Working from home is something that a lot of people have become familiar with in recent times. Home offices are a must-have right now more than ever. The reality is that the progression from office to a remote worker was always going to happen – the global situation has simply sped things up.
After all, why suffer long commutes and a stifling environment, if the work can essentially be done from anywhere?
Although WFH has plenty of advantages, making sure your space is set up correctly to promote productivity and wellbeing is key. Here is an overview of the top 3 things you need to look out for.
Important Tips for Home Offices
Clear Separation Between Home vs Work
Even when working from home, everyone needs a clear distinction between where they work and where they live. It might sound obvious, but given a lot of people have been working at the dinner table during the pandemic, or even answering emails while in bed – sometimes the lines can get blurred. All of which can lead to burnout, poor sleeping habits, and a struggle to switch off in the evenings. This is why home offices must be productive.
Ideally, you should set up in a spare room or a corner of the home that is not used for eating or sleeping. If budget and space permits, an even better option is to build a home office. Such spaces are relatively easy to construct and will allow you to work undisturbed. Plus, once you close that door it’s back to your home life and vice versa. Home offices can be built for office workers, but also the likes of beauticians, therapists, tutors and anyone else who runs a business from home.
Comfortable Desk Setup
Are you sitting comfortably? If you are perched on a chair with books propping up your screen, the answer is probably not. Desks need to be set up in a way that is spine-friendly, and that includes avoiding that dreaded forward head position. Essentially, your neck is balancing a bowling ball, and the wrong posture caused by ‘text neck’ and of course, a poor desk setup can lead to nerve impingement and disk herniations. Chronic neck and back pain soon follow along with headaches.
If you have not already, invest in a good chair that factors in posture. Make sure the desk is the right height, and that you are not looking down to view your screen. It is very inexpensive to buy screen adjusters too, and even padding to avoid RSI from typing and clicking. Nipping any pains in the bud now will save you time, money, and pain from trying to fix any degenerative issues in the future.
A Connection With Nature
Did you know that pre-pandemic, we were already spending 90% of our time indoors? Some may have the luxury of being able to work outside to get some fresh air. But most of us will be working indoors with our computers. It is essential for our mental and physical health to establish a connection with nature. So our home offices must facilitate this.
Home offices may have sliding doors that can be opened. This allows for fresh air to purify the room. You can also try setting up your desk in an area that benefits from the most natural light. This will help keep your circadian rhythm in check, as you’ll rely on sunlight rather than artificial light. Simple steps such as adding plants to the room can also help too.
To Sum Up
For WFH to truly work, you need to recognize there is a difference between the needs of your computer and the needs of you as a human. A comfortable setup for home offices that is free from distraction and promotes good physical health is essential. As is retaining links with nature, and taking a break outside whenever you can. Getting the balance right might just allow us all to have the best of both worlds.