The start of a New Year is always full of hope and the chance to make amends. If home is where the heart is, this is the best place to start.
Prior to the pandemic, the home was a sanctuary where we could switch off from the pressures of work and check in to our personal lives.
Clinical psychologist Jaimie Bloch says, “2021 was full of curveballs and taxing on the mental health of employees and employers around Australia.
“The end of the year marks a moment to reset, restore and recover some balance, and a great way of doing this is by refreshing your home office outlook.
“Working from the bedroom or dining room table can cause the lines between work and personal life to blur. It’s important … to recharge and create mentally healthy workspaces for the New Year.”
Research by Allianz Australia reveals that while hope springs eternal, many respondents remain ambivalent about the state of the nation and our work/life balance in 2022.
Australians are looking forward to: returning to “normal life” (52 per cent) and having the choice to work in the office or remotely (44 per cent). Their main concerns are around the work/lifestyle priorities slipping (22 per cent), the home office suffering (12 per cent) and commuting to work (10 per cent).
Julie Mitchell, Chief General Manager, Personal Injury, Allianz Australia, says, “We are encouraging Australians to use this holiday season to reclaim their homes by creating mentally healthy working spaces.
“Among reconnecting with family and friends, and getting some much-needed downtime after the year that was, it’s also essential to prioritise reflection and looking to how we can start the New Year in the best place possible.
“And with most Australians continuing to work from home, our home offices are a perfect place to start.”
Tips for refreshing your home office
- Declutter any paper or items that you no longer need. Clean up your desk space and try to be minimalistic with desk items and decorations.
- Consider a new colour palette within your study. This subtle change can help with our mental state, including our thinking and creativity.
- Storage solutions are your friend! Check out homeware stores to get inspiration for new storage solutions and to see what’s possible.
Use the holiday season wisely
- Set expectations: Before heading off on your break, chat with your team about expectations around work and communication during the holiday period. It’s important to understand what works for everyone and who may be available if and when required.
- Turn off work notifications: After a year of constantly being alert and available, it can be difficult to break the habit. When you are on holiday or break from work, it is important to switch off all work communication platforms, especially on your phone. This can help you focus on resetting and relaxing without the distractions or pressure of work.
- Plan your holidays: Try to make the most of your break and schedule activities that you love or have been meaning to do. For example, organising a catch-up with an old friend or a day trip to the beach makes a world of difference to your New Year outlook.