One theme that often comes up when I talk to people about their wellbeing at work is working with others and how this can have an impact on our work. This is from a positive as well as negative perspective.

In most roles there is interaction with other people; either clients, colleagues, joint venture partners, team members, suppliers or sales people. Therefore it’s good to consider how to use this to your benefit to help you at work but also what you could do to reduce any negative impact.

 Working in an office:

When you work in an office, especially an open plan office you may feel greatly the impact of working with other people, interruptions at your desk, phone calls, emails coming through, noise of chatter from other people’s conversations, being pulled into another person’s conversation to ‘pick your brains’, or the lure of joining as it is more ‘fun’ than what you are doing right now!

If you need space from other people can you book a meeting room for a bit or work on a hot desks away from your usual space for a couple of hours to give you time to concentrate on what you need to. If you can’t get a break but are finding the distractions difficult remember you can’t control them but can control how you react; you could use a simple breathing technique such as – breathe in for four counts, hold it for four counts and then breathe out for six counts, doing this for two minutes to calm your mind.

Can you utilise your systems at work? For example, ‘do not disturb’ options on emails/phone to show your availability for others – choosing the right time to use it can help give you some short term space when you need to concentrate. Although be careful about  picking up the phone if it rings or responding to emails if you are using the do not disturb as you will be giving mixed signals.

Working from home:

Working from home can have difference nuances on how others can impact you. There is often less clear boundaries between work, home and how time is spent.

How do you want to divide your time between work and home. How will it look and feel like for you. Think about how it will work in your environment, for you and for those in your home. What can already be put in place? What needs to be changed and can be done easily? What needs collaboration and discussion?

Where is your work station? Can you shut a door either physically or with a boundary space? Is your office space clearly marked?

Think about how you spend your time; rather than having the phone disturb you as and when could you have set times you are available to speak to or make calls (ensuring you have a voicemail to take messages)?