Home Working Wellbeing
Its been 6 months since lockdown began and #stayhome seems to be here to stay (pardon the pun). Despite being encouraged to go back to the office since August, the government has now urged people to work from home where possible to control the spread of coronavirus.
Working from home has shown to have its benefits. People are spending more quality time together as a family and parents no longer feel that they are missing out on their children growing up. People are saving time and money having lost their daily hour-long commutes spent either crammed on an overcrowded train or battling traffic. For many, their general wellbeing has improved having lost the stress of the workplace and gained new hobbies like growing vegetables or simply enjoying the outdoors.
However, working from home also has its challenges. Without a good home working set up, both your physical and mental wellbeing can suffer. There are more distractions at home and a greater risk of you overworking resulting in a disproportionate work-life balance.
It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed at the prospect that your kitchen table is now where you earn your living, eat, and socialise. So as home working gurus, the team behind FOLDR wanted to share some advice to improve your home working wellbeing.
Correct your home working set up:
Sit back in your chair with your hips slightly higher than your knees and your feet firmly on the floor. For the correct screen position, extend one arm horizontally and you should be able to touch the centre of your screen with your fingertip. Your arms should be roughly at a right angle or pointy slightly downwards to your keyboard, if you are too low, try using a pillow to sit slightly higher on your chair.
Try to avoid large chiropractor bills:
Upper back pain is commonly caused by leaning forward in your chair or sitting on the edge. Try to use a folded pillow or small towel rolled up for additional back support, place it between your upper back and your chair. If you feel it falling, it means your leaning too far forward.
Slouching is the killer for lower back, foot and knee pain and it tends to occur after only 10-15 mins of sitting. Try to stand up every 30-40 mins to walk around for 5-10 minutes, moving round can help circulation and tightness. If your feet do not touch the ground when you are in your seat, gravity constantly pulls at your legs which can strain your back, knees, and feet. To support your legs and back better, place your feet on a footstool, which can be easily made from a pile of books or boxes.
Laptops are the main cause of an ergonomically incorrect workstation as people tend to bend their necks forward to see their screens, which are commonly smaller and sit lower than standard monitors. If you have neck and shoulder pain, try using a laptop stand or simply a pile of books to align the top of your laptop screen with your eye level and invest in either a wireless and or plug in keyboard and mouse.
Get into a routine:
Get up and get started. No matter how tempting, avoid working in your pyjamas all day.
Try a walk during what would be your morning commute, even if it is only for 10 minutes. Fresh air can wake you up and get you ready for the day. The mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive, and there is no reason that feeling should be lost when working from home. Take that time for yourself and listen to a podcast or some feel good tunes. The Greatest Showman soundtrack is a favourite of ours.
Designate a place to work that is as free of distractions as you can make it. Have a place you go specifically to work, that’s consistently your ‘workspace.’ It helps you get into the right frame of mind.
Take regular breaks and this includes a lunch break. Having a stressful day? Try going out for a run or walk before you eat. Only 20 minutes of aerobic exercise stops the production of cortisol, our stress hormone. So, get moving and allow your mind the time to calm before tackling the afternoon.
You’re working from home, not the moon. Interacting with other people during the day is allowed, even if they’re not your co-workers. Go out and grab a coffee, facetime a friend or give your grandma a call. Human interaction keeps you sane.
When you are done for the day, pack away your work things and leave your work area at the end of the day. No one wants to take their work to bed.