At-home work hacks with Deliciously Ella

With the way we work fundamentally shifting towards more time at home, perhaps permanently, millions of us are having to adapt quickly.  Those who already worked remotely are vocal advocates, but what about office-based employees who aren’t confident in being productive indoors?

We've been talking to Ella Mills, the award-winning cookery author, entrepreneur, champion of plant-based living, and YuLife ambassador. As the founder of Deliciously Ella, and someone who has spent a lot of time home-working, she's well qualified to share effective wellbeing hacks for thriving in a new world of Zoom calls, extended screen time and blurred working boundaries. click here to listen to the webinar.

Create and stick to a routine

The beauty of the commute is that it creates a transitional period of separation between work and home, even if you’re prone to checking your emails on the train. Working from home breaks those boundaries down, so how can you ensure your employees are using their time effectively and keeping a work-life balance?

A brisk ten-minute walking break can work wonders. It'll improve your mood and can even boost your memory. A quick, rejuvenating meditation session is just as effective, and it's surprisingly easy to learn. If you happen to provide YuLife employee benefits, we are integrated with apps like calm and headspace, and offer YuCoin that can be traded in for great rewards for both walking and meditation.

There's a certain pleasure in discipline, a certain happiness in routine. Get up at a usual time, stop work at the usual time, create structure to feel a lot better about working from home. Why not check in with employees to ensure they’re taking breaks and keeping a routine?

Stay connected to others

Humans are hard-wired to be social. When we don't get the level and quality of social interactions we need, we suffer physically and mentally. How can we stay socially connected during the Covid-19 crisis?

Luckily, social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. Social networks are coming into their own right now and it's easier than ever to stay connected. Thanks to tools like Facetime, you can catch up with family and friends to organise virtual activities like book clubs, play cards, even bake and cook together.

The same goes for colleagues and employees. Maybe you could set up a no-obligation daily meeting or ‘virtual coffee break’ on Zoom to set the scene for the day, answer people's questions, help people who are having problems, and motivate each other. You could set up a second meet-up at the end of the working day to round things off.

The 'connectedness' of work is the most important motivator for many of us, the comforting feeling that we belong. YuLife's virtual leaderboards can help you maintain essential community spirit, protecting the natural connection we feel with our colleagues; 73% of Yulife members who download our app voluntarily join their leaderboard to get into the competitive spirit.

Simple tips to stay fit working from home

We are holistic beings. When our physical health is out of balance, our mental health tends to suffer as well. Luckily there are plenty of fitness videos online that cover every imaginable type of at-home exercise. YuLife recently partnered with at-home exercise platform Fiit, the number one rated fitness app, to bring you workout videos and interactive fitness communities from some of the world’s best trainers. Click here to read our latest conversation with FiiT trainer Adrienne Herbert.

YuLife’s Chief Wellbeing Officer, Dr. Chatterjee, also has some really useful insights on mindfulness and relaxation. It's all about breathing, with 5 proven breathing techniques to help reduce stress.

Eat well, feel well

Diet can be a real challenge when working from home. It's all too easy to fall into bad habits like snacking at odd times and eating unhealthy, albeit delicious, things.

Ella recommends we batch cook and enjoy the same dish again to take the stress out of cooking and eating well. A simple, healthy veggie chilli or curry can last for a long time in the fridge (or can even be frozen), with interchangeable sides and toppings like garlic bread, yoghurt, rice or pasta.

Another tip from Ella is to be creative with your shopping; more time at home offers opportunities to try out new recipes, so don’t be afraid to try an exciting recipe such as Ella’s ever-popular cashew pesto pasta. Pick ingredients you wouldn’t normally buy when in-store, especially if your usual items are in short supply.

Keep to the same mealtime structure, setting aside sufficient time for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, avoid eating “al-desko”; eat away from your desk, preferably at a table, to avoid indigestion and enjoy your food more.

Take care of your financial wellbeing

We've provided tips for employee mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, but financial wellbeing is just as important. It's clear people are more concerned than ever about their financial wellbeing as the crisis runs on. If you haven't provided employee benefits to your people, you might like to think about offering something to help them feel their finances are protected in future; YuLife’s product range includes Group Life Insurance, Group Income Protection, Group critical illness cover to help them feel more protected in this crisis.

Inspiring everyday healthy living

As a life insurance company that inspires life, YuLife is proud to partner with Ella to make everyday healthy living available to more people. Along with a market-leading group life insurance policy, YuLife’s customers enjoy access to an app that incentivises employees for healthy behaviour like walking and meditating, also providing mental health support (EAP) and access to a 24/7 virtual GP.
Contact us for better employee health, wellbeing, and protection.

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Sophie Hibbert

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