is a difficult time
07:46 with lots of changes try to focus on positives at this time. So me and my
07:51 friends at the moment have started saying to each other every few days
07:53 something that we feel positive about and so far things have come up like:
07:57 extra time with the family, not having to commute as much, getting creative with
08:02 games and ideas for things that the children might enjoy and also spending
08:06 more time in the garden. So, whilst you are at home, do you try to make a
08:15 conscious effort to achieve a good work-life balance and stick to it. Set a
08:19 few non-negotiables, for example, going to bed at a set time each night.
08:23 Particularly when so many of us are working from home, it's important to set
08:27 times and boundaries when you will work and when you're relaxed.
08:30 Try not to think about work when you're not working. If you're spending time with
08:34 your family or doing something you enjoy, try to put any thoughts or worries about
08:38 work to one side, although I do know that it can be difficult! Spending time with
08:44 family and friends outside of work is tricky at the moment, however we do need
08:47 to show observing correct social distance
08:50 in measures. We might have to get creative,
08:52 for example using different apps, so HouseParty or Zoom, which are video
08:57 calling apps, so that we can speak to people and catch up from our own homes.
09:02 It might also be playing board games, so playing board games with people that you
09:07 live with, or online games with friends. You could set up house games leader
09:11 board to give everyone something to look forward to in a bit of competition; it's
09:15 something that I've recently implemented in my household and it's proving to be a
09:18 really good way to engage with people. Although we might need to rely on
09:23 technology more at the moment, do you try to spend some time without you at home.
09:27 It's always important switching off from Facebook, emails and Instagram for a
09:32 little bit of time can help relax our minds. For those working long days, it can
09:38 be hard to find time to incorporate exercise into your working week, whether
09:42 this is working from home or not. It is very easy to forget to do our usual
09:46 exercise routine, or maybe our gym classes aren't running, or you usually
09:51 exercise with friends and that isn't allowed at the moment. This is where,
09:55 again, you might need to get a little bit creative with what you do. It could be
09:59 looking online for some free classes or videos; it may be utilising household
10:03 using - I don't know - books for weights. The
10:10 health advisers at Bupa will still be putting out some videos through Facebook
10:14 to give people some ideas about exercise so can keep your eyes peeled for those.
10:19 Do eat a balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables and get enough
10:23 wate. We want to try to keep our bodies healthy and hydrated and find
10:27 time to enjoy our meals.
10:31 Now we touched briefly on this on a previous slide, but I think it's worth
10:35 mentioning again. There's a lot of information going around about the
10:39 current pandemic and whilst it's great to be up-to-date, it's probably not that great
10:42 to be looking at Facebook to get all your advice. This is because we don't
10:46 know what's right and what it's made up. So often over the past few weeks I've
10:50 seen a post starting: 'My mum's friend's sister has said...' which is probably not a
10:54 reputable source and it just serves to make me anxious.
10:57 So saying that, setting a time during the day, maybe over dinner or before bed,
11:01 to not look at your phone is really beneficial. It can also be important to
11:06 be aware of your existing habits and think about how then they might impact
11:10 the information you see too. Now using apps and wearables to your advantage.
11:19 Humans are social creatures, so it's really important for us to have positive
11:23 social interactions. It can help to combat loneliness and stay upbeat. A few
11:28 suggestions of ways to stay instant in touch could include, as I've mentioned
11:32 before, the Houseparty or Zoom apps, so video calling apps, it might be WhatsApp group
11:38 chats so you can stay in touch with people and send both voice notes, or it
11:43 might be things like Headspace or Insight, designed to help you sort of
11:47 train your mind and body for a healthier, happy life. So, looking at mindfulness
11:51 and meditation, you could even track your heart rate or
11:56 your steps -try and keep up with your friends on your Fitbit and for those
12:00 that do a bit more exercise you could look at Strava, where you can connect
12:03 with people and compare your exercise done. So next we're going to have a brief look at
12:11 some information surrounding sleep. So, as you can see here, sleep is a temporary state
12:17 of unconsciousness, which she can be woken up from and it's divided into two
12:21 main phases: NREM, which is non-rapid eye movement, and REM which is rapid eye
12:26 movement. So the first phase of your sleep is called non-rapid eye movement
12:31 and that's how you spend most of your sleeping time. This phase actually has
12:36 three different stages within it. The first stage, N1, corresponds with feeling
12:41 drowsy and N2 is a light stage of sleep where you can easily be woken up; it's
12:46 how you spend half of your sleep time. And N3 is a period of deep sleep. So
12:52 the second phase, after the first one, is the rapid eye movement sleep, during
12:58 which you tend to dream. Now sleep is a cyclical process; the above sequence
13:03 occurs repeatedly throughout the night and a cycle lasts, on average, about
13:07 90 minutes. Each cycle occurs four or five times a night and that's dependent
13:12 on how long you sleep for. How do we get a good night's sleep? We want to resist
13:20 the temptation to snooze if possible so in that groggy state after waking up
13:25 hitting the snooze button becomes all too easy. It's likely though, that
13:29 delaying your alarm won't just make you late for work, it will also leave you
13:32 feeling worse once you're up and out of bed. Your body begins preparing you to wake
13:36 some time before the alarm goes off, so releasing hormones that promote
13:41 alertness and getting you ready to face the
13:44 day, so hitting the snooze button actually confuses this process as sleep-promoting
13:49 hormones are released into your bloodstream making it even more
13:52 difficult to awaken. You want to try and avoid caffeine and caffeinated beverages
13:58 late in the day have been shown to prolong efforts to fall asleep, as well
14:02 as negatively impacting your sleep quality, so even the healthiest sleep
14:06 there should be careful with the amounts of caffeine that they are ingesting. Whilst
14:09 we're familiar with caffeine in tea, coffee, chocolate bars and potentially
14:14 soft drinks, it's important to note that caffeine can also be a hidden substance
14:18 in products such as medication. We also want to probably have a look at our alcohol
14:24 consumption in the evening. Alcohol might ease getting to sleep, as it can make you
14:29,290 --> 00:14:32,470 feel sleepy and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep
14:32 however sleeping with alcohol in our system changes the composition of sleep so that once
14:36 the alcohol wears off, we'll spend more time sleeping in the lighter, non-restorative stages of sleep.
14:44 Alcohol-induced sleep can not only leave you feeling more vulnerable to sleep disturbance, but prevent you
14:50 from feeling refreshed in the morning. Vivid or bizarre dreams are also more common
14:54 during alcohol induced sleep. You probably want to try and avoid napping during the day. It can
15:01 lower the sleep pressure that we feel in the evening, so it postpones feeling of
15:04 sleepiness and it reduces the time spent in deep sleep during the night.
15:09 On the whole, sleeping during the day is inconsistent with our internal
15:12 biological clock and can lead to a more variable sleep time and quality during
15:17 the night. I want to have a look at the sort of activities that we do late in the
15:23 day. A stimulating activity should be avoided before bedtime, so it can include
15:28 overloading yourself with food in the evening, or even reading the latest
15:32 page-turner in bed. It's going to be slightly different for everybody.
15:36 For some people, reading a book is really relaxing; for others it
15:40 might be a bit too intense. Now, the ideal activity at this time of day would be to
15:45 relax the body in the mind and let go of the day behind you. So the point is to
15:49 de-arouse yourself to prevent the struggle falling asleep. We're also going to have a look
15:55 at our bedroom. So we want to keep our bedroom as dark as possible. Keeping
15:59 our sleeping environment dark will not only prevent sleep disruption due to
16:03 light, but it can also affect how we sleep so it's actually during the dark
16:07 phase when the hormone melatonin, that promotes sleep, is released in the brain.
16:12 Lying down in dark bedroom can actually further stimulate this production and thus
16:16 ease the onset of sleep. You want to try and commit to a schedule. So
16:23 a consistent bed and rising time is key for a poor sleeper and it will increase
16:27 the predictability and consistency of sleep, regardless if we're a night owl or
16:32 morning lark, sleeping at the right time of the day is important and it's so that
16:36 we can get the right composition of specific sleep stages for maximum sleep
16:40 benefits. Finally, exercise has long been linked to better and deeper sleep, whilst
16:46 reduced physical activity has been linked to more frequent instance of insomnia.
16:50 Aerobic exercise in particular, practiced three times a week, has been shown to
16:54 help adults with chronic insomnia by improving their sleep quality; reducing
16:59 the time to fall in asleep and reducing the number of awakenings during the night.
17:04 However, as we mentioned before, we don't want to have too many stimulating activities late in the day,
17:09 so intense aerobic exercise is discouraged too late in the day, as it might postpone the initiation of sleep.
17:17 Now on this slide there's just some
17:20 links for some further support and the top one shows the Bupa coronavirus hub
17:24 which is updated regularly, if you are looking for more information around
17:27 what's going on at the moment.
17:31 So that's the end of the talk today! I hope there's been some useful
17:35 information for you. And just a quick summary: we have just looked at the
17:41 challenges and effects of getting that work-life balance, how we can manage it
17:45 at home and at work, getting enough sleep and how we can use technology to our
17:50 advantage. Thanks very much!