Tip #1 create the perfect home-office setup.
Working from home is fantastic! Right? It certainly can be and be an ideal environment for many but without proper planning it can be a disaster. Mental health statistics are suggesting that the majority of professionals that are now working remotely are still struggling with the transition resulting in high anxiety levels and burnout.
What may seem like perks of being able to perform your job from the comfort of your own home may also be distracting and an obstacle to getting the most out of your working day. Having the comfiest sofa, TV, a fully stocked kitchen, a games console and you pets or kids around you may seem like an amazing benefit of having your home as your office but without discipline these can soon have a negative impact on your work.
Not only can these distractions result in less productivity, but they can also be detrimental to your health. A healthy routine is good for your wellbeing and losing the commute to work for many can mean losing their only daily exercise. Having your whole kitchen at your disposal can mean eating more than you usually would at work. Companies invest a lot of money to ensure that the equipment you use meets health and safety and provides you with a comfortable and correct working environment. So, although the sofa may be comfy, or the kitchen table and dining chair may seem like the most practical solution but these are far from ideal for your body, your mental health and your productivity. Poor desk posture can lead to health implications affecting your back, neck, wrists and eyes (among others) and working in uncomfortable positions will affect your mood in a negative way.
So how do we stay productive, and ensure we have a healthy working posture at home with no health and safety teams keeping an eye on us?
Here we look at some top tips to staying safe and productive:
- Treat a workday with the respect it deserves, get up on time, get showered and have a healthy breakfast like you would if you were going to the office. Dress appropriately and don’t work in your pyjamas. This puts you in the right frame of mind to get the most out of your day and helps maintain a healthy work/life balance.
- Start and finish work on time and take regular breaks. It can be tempting or too easy to work late but always aim to stick to your working hours and push yourself to get the most out of yourself in those hours.
- Leave the house/flat even if only one a day. A 20 minute walk every day in the fresh air either as a break or before you start work can reinvigorate you and help keep you more active and able to focus.
- Define your spaces and separate your work life from your home life. Have a room dedicated to working, even if this is not an actual office or study and use this same space every day. If you do not have the space for a dedicated office, then a space saving, folding desk is a great solution. The DropTop. ™ from Pith & Stem. is the perfect space saving folding-desk for any home-office. It provides an extra-large worktop when open and includes integrated monitors in either an ultra-wide screen or dual 24” monitor configuration to maximise productivity, but folds away when not in use leaving a stylish framed print in its place, so perfect for any room. Being wall-mounted it can also be positioned at the perfect height to aligning your eyes with the monitors to ensure healthy siting position. Also try to avoid allowing your pets or children play around you whilst working! Play with them as a pleasant distraction during your break.
- Try and keep your workstation or desk area clean and tidy. A tidy desk helps keep a tidy mind, which helps make your day more productive. Having a suitable sized desk can help with this, with large desks allowing you to organise your notes, equipment and have space to breath.
- Use a supportive and comfortable chair. A supportive chair for prolonged use is essential, and ideally mesh backed ones that allow you good airflow around your back. Make sure you can comfortably tuck your chair right under your desk, and that your forearms can rest on the desk with your elbows resting at a 90-degree angle.
- Once you have your tidy and clean workstation and a supportive chair then it is essential to ensure you have your desks and monitors setup at the correct height to encourage correct posture when sitting. Our diagram below shows the ideal sitting position. You want to ensure your eyes are facing forward and as level as possible, so you are not craning your neck or hunching you back. Now you’re good to go!
So, in summary, treat your home-office be it a separate study or a dedicated area of a living or bedroom as your place of work. Treat it like you would your office, dress appropriately and be disciplined with your time. Use the correct equipment and invest in a purpose-built desk and chair and you will find working from home as productive as working in the office and will ensure you maintain healthy posture!