Improve your WFH setup

Improve your WFH setup

The UK Government is encouraging those who can to work from home. While working from home can have its advantages - no commute, greater productivity and greater flexibility to name but a few perks, it can also take a toll on our physical and mental health. 

However, with a few simple adjustments, you can make your home working environment more comfortable and productive. Here are our tips for making your space work for you:

TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY

Keep care of your posture

  • Working on a good, ergonomic chair at a desk is a great way to make sure you’re keeping care of your posture- but it relies on you having the space (and money) for them.  Assuring that your computer or laptop is at eye level is a great and easy way to help your posture. Laptop stands retail at around £15-25, but we’ve found that a few books can be a handy substitute.

Reduce eye strain

  • Constantly staring at a screen can really put strain on your eyes. Try keeping your screen as far away as practical, taking regular breaks, and, if you find your eyes are getting dry, use eye drops. We’ve also found that printing documents can help- but remember to recycle your paper once you’re done with the docs!

Keep moving

  • With many of our necessities at arms reach, and no commute, many of us working from home will find our daily steps only hitting 3 figures (reminder: you’re recommended to hit 10,000 a day).  Your body will thank you for some quick exercise: whether that be stretching, a small walk or a 10 minute home-workout. It’ll boost your endorphins- and your productivity, in turn. 

Remember your wrists!

  • When we think of our physical health, it’s easy to overlook our wrists. However- neglect them, and there could be consequences: constant use of computers can result in wrist pain, repetitive strain industry and carpal tunnel syndrome in the long-term. Ergonomic keyboards are good- if you have the space and money. An affordable, effective and comfortable alternative is Uppo.

SET THE WORK MOOD

Dedicate a space

  • If you don’t have the space for a home office, there are still ways you can make your space work for you. Dedicating a small space of your home- like a seat at your dining table- can really help you compartmentalise your work life into a small area, reducing the chance of your home life spilling into your work life, or vice versa. 

Get dressed

  • While going trouserless seemed to be a lockdown WFH phenomenon, knocking about in your cosies isn’t great for productivity. Wear something that makes you feel like you’re at work- you don’t need to wear a suit, but even a pair of jeans can help you feel like you’re at work, opposed to home. 

Mute notifications

  • Social media, by design, is very easy to get sucked into. Muting notifications is a handy way to make sure that you don’t find yourself on Twitter, unable to leave…

AVOID BURNOUT

Create boundaries

  • The physical separation of the office and home often creates the much needed separation between work and home life. Producing a workspace in the home, working within clearly defined worktimes, and shutting down your work programmes at the end of the day can all help with the work/life balance. 

Take breaks!

  • It seems counter-productive, but breaks really help keep your mind refreshed. You can even embrace being at home and pop the washing on- or just have a cup of tea. Make sure to also take full advantage of your lunch break- don’t reply to messages and turn your laptop off, and enjoy an hour just to yourself. 

Eat well

  • Enjoy having a full kitchen at your disposal and enjoy a good lunch and healthy snacks. It’s well worth planning out what you’re having in advance, so you don’t find yourself mindlessly raiding your fridge at lunch. 

Balance your Zoom usage

  • Remote working is now dominated by Zoom, but its important to keep it balanced. While Zoom can help us feel more connected to our colleagues, its important not to over do it: having eyes on us all the time is stressful, while individuals taking up our full screens can make it feel like we’re uncomfortably and unusually close to our colleagues. Make sure you’re only using Zoom when it is essential, and keep the meetings to an agenda to stop Zoom burnout.