Working from home energetically during winter Work and relaxation

4 min.
6 January 2021

The holiday season is over. At the start of this new year, everyone is still working from home. The winter months are in full swing and during this time it’s important to pay attention to our physical and mental health. Therefore, our key message during these days is as follows: take good care of yourself, your loved ones and bol.com. In that order. But how do you approach this? Together with our vitality coach we set up an energy program with tips and activities. The self-care challenge is part of this. It’s based on four pillars: mind, movement, nutrition and recovery. In this blog, some of our bol.commers tell their story on how they keep their energy level up to standard.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Antoine van der Meer is a Business Analyst and is involved in relaxation and self-reflection. He is also  one of the ‘house coaches’ at bol.com, he organizes feedback sessions and introduction workshops about the Wim Hof Method.

“It’s important to give yourself enough time to get used to this new situation in which you work from home. I start and end every day with ‘me-time’. No social media or family who are awake yet, but purely focusing on myself with several exercises and a 20-minute meditation. Bol.com has set up the self-care challenge to relax during the working day. I participate fanatically in the weekly challenges. I also regularly take a micro-break during the day. I close my eyes for a moment and take three deep breaths to return to the here and now.”

“I try to start and end my working day very consciously. Listening to music helps me with that. I have a special tune for the beginning and ending of my day, just like you have with a series or movie. When the end tune’s finished, I close my laptop and stop working. For colleagues who listen to music during the day, this can be a good idea to get more structured.”

Cycling in a virtual world

Martijn van Mannekes is Manager of the Technical Platform. To check out from work, he often goes cycling or goes for a walk. 

“Last summer, every now and then I went for a bike ride with colleagues. That’s no longer possible, but the meetups on the online cycling platform Zwift are a good replacement. Within this platform, you can chat with your colleagues and stay fit at the same time. Besides cycling, I downloaded a special app from De Hersenstichting (Dutch Brain Foundation). With this app, you’re encouraged to walk for 20 minutes every day. Together with my team, I made a competition out of this. I try to walk as often as possible because, besides the fact it’s good for me, I don’t want to end up last.” 

“Sometimes I schedule a coffee meeting with a colleague who I don’t speak that often anymore because of the corona situation. In this way, you can catch up like you normally would on Friday afternoon drinks. Furthermore, I usually plan an hour for lunch. In this way, I have enough time to eat with my children on  Wednesday afternoons and I can go for a walk on the other days. That gives me a lot of energy. I prefer to read a book more often in the evening instead of watching Netflix. This way I keep working from home varied and I don’t look at a screen all the time.” 

Healthy food and walking outside

Anouschka Kleijn is Category Assistant. She gets energy by doing fun things with and for other people. When she has some time left during the working day, she goes for a walk in the Wilhelminapark in Utrecht.  

“Every week I cook for an older man who is no longer able to take good care of himself. We always drink a cup of tea together. This way he’s able to interact with someone face to face and so do I. Before the corona situation, I often cooked for my friends and had dinner with them. Unfortunately, I had to put that on hold for a while now, but as soon as it’s possible again I’ll be back in the kitchen.” 

“At bol.com there’s a lot of attention on how you can take care of yourself. Because of the self-care challenge and the team meetings, I still feel somewhat connected with my colleagues. I’m very conscious of nutrition and exercise. For example, I have a liter bottle of water on my desk. You grab food or drinks faster when you see them and that’s a positive thing for water. When I need a short break, I often do five-minute breathing exercises. These can always be done in between. I like to do something practical with my hands after my working day. Just being busy in a different way. For example, I’ll do my laundry or I’ll post a postcard.” 

A clean and tidy neighborhood

Eelke Schuurbiers works as a Data Architect within IT. Besides working at bol.com, he likes to spend his spare time creating a more sustainable future. He takes his waste picker with him while walking to keep the neighborhood clean. 

“There’s a lot of construction going on in my residential area, so there’s waste everywhere. I have arranged through the municipality that there are waste pickers and bags in front of my house. Everyone can borrow them when they’re going for a walk. While walking I clean up the waste that’s along the roadside. This way, I combine a useful task with something pleasant. I try to do this during my working day. Most of the time I notice that I’m bright and early again when I’m back behind my desk.” 

“I also try to have enough short breaks while working. I make sure that I’m not continuously in consecutive meetings. I try to reduce my meetings by five or ten minutes, so I have time to grab some water. While working from home, you can be busy the whole day but that’s not good for anyone. In the evening I check out. I like to do something completely different. I often play games or play the drums. That way I can relax and be extra productive the next day.” 

Plenty of rest

These colleagues have told us how they maintain their energy levels. Rest and relaxation are important for them, especially in times of working from home. Therefore, pay attention to yourself and each other. That’s how we get through this period together!