The pandemic and the repeated lockdowns have shown us: remote work can work. It is necessary to...
Hybrid work: daily rituals that do good
Hybrid work is becoming widespread in both small and large companies. In France, remote working is being organised and deployed within the context of company agreements. Companies therefore have a major role to play in health prevention and in combating the sedentary lifestyle of their employees. This is even more important in times of health crisis and imposed home working.
Remote working makes it possible to respond to the aspirations of employees but also to those of the company.
- Balance between professional and personal life
- Greater autonomy
- Calmer environment to improve concentration
- Organisation of the work space (Flex Office, reduction of office space, etc.)
- Continuity of service in case of crisis or unexpected event.
At the same time, the autonomy offered by hybrid work must contribute to the well-being of employees. A reality of which the different actors must be aware: Home-Office work can expose the employee to constraints which are likely to generate professional risks.
Examples of such risks are:
- isolation and loss of connection with the group
- hyper-connectivity at work (increased demands through the creation of numerous exchange groups, video-conferences, etc.)
- difficulties in separating time and space to find the right balance between professional and personal life
- workplace layout not adapted to screen work
To make hybrid work a tool for well-being, employees must become actors in this mode of work and not just consumers.
Solutions exist, here are some tips that may inspire you.
We have underestimated the value of the subway-work-sleep trio, the usual journey to the office is often associated with tiredness, strikes, traffic jams, pollution ... In short: stress. However, after several months of working from home, workers have become rather nostalgic about the journey to the office. The work-home journey is without doubt the decompression point of the day. It sets the limits between work and rest time, but also the boundary between work and personal life.
What rituals should you put in place to promote the health and cohesion of your employees when working from home ?
The benefits of physical activity are numerous and no longer need to be proven for the physical and mental health of employees.
New resolutions while working from home!
- Get up and get ready as if you are physically going to the office (think of the little touch of make-up for fun).
- Replace the physical journey to the office with a walk, a bike ride, a slow jog (before the shower ) or a meditation session if you're a fan.
- Separate the time of day with acoustic alarms on your mobile phone or diary to set lunchtime, the virtual coffee break with colleagues and finally the end of the day.
- Organise a dedicated and permanent workplace (ideally in a separate room) so that you don't have to move every time.
Home Office and hunger
The fridge is not far away and should remain closed as far as possible until lunchtime, to prevent the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle (diabetes, weight gain etc.). To curb your hunger, there's nothing like preparing a little snack box with nuts, preferably unsalted almonds, apple wedges, carrots, paprika or cucumber (nothing too calorific, of course). And don't forget a large bottle of water nearby.
We are finally ready to sit down in front of our screen. We consult our diary and set ourselves a reasonable list of TO DOs for the day or even the week. To motivate yourself, indicate your pleasure appointments for the week at each lunch break or at the end of the day in your diary. You can anticipate and plan your workload in cooperation with your line manager. You can plan the activities to be done at home and those to be carried out at the office.
Don't forget to move!
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends taking at least 10,000 steps a day, equivalent to 7.5 km a day, to prevent a sedentary lifestyle and stay healthy. This is a challenging goal to reach and can be quite discouraging in the morning.
But where does this number come from ? This figure was born during the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, when the Yamasa Corporation launched a pedometer called Manpo-kei, which means "10,000 step measurement". Therefore it is purely a marketing concept.
However, the National Observatory on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour (ONAPS) recommends a daily quota of 5,000 to 6,000 steps per day and the WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, i.e. about 20 minutes per day. To be healthy, it would be sufficient to take between 4,000 and 7,500 steps per day according to a recent American study.
The key word is " moving " and for that nothing is better than to do it in a team through connected physical activity challenges that the company can set up.
Don't worry, physical activity doesn’t mean sport. Everyone can participate.
And what if we played as a team?
The game can deliver shorter and much more impactful messages than the current text and change the behaviour of your employees. It motivates and engages employees towards a collective goal. It generates cohesion, cooperation and creates links (isolated teams or teams spread across the country). Thus, not very well known employees can be brought to light.
For example, you can launch daily or weekly pedometer challenges and collect points, set up a fund for a charity, solidarity or to organise team events that are close to your heart (parachute jumping, a trip to the sea, skiing, etc. - everything is possible). The key is to motivate and encourage each other.
Further tipsTake short but regular breaks (5 minutes every hour), to limit visual tiredness (by taking your eyes off the screen) and to disconnect mentally. So get up and take a few steps. Phone meeting times are also opportunities to get up and walk.
Lunch break, oh my alarm is ringing ! Let's get up…
Lunch break is another opportunity to get out of the house and move. You could, for example :
- organise a lunch with colleagues who live close by, or with your partner or friends.
- plan a fun physical activity (gardening, a haircut, a swimming pool, a gym, walking alone or with friends, jogging, not to mention shopping) to have fun and strengthen your immune system.
- simply take the time to cook a nice meal.
What about social interaction?
At home, the worker is potentially isolated. Although working at home encourages concentration and limits interruptions to work, it can also encourage addictive behaviours or situations of suffering at work.
Maintaining a team spirit
Alternating home office and face-to-face work in order to meet colleagues and create links is essential. Moreover, promoting collaborative work on certain tasks or projects makes it possible to develop a sense of belonging to the company, a community and a corporate culture.
Managing a remote team is a new challenge and requires managers to be trained or made more aware of this issue. Team leaders must adopt a different managerial vision. Monitoring the mood of employees through weekly individual interviews helps to prevent psychosocial risks. It is also an opportunity to discuss possible difficulties in the work itself.
To do this, the manager may consider the following points :
- Establish communication rituals between remote workers and colleagues in the office.
- Keeping face-to-face exchanges as regular as possible. This will help to avoid misunderstandings due to the distance.
End of the day and the right to switch off: your children, spouse or friends are waiting for you to experience some precious and relaxing moments...
“The right to disconnect is now part of the French labour code”.
With the use of digital technology, which is now an essential part of the working world, working methods are changing. The workplace no longer exists in many sectors, employees are increasingly "connected" outside office hours, the boundary between professional and personal life is tenuous, and working time is no longer continuous.
Therefore, it is in order to adapt to this reality and to create the necessary protections for the health of today's employees that a right to disconnect is included in the law. Explanations.
The right to disconnect is a principle (incorporated into the law in France) according to which an employee is entitled not to be connected to professional digital tools (mobile phone, emails, etc.) outside working hours (work-home travel time, holidays, rest time, weekends, evenings, etc.). France was the first country to incorporate this right into labour law (for companies).
The French legal corpus has integrated the right to disconnection in the framework of the El Khomri law (more commonly known as the "loi Travail"). Since 1 January 2017, the right to disconnect has obliged companies with more than 50 employees to start negotiations with a view to concluding a collective company agreement on the subject. This obligation is set out in Article L. 2242-17 of the Labour Code.
Separate your working life from your private life to be more attentive and sensitive, more open to others' feelings and more responsible towards yourself and your loved ones.
The alarm will save you! (Remember the famous alarm on your mobile phone? Yes, that one !) It's time to switch off your PC and concentrate on your private life. You've probably planned to meet your friends, go down to the café to meet the usuals, go to your sports club or go for a walk in the nearby park with your kids. So go ahead, it's time to relax. What's not finished today can well wait until tomorrow, even if it means getting up a little earlier to finish the task. I'm taking a bit of a leap of faith when writing this.
Physical availability in the home office is a fact for those close to us (children, pets, spouses, etc.) but it does not necessarily mean availability of spirit. In fact, we are on the phone, in meetings, on video conferences, on an important project, etc., and therefore not available. The reproaches of our loved ones lead us to question ourselves and to set non-negotiable limits when we telework or when we are in the office, for the greater happiness of our loved ones but also for the company which gains and retains happy and healthy employees.
You are experiencing difficulties ! Don’t hesitate to talk about it around you...
- To your colleagues to share your experiences, difficulties and good practices.
- Your manager to regularly discuss your projects, your difficulties and how to organise your work at home.
- The IT department, which can advise you and help you solve any technical problems.
- Your occupational health and safety department.