It’s unlikely that collectively we will return to an environment of working five days a week in an office. Although flexible work arrangements have become the norm, adjusting to the lifestyle of working and doing life under the same roof can take some adjustments. Here are our top 5 tips to sustain the pressure of COVID and work well from home.
1. Get the home office ergonomics right
If you are working from home behind a desk for several hours at a time, you don’t have to experience neck and back pain or sore wrists if you prioritise your home office ergonomics. The transition to working in a designated space in your home can be made easier if you set up a workspace that helps you feel and work at your best.
The aim is to have a workstation that ensures that your ankles, knees, hips and elbows are all at a 90 degree angle. When your joints are misaligned your muscles overcompensate, which often leads to pain and injury.
Your computer should be placed in front of you where the top of the screen is at eye level or just below so that there is no need to arch your neck or lower your chin while looking at the screen. Buying an adjustable desk chair that supports your spinal curves is worth the investment. Also placing your mouse within easy reach and on the same surface as your keyboard can help reduce the likelihood of developing repetitive strain injury.
2. Scheduling time to exercise/ go to local gym
Concentrating while working at home for long stretches of time can be difficult if you’ve not scheduled breaks for walking the dog, taking a run or going to the gym. If you have young children who are also studying from home, don’t overlook the need to self-care and find ways to stay fit and active.
Getting the heart rate up is important to manage stress and balance the amount of time that COVID has now got us stuck indoors as lockdown measures are taken.
Try using a gym that offers online zoom classes or take runs early in the morning. Find ways to locate child care that is local so you can have a break and not feel overwhelmed by working, homeschooling and doing COVID life. Ensuring you get cardiovascular exercise in order to develop the capacity to fight the virus.
3. Recognising when and how you work best
With the daily commute out of the way, you can better schedule work hours for when you are most productive so you can assign that time to the most difficult tasks.
At the beginning of the pandemic, productivity improved. But as the pandemic lingers, the efficiency of workers is dwindling.
It’s important to use some management system where you can prioritize your daily work tasks. There are various management platforms that can help with workflow. Especially if you are a freelancer or run a small business, you need to ensure that you sort out with your team what online communication apps work best so you can deliver for your clients and customer base.
4. Social Interaction
Lockdowns have brought a level of disconnection in our work lives as we know longer regularly spend time with our colleagues in offices or in coworking environments.
A recent Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry found that 20% of those surveyed found lack of socialisation a challenge when adopting working from home arrangements.
It’s important to find new ways to socialise to reconnect with your team. If you are a manager of a team or a small business owner, introducing virtual team building activities to help employees feel less isolated and less emotionally remote.
Remote.com found that 87% of remote workers feel more connected through the use of video conferencing.
From online art classes, to pictionary, there are a number of ways you can replace the Friday night drinks to icebreaker activities to reconnect your team. As most employees want flexible working arrangements, introducing online social strategies will improve employee engagement and loyalty.
5. Minimise the Noise
Distraction is the number one adversary to productivity. When you are working from home, you can get into unhealthy routines and easily waste time trawling through social media or news sites. One way is to be able to step away from the screen and ask whether you need these online services or whether it is more a convenience.
Working from home can also make it difficult to clearly delineate work from social time.
It doesn’t hurt to reduce social media and decide to go old school and connect with people face to face outside of work hours. Similarly, reading a paper in the morning at a cafe or purchasing one may be a better option to digest the daily news.
Distraction can also come from managing emails or Whatsapp messages. Learning to prioritise online communications into the Urgent Important Matrix can reduce the immediate noise and give you space to get into an undisrupted workflow.