No one’s arguing that 2020 wasn’t a big flop.
And for better or worse, many of us have tasted the work from home (WFH) lifestyle and liked it, hated it… or simply couldn’t care less.
Either way, over a year on, many people are continuing to work from home, or at least are including some WFH days in a new hybrid format of working.
This presents some pretty exciting opportunities, but also some interesting challenges, like the fridge being literally around the corner or, god forbid, in the same room.
So how do we make the most of this new normal? Here are your top tips for making your new work from home life as productive and rewarding as possible!
Make your workspace a place of work
Working from home can be a nightmare come true if you’re crammed in the corner of the main living room with pillow fights happening every time you have a conference call. No one wants to be embarrassed by the accidental children’s toy slamming into your head when you’re trying to explain the budget outline. Get yourself to a quiet room and ensure your family or housemates are aware of when they can knock on the door.
The when, and how of taking breaks
There’s nothing more “established” than an office lunch break schedule. Whether it’s informal, timed, or strictly within certain times, taking a lunch break at the office usually follows a routine and flavour of its own making. WFH throws all these social conventions out the window. The question remains: how does one take a lunch break at home?
- First up: make sure you ACTUALLY take a break. It’s easy to blur the lines of what is and isn’t a break when you’re basically two-timing it with your house chores.
- Communicate and coordinate breaks with your colleagues to ensure a seamless workflow.
- Keep a healthy snack nearby to avoid going back and forth to the fridge or cupboard.
Organise a virtual coffee break
Keeping in contact with your colleagues is important, and working from home isn’t exactly conducive to the informal coffee break chat. Organising an optional virtual coffee break can be a great alternative to the informal chats you have at the office and facilitate a better working environment.
Become a master at scheduling
Get a schedule that you can follow. This way you can plan your day better and ensure you’re not accidentally scheduling a meeting halfway through eating your gorgeous homemade lasagne.
Ensure your monitor/laptop screen is at eye level
Are your neck and shoulders killing you?
Many of our tables at home just aren’t prepared for a working environment. The kitchen table may be the perfect height for your dinner, but when it comes to typing out that report, you may find your body does not agree. Make sure your screen is at the right height, and you’re sitting straight to avoid developing bad posture. If you’re worried about your WFH setup and are experiencing pain and discomfort as a result, it’s a good idea to reach out to your local Physio in Perth for a consultation.
Avoid back pain: get yourself the right chair
Sorry to burst your bubble, but that designer kitchen chair isn’t going to cut it. You need a good old office chair – like the one you had at the office, or anything with increased lumbar support. Chances are if you’re working from home you’re also going to cram in a few extra things while sitting down, like watching the news or catching up on an episode of your latest TV series. If you’re planning on spending more time than usual sitting while WFH, it’s necessary to have the right back support.
If you’re feeling back pain – it’s important to get in contact with your local Perth physio for back pain treatments before it gets worse.
Make sure you have everything you need
It’s tempting to “make do” with what’s available at home like it’s some sort of temporary arrangement that will eventually sort itself out. Things like forgoing using a mouse, keyboard or having to run down to the shops to print off hard copies – this is the stuff you need to fix asap.
Ask your employer about what they can provide and whether you can source your own and get reimbursed. Ensuring you’re able to perform at your best is key, not just for the business, but for yourself as well!
Keep up morale, send nice messages, and stay patient
Even though many have probably gotten used to the new WFH situation, it’s still a big learning curve for a lot of people, so remember to stay patient and show understanding to clients, work colleagues, and all those around you. Keep up regular communication with those above and below you, and don’t hesitate to send an encouraging message to anyone – anytime!
Health and well-being is key
If things are messy, too much, or you’re not coping with pain, discomfort, or stress, it’s important you deal with it as soon as possible. Never be afraid to ask for help. If you need professional assistance in creating a more ergonomic and pain-free work environment – contact your local Physio Perth and book a consultation today.