Improve your mental and physical health through our free work from home Slack community

If you work from home and care about your mental and physical health then it’s pretty much essential that you join this Slack channel and regularly read it’s content.

It’s completely free!

Why this Slack channel will be of use to you

Why this Slack channel will be of use to you

I’ve worked from home since 2012 and during this time I’ve experienced:

  • Burnout from long, unsustainable working hours
  • Breakdown of a 7-year relationship due to a lack of a work-life balance
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Weight gain
  • Worsening eyesight: from having 20/20 vision to requiring glasses
  • Aching muscles and back pain due to a poor ergonomic setup
  • The struggle of trying to balance family life with work whilst having a newborn/toddler.

I’ve made just about every possible physical and mental health mistake whilst working from home.In 2019 I decided enough was enough and I set about finding solutions to the problems that working from home causes. Then when we went in to lockdown in March 2020, suddenly the world started working from home and I felt that the lessons that I had learned could help stop other people from experiencing the problems that I did.

Working Den launched a few months later.

So what is Working Den?

Working Den is a collection of tools that help improve your mental and physical health whilst working from home.

List of Working Den tools:

Health & safety

Learn the Health & Safety aspects of home working. This may sound boring but it contains lots of important information that you most likely would not have heard before. I wish I knew this information when I started out: https://www.workingden.com/health-safety-whilst-working-from-home/

DSE Assessment

Once you’ve learnt the Health & Safety aspects, make sure you take our DSE assessment (Display Screen Equipment). Most companies are not aware but it’s actually a legal requirement that all staff take a DSE assessment in the UK. Regardless of where you are based in the world, this assessment will look at “how” you currently work from home and will provide advice on how to improve the way you do so: https://www.workingden.com/working-from-home-dse-assessment/

Eye Strain Warnings

On your first visit to Working Den your browser would have asked to grant permissions to this website. If you granted Working Den permission then every 20 minutes that you have the website open you will see a push notification. This notification will tell you to look 20 metres away from your screen for 20 seconds. This helps your eyes recover from eye strain and helps prevent loss of eyesight. The 20-20-20 rule is something that opticians recommend to all computer users. This is our favourite feature of Working Den and one that Daniel uses every day. If you did not grant Working Den permission to show these warnings then you can easily change this. Instructions on how to change notifications settings inside your browser can be found here: https://www.workingden.com/stop-digital-eye-strain/

Stretches you should be doing

Something you will experience if you are sitting in front of a computer most of the time when working from home is pain in several areas of the body such as your back and shoulders. The best cure for this is prevention. By spending five to ten minutes per day following our guidance you should be able to minimise muscle-related problems associated with computer working. You can find our stretching advice here: https://www.workingden.com/stretches-you-should-be-doing/

Pomodoro Timer

Use the Pomodoro Productivity Sprint to achieve optimum performance and be as productive as you can each day. A “natural concentration cycle” is 90 minutes. If you try to concentrate for any longer than that, productivity falls and you get distracted. Similarly, a 2017 study showed that people who sit for 90 minutes at a time had a two-fold greater risk of death than those who sit for intervals of less than 90 minutes. So, every 45 minutes, our timer alerts you to get up and walk around for a minute or two before continuing with your sprint. Using this feature could, therefore, add years to your life, while ensuring optimum productivity throughout the day!
https://www.workingden.com/how-to-use-the-time

Gratitude diary

We have included a Gratitude Diary because research has proven gratitude (and therefore the use of a gratitude diary) can increase happiness, reduce depression and reduce the amount of aches and pains that you experience. You can find our Gratitude Diary here: https://www.workingden.com/gratitude-diary/

Burnout assessment

People who work from home tend to work longer hours than they would in a normal office environment and this can lead to burnout. This becomes a much more serious issue if you are not aware that you are suffering burnout. Take our Burnout Assessment to find out if you are experiencing this and if you are you’ll receive advice on how to overcome this:
https://www.workingden.com/find-out-if-you-have-burnout/

Depression assessment

It’s very common for Remote Workers to suffer from Depression so to help you diagnose this we created a quiz. If you are found to be suffering with depression then the quiz also provides you with advice on how to overcome this:
https://www.workingden.com/find-out-if-you-have-depression-2/

Reduce Your Stress Levels

Working from home with no one to vent to can ruin your entire day. And if you do have someone to complain to, your constant moaning will not be doing your relationship with them any good. Worse still, being stressed can cause you to send a message or an email that you wish you hadn’t to your boss, your work colleague or your client. We can help you through those tough moments using our psychologist-recommended STOP technique. You can find this tool here:
https://www.workingden.com/i-feel-stressed/

Motivational quote

Every now and again, people need some motivation to get them through the day, and that’s why we have included a feature containing some of the best Motivational Quotes that we know.
https://www.workingden.com/motivational-quote/

Nature Videos For Depression

In his journey to beat depression, Daniel read “Lost Connections” by Johann Hari. This book discovered that one of the major causes of depression is the loss of connection to nature and claimed that you can feel less depressed just by seeing nature. For this reason, we have put a whole video section of Nature Videos on the site. We recommend you spend a few minutes each day watching videos from this section to help your mental health, and we also recommend you play the videos during your breaks to help you escape “tech overload”.
https://www.workingden.com/nature-scenes/

Reconnect with daily life sounds

If you’re someone who works best in the office or at a coffee shop, finding ambient sounds or background noises that replicate your preferred workspace may restore some sense of order to your days. If you miss the outside world and want some normality, listen to the sounds in the Daily Life Sounds section of Working Den.
https://www.workingden.com/reconnect-with-daily-life-sounds/

Background music

Background Musiccan help you focus by drowning out other noises. A study by Cambridge Sound Management also found that music with lyrics was distracting for 48% of office workers.[2] This is why we have put together a collection of background music without lyrics that should help you maintain your focus throughout the day.
https://www.workingden.com/background-music/

Home workouts

Joe Wicks seemed to inspire the world in to doing a daily workout during the lockdown. To continue this trend we have put together a list of individual exercises you can do to help your fitness whilst working from home. Each exercise has written instructions, along with two videos (one by a female instructor and one by a male instructor) showing you how to do the exercise. https://www.workingden.com/home-workouts/

Aside from the founder Daniel Hall, Working Den was created by experts such as:

  • Dr Margarida Rafael– Psychologist with her own private practice. Experience in both hospitals and the US prison system. She has also worked on a number of projects for MindOnly with Dan Brown, a psychologist and professor at Harvard University
  • Aylen Gomez Ovejero– Organisational Psychologist & Wellness Coach
  • Sofija Vojvodic– Research Psychologist & Behavioural Neuroscientist
  • Adel Lawson– HSE Expert and one of Airsweb’s “Top HSE Influencers of 2018”
  • Brittany Ferri– Highly experienced Occupational Therapist who has written several books on the subject 
  • Jeff Caulfield(and his partner) – Qualified Physio (and Exercise Physiologist specialising in injury prevention for NSW Health)
  • Bertie van Wyk – An advisor to Working Den, Bertie has worked for the world’s leading workplace specialists, Herman Miller, for the past 15 years.

How does Working Den make money?

At the moment the only way Working Den makes money is through adverts on the website. The current features on the site will always be free to use but in the future we will be developing other, more advanced features which will be paid for tools.

S

Stop

Stop whatever you are doing and focus on this.

T

Take Deep Breaths

Follow the instructions on screen or if you have sound follow the spoken instructions.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

O

Observe

Observe your body, your thoughts, your feeling and your emotions. Is your heart racing? Are you sweating? Is your mouth dry? Are you angry? Are you worried? Are you stressed?
Do you need to be reacting the way you are?
How important is the issue you are stressed about?
Is this worth you being stressed over? Will it still be important this time next year?
What advice would you give to a friend if they were in your position?

Now take a moment and relax yourself.

P

Proceed

Now continue on with your day, incorporating what you have just learned about the emotions you were feeling.