With some of us working from home a few days and another few days in the office it is essential that we keep everything in good order so we can work productively.
1.Do NOT skip lunch or desk breaks as working without breaks is not productive. Never feel guilty about having a break we all need them. Maybe set the alarm on your phone everyday specifically for your breaks and lunch. Getting outside for half an hour during your lunch would be a great way to get essential Vitamin D rays.
2. If you can set up your desk so you feel comfortable and are happy what you are looking at. A blank plain wall can be a bit boring. If you have a window and can put your desk under that then that is a bonus. I am lucky to have mine under a small window but nevertheless a window and with a view of the countryside. My room is small so I put mirror tiles on one wall which not only reflects the light but means I can see a different view of outside. They are inexpensive but work amazing. You could also put up a poster that you love if you cannot sit under a window and maybe use the mirror tiles like I did to reflect across the room.
3. If you are fortunate enough to have a study/room that you are using specifically as your home office, then keep it tidy like you would in an office and if your workstation is on a table in your house then make sure you put everything away at the end of the day. It will help clear your mind and know that this is still your home, where you can chill.
4. If you are feeling lonely you can book into a co-working space. Even if you are not interacting, sometimes it’s just nice to have people in the background so you do not feel isolated. Now Covid rules have eased a little you could sit in a cafe and do your work which can be very productive for some people who like the sound and people around them.
5. I call my office space my burrow as I work and play in here. I love crafts and can easily put all my blogging work away and become productive on something else, so I decided not to call it my office from the very beginning. Call your space whatever you think suitable and let your family and friends know what it is so that they do not interrupt you while working in your own space.
6. Getting in the fresh air as I mentioned before is essential for your health and if you always walked to work then why not leave at the time you used to leave and walk around the block before you start work. You could do the same at the end of the day. It will help keep your steps up and make you feel good.
7. Make sure you have at least two of everything like two headsets, two chargers etc as it can be nightmare if you only have one and the last time you used it was downstairs and find someone else using it in the house. It will also help if you are only working say one a day a week as your set will be handy to pop into your bag ready for a day in the office.
8. With back pain becoming a big issue now it is important that no matter how many days you are working away from home that you have the right sturdy backpack to put your laptop and other bits inside it. Using a good backpack will distribute the load evenly and hopefully prevent any back problems.
9. Make sure all your work is backed up before you go into the office. Maybe use a digital notebook instead of a physical book that way you will never loose it or leave it behind by accident.
10. Dress as if you were going into the office outside your home. There were so many articles in the papers about people wearing a shirt and tie with jogging bottoms. It is not something you would wear if you went into the office outside your home so why do it at home. Weekends are for leisure wear. If I don’t make the effort every day even if I am not moving from the house I feel less inclined to work as well.
11. If you are still not getting into the office but are missing your colleagues at work then have a Zoom catch up once a week at least. Maybe organise a quiz night.
12. Sitting in the right chair is important for your posture. There are several companies that sell specific office chairs with posture in mind but if you cannot afford one of those you can easily adapt one for yourself. I have a normal office chair on wheels with arms and I bought a sacroiliac cushion and lumber cushion and a chair cover, so they stay in place. I also always wear a support belt/top to keep my posture correct.
13. Another important thing to remember whether working from home or in the office is the height of your laptop and ergonomic adaptions. I wrote an article on my Back Pain Blog all about these. It is well worth taking a few minutes to read about them.