4 Ways To Manage Stress When WFH This Winter

A Guest Post Written by Helena Sampayo, Content Writer at Hubble

8th Nov 2022

There’s no denying the benefits of working from home (WFH). For many, it’s been a godsend. Not only can we save money on the commute, but we can also spend more time with loved ones and get a full eight hours of sleep—leaving us with greater control over our work schedules. 

But for employees in fully-remote teams, working from home can be challenging. Since you don’t have a fixed office space to work from, you may develop blurry work-life boundaries or feel isolated—with 81% of under-35s fearing ‘loneliness’ as a result of long-term remote working.

Of course, most remote companies have put effective measures in place to support their people while they work from home—and for some employees, it may not even create any negative effects. But no matter how prepared you are for remote working, there’s a particular time of year that can inevitably send stress levels skyrocketing: winter.

From the rising cost of energy bills to feeling more sluggish, the cold winter months can have significant impacts on our overall productivity and well-being. But how can employees who work from home manage this? As the world’s first hybrid workplace platform, Hubble is here to share tips that can help remote employees manage stress during the winter months. 

(P.S. This post should be considered as tips and not advice. If you’re concerned about your mental health and would like advice, please always consult with a professional!)

Why can winter feel so stressful?

First things first…let’s unpack why winter can feel so stressful. According to psychologists, winter can be the most stressful time of year for a few reasons: one being the drop in temperatures and the lack of exposure to sunlight.

Unlike the warm summer days, cold and dark weather keeps us inside. (Unless you’re brave enough to venture out for a morning run, that is). But while it’s tempting to snuggle on the sofa and nurse a hot chocolate, the lack of vitamin D exposure can evoke stress by disrupting your body’s release of neurotransmitters linked to anxiety and depression

And while it’s no secret that winter can be an expensive season, the cost of living crisis has thrown a significant spanner in the works. The price tag on energy bills and groceries is at an all-time high, with UK households facing the ‘most expensive winter in history’ despite government support.

It’s these things that can make winter a challenging time for remote employees who spend a significant chunk of their time at home. So, what are some of the things you can do to help manage this?

1) Stick to your routine

We, humans, are creatures of routine and habit. By sticking to a steady schedule, we’re more likely to combat stress and feel “more on top of things”—both of which can boost productivity and overall happiness as a result.

So, when you’re working at home during the winter months, sticking to your routine is vital. This could include waking up at the same time each day and eating breakfast. Or, it could simply mean reading your favourite book for 30 minutes. Whatever it is, having a personal routine can help us achieve a healthier work-life balance whilst we work from home.

2) Stock up on the good stuff 

We’re in a cost-of-living crisis, so it’s entirely up to you where and how you spend your money. But if you’d like to (and more importantly, can) invest in a few products that are thought to reduce stress and boost productivity, then here are Hubble’s top picks:

Red light therapy

Red light therapy is a treatment that may help skin, muscles and other parts of the body heal, as well as improve mental health.

It works by exposing your skin to low levels of red or near-infrared light, which helps stimulate the mitochondria: the part of the body’s cells that produce energy. So, if you’re looking to improve sleep or level up your self-care routine this winter, purchasing a red light lamp or laser can be an effective (and affordable!) way to do so. 

Essential Oils

Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment that’s been used for thousands of years. And while studies suggest that no single essential oil has been proven to treat anxiety or depression on its own, many cite their ability to minimise certain symptoms of stress or mental illness.

For example, an older study found that the aroma of lavender and orange in a dentist’s waiting room reduced the nervousness felt in patients. Another found that inhaling cedarwood in the workplace boosts focus and productivity.

Luckily, most essential oils are pretty affordable and you can easily use them with a diffuser or humidifier (or by simply smelling the bottle!)

3) Chat to the right people

Over the past two years, remote companies have excelled at keeping their culture alive—despite not having a fixed company HQ. But while you may have mastered the art of building bonds with your team, you may want to reach out to someone else when it comes to your stress levels.

Of course, friends and family are good choices. But there are plenty of companies out there that specialise in supporting teams with their mental health, and many are offered to employees as a perk. These companies tend to use a network of qualified therapists and counsellors to provide top-quality support to team members most in need—so if you’d like additional support as you work remotely this winter, consider partnering with a mental health support tool! 

Keen to learn more about creating a 'mentally healthy' workplace for your team? We hosted a webinar discussion that tackled the subject head-on. Grab your free recording today!

4) Work from an on-demand co-working space

As well as the rising cost of gas and electricity, another challenge for remote employees is cabin fever. After all, when you’re stuck inside for most of the time, you’re bound to feel a little lonely or even bored.

But when you don’t have an office to visit, what can you do? Coffee shops are a go-to, but they could be too noisy—and there’s the expectation that you need to keep forking out on snacks and hot drinks to justify staying there. But luckily, this is where on-demand access to workspaces comes in.

On-demand workspace—workspaces that can be booked by the day or hour—is a flexible, cost-effective solution for both employees and employers. For employees, they’re able to gain a little more freedom over how and where they work, enabling them to socialise, save more money and feel more in control of their work-life balance. For employers, giving your team access to hundreds of on-demand workspaces means you’ll be allowing them to work in a way that suits them best, boosting productivity, employee well-being and retention rates.

At Hubble, we make this super simple with the Hubble Pass: a flexible membership that gives you access to a global network of on-demand workspace. With it, remote teams can search for and book co-working spaces, private day offices, hourly meeting rooms and even event space across over 800 locations worldwide (and counting!).

Whether it’s cycling to a co-working space in London or bonding with colleagues in a private day office, the Hubble Pass gives your team the freedom to work from anywhere, anytime. After all, that is the number one demand for employees worldwide!