22 April 2020

Working remotely for a long period of time can be challenging, especially if we can’t leave our house to give ourselves a break. One UniCredit gets some tips and advice from a stress expert

2:00 min

For many of us, our family and our colleagues, working from home can have a significant impact on our mental state. We spoke to Laurence Duretz, an executive coach who specialises in wellbeing, to learn how best to stay mentally fit and focused at home.


Tell us a bit about yourself and your work


After a career in investment banking, I now work with organisations to help their staff overcome the everyday pressures that exist within a working environment.

Recently, I have been supporting people across UniCredit’s business with a focus on taking better care of their mental health and general wellbeing.

But being a mother of three has probably taught me more about stress management than any professional experience!


What advice would you give to parents trying to balance work and their family life from home?


The most important thing is to work on a schedule together with your family as one team. Look out for each other and how to be supportive, and ask questions to each member of the family on how they would like to organise their day. It helps to build a sense of resilience and, crucially, it also helps to establish a daily routine.

Set the alarm clock, shower, get ready for the day and then take time to sit around the table and try to manage your schedules. It is also important you schedule downtime for fun and relaxation.

It’s important to have an area in the house, no matter how small, to have as your own working space. When you start your day, be sure to arrange an area where you can isolate from the rest of the family, make phone calls and do your work without interruption.


It’s been a while since we saw our friends and colleagues in person. Any tips?


It is important to make the effort to keep talking with our friends and colleagues outside our home; it doesn’t matter that it isn’t face-to-face. Even if it’s just five minutes a day via a call or video chat, communication is what keeps us connected to each other and stops us feeling quite so isolated. We are lucky to have lots of different technology helping us to stay connected.


We’re now several weeks into the lockdown period, how can we keep ourselves feeling upbeat?


This is a unique opportunity to spend meaningful time around our families that we would never normally have. Make the most of the current situation by re-evaluating priorities, adapting the way we spend our time with the people we love and taking the chance to be more involved in our children’s learning.

For those who are single or living on their own, think about using the time to learn something new – whether it’s a language, an instrument, or an activity around your home. Taking care of yourself by starting a mindfulness program could also be a great benefit. And remember to set time every day to connect with people that are important to you.