What uncertain times we are currently living in! And it’s forced many businesses to shut down or enforce a work from home routine for it’s employees.
I wanted to write about workplaces, office environments in particular, that are allowing employees to work from home. You continue to work, you just don’t need to go into your office to do that. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right? No more travel into the office. You can work in you PJ’s. You’re probably saving money on lunches and snacks and travel money. You could probably even work from the comfort of your bed! Great! Or is it?
Realistically how long can you really do that without it affecting you negatively? Being able to work from your bed sounds great, but 8 hours hunched over your laptop for a 2 week period (if not longer) will leave you with a bad back and achy muscles. Which may then impact your sleep. Certain personality types thrive and need to be around other people. Your body feels rigid and you start to feel lonely.. maybe bored even. How do you feel about working from now? Knowing that you still have to do it for another week? Maybe even longer.
Whatever your personality type, if you work for a company that can allow you to work from home chances are you may experience long(ish) stints at home as the corona situation continues (if you’re not already doing so)
Here are my tips when working from home –
1. Make sure you have a good work station set up. Working from your bed may seem like a comfy and good idea but it’s not! Your back needs to be straight. You need to try to limit your ‘hunch down’ posture.
2. Don’t get stuck at your desk all day. As with when you are in the office, try to move around to stretch your body/legs.
3. You’re waking up each morning with nowhere to go because you’re working from home. Even if you don’t go to the gym on a regular day your walk to the station or walking around your office is at least exercise (even if it’s minimal!). But working from home allows for no exercise at all, unless you make the effort to it. Put time into your day to do some exercise from your home. Do some yoga to stretch your body. Whatever works for you. Just try to keep movement in your body.
4. If you have video conference abilities on your work laptop use it for meetings, the more human interaction you can have the better. Facial recognition, a smile from another person is better than just a voice over the phone or words on an email. Some people might not like that, especially if they’re in a busy house with kids in the background, but if you can make it work try to do it. You can even have a virtual coffee catch up with the team! Cheers!
5. When you work from home and save travel time, it’s very easy to end up working longer hours. Your body is conditioned to wake up at a certain hour and you may find that you continue to do that. This will give you extra time for things like breakfast but you might still find yourself able to log into your laptop earlier than you would have if you went to your work office. And likewise you’re able to stay on emails longer in the evenings because you don’t have the commute home. This may feel like it gives you the chance to get more work done but it’s also extra hours at your laptop screen. Make sure you take breaks and don’t over work simply because you can. Work from home fatigue is real!
6. Some people feel that they have to answer emails quickly when working from home, to ‘show’ that they are working. Try not to pressure yourself. It’s OK to have a wee break! It’s OK to make yourself a cup of tea. It’s OK to have lunch. And it’s OK to switch off in the evenings.
7. Are your kids off school? Make sure you tell your manager any at-home situations which may impact your ability to work from home.
8. One for the managers – know your people. Try to keep the team connected. Don’t expect everyone to be the same. Same work patterns. Same mentalities to the situation. Same as YOU. Understand the differences and respect them. As long as the work gets done, it doesn’t matter if one person took 1 tea break while another took 2. Don’t pile on pressure for the sake of it.
Not all work from home methods work for everyone. Different roles need to be evaluated differently. There’s individual differences. But it is important to take care of yourself and each other from a well-being perspective with an open mind.
If you have any extra tips leave it in the comments section below and don’t forget to follow me on my socials for more from me!