Advice for Working at Home

During this period of self-isolation, many of you are using your home office. For some of you, this will be a completely new experience, one that can be challenging both physically and mentally. I want to provide you with some tips and tricks for working from home in a healthy, comfortable way.

Location, Location, Location!!!

Find a spot in your house that makes you feel productive and comfortable. Consider lighting, noise levels, and temperature. If you want an office with a view, now is your chance to create it in your own home. Clean up some of the clutter and surround yourself with things that make you happy. Small improvements will make a big difference.

Running a Tight Ship

For mental health and productivity, one of the best things you can do is stick to a schedule. Shower, eat breakfast, put on a new outfit (even clean pajamas will do), most importantly, start and stop work at the same time every day! This next tip will be hard to implement but try to decrease the number of distractions. If your kids are home, maybe one parent can take the morning shift, and the other can take the afternoon. Allowing each partner a set amount of time to concentrate on work. If all else fails, Disney + is $8.99/month. 🙂

Sitting Pretty

Working from home does not mean sitting on your couch with your laptop. If you want to do that, perfect, I will see you in a few weeks for a series of massages.

Here are a few suggestions for proper desk ergonomics:

  • Proper Seated Posture: Sit straight, with your shoulders back. Your low back should be flush to the lumbar support of your desk chair. Have your elbows supported and bent to 90 degrees, keeping your wrists straight. Make sure your hips are slightly higher than your knees with the knees directly over the ankles or just slightly behind your ankles. Remember to leave some space between the back of your knees and chair for circulation. Place feet flat on the floor or use a footrest.
  • Standing Posture: If possible, use a standing desk for part of the day. Wear proper supportive shoes. Use a footrest to move your weight from side to side.
  • Computer Hardware: Place screens an arm’s length away. The top of the monitor should be at eye level or below; angle the monitor back a few degrees. Your keyboard and mouse should be close together, with the keyboard in line with your elbows.
  • Laptop Users: If you must use a laptop, try placing the laptop on top of a few books to lift the screen to the proper height. Invest in a separate keyboard to allow for proper ergonomics.

Bust a Move

Dance, stretch, practise yoga, go for a walk. Whatever you decide to do, get up and move around a few times a day. Your body will thank you.

No, You Can’t Eat All of the Rations

Trust me; it is very easy to eat all day when you work from home. The fridge, it’s like, right there! Stick to three meals a day with a few snacks thrown in. Try to remember that this is not Christmas vacation.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

I have to acknowledge that this has been a stressful time for everyone. Even I have found myself having moments of panic and anxiety over lost wages. Daily I have to remind myself why we are all doing this. We are taking these steps to protect the vulnerable among us. It is a beautiful thing. So when you are sitting at your desk, with perfect posture, put one arm in the air, reach it around towards your shoulder and give yourself a big pat on the back.

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