Working from home is the new normal for many people, and for some, it’s the first time they’ve ever done this. We share our top tips on creating the optimal environment to work at home and ideas on maintaining your productivity, health and wellbeing.
1. Sit next to a window
Facing the window helps to avoid glare on your computer screen, while looking out of the window every now and again is beneficial exercise for your eyes. The natural lighting also helps with video conferences.
2. Manage screen time
We’re spending more time than ever in front of a screen: working, socialising, watching TV, online shopping etc. When you’re working, break it up by jotting down your ideas on paper first, getting up to stretch or making a drink every now and then.
3. Maintain a routine
Stick to your normal work routine to give structure to your day. Though if you have kids, you may need to really put flexible working into practice! Never work from bed – get up, dressed and ready yourself for work and make sure to schedule a proper lunch break (even if you never did this before).
4. Noise and focus
If you’re in a lively household, get some headphones, preferably with a mic, so you can go ‘silent disco’ on video conferences.
We concentrate best when we’re not listening to the human voice, so rather than listening to the radio or songs, try instrumental music, white noise or sounds from nature: waves, forests, rainfall. Spotify has loads of choices.
5. Green is good
Bring nature into your space, even if it’s just a picture or a pot plant, to help boost your wellbeing.
6. Tidy space, tidy mind
Organise your workspace with just what you need and maybe a few choice objects, but avoid cluttering it too much. Use ties or clips to keep computer cables from spilling out everywhere.
7. Get some sun
Try and get a good dose of daylight in the middle of the day. This helps your body clock stay in tune with its natural rhythms to help you feel less tired.
Most of us don’t have office chairs at home and working from a laptop for a long period is not ideal for posture. Prop your laptop up on a pile of books, or better still, use a second monitor or a TV with a separate keyboard to improve your set-up. This will help to avoid straining your neck and back.
Try not to sit down in one place for longer than an hour, especially if you don’t have an ergonomic office chair. Take phone calls standing up or walking and if you can, move to a different set-up occasionally. Make the most of your exercise time out of the house.
10. Stay in touch
We all benefit from human contact, so consider calling colleagues instead of relying on email. Research suggests that face-to-face is most beneficial as we tend to laugh and smile more. So if you can, turn that video camera on.
11. Hydrate to create!
Drink water, often. Keep a refillable bottle next to you to keep track.
12. Work/rest separation
If you have a home office, avoid using it when you’re not working. If working from your living space, create separation by setting up your workspace just before you start work and when you’re finished, tidy any work things away so you get your living room back. And ideally, don’t work in your bedroom so you always have a space to unwind.
If you have any further ideas you’d like to share or photos of your home workspace, we’d love to hear from you.
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