Working From Home Tips & Tricks
During the Shelter-in-Place order, a lot of people have transitioned to working from home. And while it can seem nice to work in your pajamas, working from home can also be a difficult change with its own unique set of challenges.
If you're working from home and trying to adjust to your new kitchen-office, we have some tips & tricks to help you stay productive and healthy.
Location is Key
First, avoid working from a bed or couch. Such positioning can cause you to look down for prolonged periods and doesn't offer much support.
Try to find a location where your monitor can be perpendicular to a window to avoid glare.
Choose a Good Work Surface
An ideal work surface height allows you to keep your elbows at an approximately 9o-degree angle with relaxed shoulders.
If your work surface is too high or too low, it could contribute to neck, shoulder, and arm discomfort when typing.
Pick the Right Chair
An adjustable office chair is ideal, but if you don't have one available and need to adjust your seat height, a cushion or pillow can be used.
To add additional lumbar support, use a rolled-up towel to place between your chair and lower back.
Keep Your Feet Flat
Keep your feet flat on the ground with a 90-degree angle at your knees.
If your chair is too high and your feet do not rest flat on the ground, use books or sturdy boxes as a footrest.
Adjust your monitor height (or laptop screen) so that your line of sight is within the top 1/3 of the screen(s).
Books or reams of paper can be used to raise your monitor height.
Take microbreaks every 30 minutes and do a few stretches.
Just like you would in the office, stretch during the day, take calls standing up, and find other ways to move around.
Give your eyes a break by following the 20-20-20 rule:
Every 20 minutes, look away from the screen for 20 seconds at something 20 feet or more away.
Establish a Work/Life Balance
Create a Schedule
It's important to maintain your work/life balance while working from home.
Create a schedule that works for your new normal and stick with it.
Designate a Work Space
If possible, work in a room with a door that can be closed at the end of your workday.
This will allow you to leave your work behind at the end of the day.
Take time away from this "office space" for your lunch or breaks.
Establish Work Hours
Establish clear working hours and stick with them.
If you need to work "off" hours due to parenting responsibilities, discuss options with your manager.
Mark the end of your workday with a walk to simulate your commute and get some movement. Be sure to practice social distancing, though.
Clean Your Work Area
Make sure to regularly clean your work area. Keyboards and mice can have more germs than a toilet seat!
Use disinfecting wipes to clean keyboards, mice, and other accessories on a daily basis.
A clean work area can also lead to more productivity, as a cluttered desk can cause anxiety.
Cord maintenance can become an issue with makeshift workstations.
Use Velcro strips or zip ties to help manage cords and prevent them from becoming a trip hazard.
Connect with Co-Workers
Stay connected with co-workers through virtual get togethers, such as:
- Virtual coffee or socials
- Virtual workouts
- Workplace regular feeds
Family & Friends
Stay in touch with family and friends with video technology like FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom.
Watch shows together with services like Netflix Party. Play board games online, set up a virtual happy hour, book club, or dinner date.
Working from home can feel different at first. And it may seem hard to stay productive with all of the potential distractions.
With these tips & tricks, though, you should be able to turn a little corner of your house into a new, comfy office.