Working from home
Updated: Sep 6
Many people are now finding themselves working from home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and changes to how workplaces are run. For many this is the first time you are working from the "luxury" of your home. There is no commute, no travel delays, however there are other challenges you face when you work from home. Workplace changes could be short term, but they could be around for a while. The best thing you can do for your mind and your body is be prepared. There are many things you can do to improve your environment and your routine to help you stay happy, healthy and productive.
Start your day as if you were going to work, get out of your pyjamas. It is important that you have the mindset that you are at work. This helps you prepare and leaves you less likely to grab your laptop and work from the couch or bed. Getting dressed out of your pyjamas gives you a start time, and also encourages you to leave the house and get fresh air. Also, at the end of the day changing into more comfortable clothes can help you switch off. Set a schedule and stick to it.
CREATE A WORKPLACE
Having a dedicated workspace at home is really important. It has long been part of our psyche that we need to be well set up with screen and chair height in the workplace. This needs to extend to the home workplace. Whether you have a desk dedicated to work or you need to sit at the kitchen table, there are little adjustments you can make to help make your workplace set up more comfortable.
- Remember screen height – if you need to raise your laptop so that you are not looking down for hours you can raise it on a shoebox, or the ‘old-fashioned’ phonebook (if you still have one at home).
- A separate keyboard and mouse are important when you raise your screen height. You still need to be able to rest your forearms on the desk.
- Ensure you can have both feet firmly on the ground and utilise the back support of the chair.
The Movement Workshop Physiotherapy are now offering TeleHealth appointments via videolink where we are able to offer your individual advice on your home set up to ensure you remain fit, healthy and pain free.
Do not work from the couch or your bed as comfortable as that option may seem.
BREAK UP YOUR DAY
Set up a schedule where you get up for a tea break, lunch as you would normally. Working from home can be a really productive time as you have less distractions (unless the kids are home as well), so you can end up sitting for much longer periods without moving. Set an alarm to ensure you get up and move at regular intervals. Stand and stretch, get some water. Research has shown that short breaks through the day are more beneficial than less frequent, longer breaks.
Exercise is so important for your physical and mental health. Whilst you may not be performing your normal routine, there are many options to keep you on track. Unless you are in social isolation it is recommended that you get outside. Go for a walk, a run, a ride, whatever it is, get moving, get some fresh air and get out of your house. There are many options for strength, conditioning and rehabilitation within the home setting; often you do not even need equipment. We are able to help design a personalised program to get you started and progress through these changed times.
Working from home can be very isolating. Social interaction is so important, and for some more than others. Without being in an office or co-working environment, it is now even more important that you pick up the phone to speak with colleagues rather than only email. And isn't this a great chance to ring those friends you have been meaning to speak to.
We are all adjusting to the changes in our day to day lives and routines. Many things need to stay the same albeit modified. Keep your work routine whether you are at work or home, keep your exercise routine and keep communicating.
The Movement Workshop South Melbourne is here to support you throughout your work from home experience. Please reach out if there is anything that we can assist with.