As we get accustomed to working from home, it’s important that people take time out to consider how they look after ourselves in these worrying times. If you are an experienced home worker, these tips may come as second nature. As a newcomer to home working, they may not be so obvious.
Tip 1: Make sure you are comfortable
Picking a comfortable chair is really important. Make sure your seating properly supports your back and posture. If you need to, adjust your position or swap chairs during the day. Ensure that your chair doesn’t have armrests that prevent you from sitting close enough to your computer, and that your feet comfortably reach the floor.
“I have a great chair. It was expensive but it allows me to sit comfortable for up to 4 hours (although I try to move after 2 hours). I maintain my mental health with meditation, ration how much news I watch, and engage in various hobbies (like patchwork and sewing).”
Gill, Sensée Services Adviser
Tip 2: Good lighting is key
If possible, set up your desk by a window so that you get lots of natural light and, if necessary, move around during the day if the light changes. Also, reduce eyestrain and squinting by making sure that light doesn’t cause a glare on your screen.
“Eliminate desk clutter, arrange screens at prime viewing angles, and have relevant equipment handy on hooks within easy reach. Preferably use 100 watt equivalent lightbulbs.”
Jacob, Sensée Services Adviser
Tip 3: Find yourself a dedicated workspace
Create a specific workspace for the day time, such as a dedicated table, a spare room or home office. Wherever it might be, that space will help separate your work and home life. It will also help you mentally switch off when you finish work. If you are taking calls, ensure that you are shut away from noisy disturb-ances – such as pets, kids and traffic. Make sure your whole home doesn’t become your workplace!
“Workspace is very important to me. It has to be clear of clutter and in the right place in the office. I move my desk to suit the seasons: Summer I sit facing the window, Winter I sit next to the radia-tor under the window.”
Ginny, Sensée Co-ordinator
Tip 4: Organise that workspace
An organised workspace can clearly boost productivity and focus. So avoid clutter wherever possible, and ensure cables, cords and wires are off the floor and away from common traffic areas. Most work-related injuries are as a result of not noticing obstacles on the floor; make sure that your space is as well-kept as the one in your usual office environment.
“Have plants in the office. I have a venus flytrap called Audrey. Taking care of her is part of my daily routine.”
Janet, Sensée Services Adviser
Tip 5: Schedule regular breaks
It’s important that you don’t get stuck in your seat all day. Go for a walk around the room. And try to get outside during your lunch break – even if it’s just to walk around the block and get some sunshine and fresh air (unless you are restricting social interaction and then your garden will suffice!) If it helps, set a timer, or use an app, to remind you to get up and stretch at least once every hour.
“During lunch and breaks I catch up on housework, eat meals and relax. I minimise screen time to give my eyes a rest.”
Jade, Sensée Services Adviser
Tip 6: Schedule regular exercise
Make sure you think about how to best exercise during the day. Some people will do the full Joe Wicks PE Workout, others wiggle their feet and toes, and others get outside for some fresh air and a walk.
“Get fruit and vegetables. Cut apples, oranges, carrots etc. into small pieces so that you can snack healthily during the day” 😄
Izabela, Sensée Services Adviser
Tip 7: Eat in your kitchen or dining room
Don’t snack endlessly when sat at your desk! Get into the habit of eating lunch and snacks in your kitchen or dining room. Set yourself fixed lunch and break times at home (as you would in the office) and remember to leave your workspace when taking breaks.
“Have set times to eat… don’t put your desk near the fridge or chocolate. I also make a packed lunch as if I was going to the office.”
Janet, Sensée Services Adviser
These home working tips were prepared by Mark Walton and Darron Burness.