Across the country many offices are now closed in accordance with Government advice, leaving a lot of people temporarily working from home; some for the first time.
We’ve put together some practical tips to help make it a little easier, and make sure you’re looking after your health.
Use a workstation
Working on the sofa might sound idyllic; however, this can lead to numerous problems further down the line. Where possible, a separate work area is beneficial for home workers where you can set up a proper chair, desk and equipment.
Adjust your workstation to make a practical and comfortable environment. This could be by using items such as books to raise the height of a monitor or a cushion to raise the height of your chair. The NHS has some useful guidance on correct workstation postures.
Some equipment that can help make your work environment more comfortable include:
- Separate keyboard and mouse. For many people, this would help the most and may be all you need. You can then set your laptop up at a better screen position.
- Adjustable office chair. Adjust your chair height so you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor. This can help prevent repetitive strain injuries. You could also use a cushion to raise the height.
- Eye-level monitor. Either get a separate monitor to connect your device to, or raise your laptop up on a stand or some books.
Don’t stay in your pyjamas
For some people, the thought of spending all day in pyjamas is tempting, but washing and getting dressed can psychologically prepare you to start work, improve your state of mind, and help you keep a normal routine.
Some research has suggested that changing into business attire can help keep you motivated, especially if you need to dial into a video call, but for many others, just changing out of the clothes associated with sleep and rest is enough.
Schedule time for yourself
Just like in the office, working from home doesn’t mean you need to stay glued to your desk all day. It’s important to make time for yourself and your own wellbeing. Taking regular breaks from the computer and having an adequate lunch break will give you the chance to switch off for a bit and you can return feeling more motivated.
Just being able to get away from your desk helps prevent your work from becoming monotonous and your productivity from dropping.
Take care of your body by moving
Working at a computer all the time isn’t the best thing for us and generally doesn’t make us feel very good. If you are not going into work you’re also potentially missing out on some vital exercise. Make sure you take time to get up and away from your desk to exercise or do some stretches. When you are sat working, avoid awkward, static postures by regularly changing your position.
You could also take the chance to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, as long as you’re not self-isolating and you respect social distancing rules. Taking time away from your work in the fresh air can help undo any mental blocks and give you a fresh pair of eyes for any tasks you’re struggling with.
Remember to eat and drink
When we are out of routine it can be easy to forget the usual things we do to look after ourselves. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of hydrating fluids every day. Make sure your meal times are consistent and you are focusing on eating healthy foods. Keeping the body nourished is one of the best ways of ensuring you and your family stay healthy.
Engage with colleagues
Sometimes you might be glad of a little peace and quiet while working, working from home for long periods can feel very isolating. When you’re at work you’re more likely to engage with colleagues, so it’s important to keep in touch.
Many people hide behind emails when they need to talk to co-workers and contacts, but picking up the phone and having a proper conversation can be much more stimulating and productive.