Without a doubt, working from home is more popular than ever. The coronavirus lockdowns proved to businesses and individuals that it was possible to be as productive outside of the office. And with the additional benefits of saving time and money on a daily commute, it’s no surprise workers are reluctant to go back to being in an office full time.
But there are some downsides to working from home that can put your health and wellbeing at risk. Being hunched over a laptop from the sofa is unlikely to be good for your posture, for example, or you may struggle to get the balance right in terms of how much daily screen time you have. With that said, it’s worthwhile making sure how you work at home is optimised for success – so we’ve put together some tips. They include:
- Invest in the right desk set up
If you’re one of the millions of people who are now working from home, you may be finding that your current desk set-up is not ideal. If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain in your wrists, shoulders, or neck, it’s time to invest in an ergonomic desk set-up. Getting the proper equipment and adjusting it to your body is the best way of avoiding any aches and pains.
An ergonomic desk will allow you to adjust the height of your monitor, keyboard, and mouse to better fit your body. This can help to reduce strain on your muscles and joints, and help you to stay comfortable while you work. In addition, the right desk set-up can also help to improve your posture and increase your productivity.
- Take regular breaks from your screen
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to get sucked into your work and spend hours staring at your computer screen. However, it’s important to take regular breaks in order to avoid eye strain, stay productive and boost your workplace wellbeing.
Taking a few minutes every hour to step away from your desk can help you refocus and come back to your work feeling refreshed. Walking around the room or going outside for a quick break can also help to increase your energy levels and reduce stress.
Taking breaks gives you a chance to move your body and reduce the risk of developing back pain or other health problems. So don’t be afraid to take a few minutes out of your day to take a break – your body will thank you for it.
- Communicate with your employer
Working from home can be a great way to get ahead on projects and avoid office distractions, but it can also be isolating. For this reason, it’s important to keep your employer in the loop about how you’re doing.
Set up regular check-ins via email or video chat, and let them know if you’re having difficulty staying focused or avoiding burnout. It may feel worrying to talk to them about problems – especially if you think they may blame remote working – but it’s important to be give them enough opportunity to support before anything is too problematic. So let your employer know if you need more (or less) guidance than usual.
By communicating openly and frequently, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and that your work-from-home arrangement is successful.
Jennifer Swage is a business advisor with nine years’ experience helping businesses embrace flexible or remote working. She has worked in a number of industries, including technology, legal, and finance. Jennifer is passionate about helping businesses grow and believes that embracing flexible or remote working can be the key to unlocking their potential.