If you’re new to homeworking, it can be both exciting and daunting. You may struggle to balance work with the distractions of home, or you may be unsure how to ask for help if you encounter any problems.
It might take you time to adjust to a new routine, but help is at hand. We’ve put together five steps to staying safe and healthy at home, while still being productive in your job.
One: Check your set-up
- Sit at a desk or table to do your work. If you use a laptop, don’t sit on the sofa as it encourages you to slump
- Make sure your screen is at the correct height and resolution. Use a monitor stand if necessary
- Check that you can change the height and position of your chair. The NHS advises that you should adjust your seat so you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor
- Ensure you have access to natural light or a good desk lamp
Two: Take a break
Without colleagues around to remind you to take a lunch break, you may find yourself sitting at your desk for longer than usual. It’s important that you make time for regular breaks, for example:
- Moving away from your screen for 5-10 minutes every 50-60 minutes
- Walking between rooms, or up and down the stairs if you’re able to
- Getting some fresh air, either in your garden or by taking a walk outside
If you’re still struggling to get away from your desk, try these short stretching routines for your back:
Step 1: Start with a straight spine before rolling forward gently, come back up and bring your arms above your head to stretch up straight.
Step 2: A chest stretch can also help keep your back moving. Hold stretches for around 20 seconds and never push beyond what is comfortable.
Four: Stay safe online
With more people working remotely, the shift to cloud-based tools can pose challenges for any organisation’s IT security team. So, even if you’re not in the office, you should continue to follow your employer’s guidelines to staying safe online.
- Don’t use unsecured public wi-fi networks, and make sure your home network is secure
- Keep your passwords to yourself; don’t write them down
- Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date
- Don’t click on links or download files from emails if they look suspicious
- Lock your machine if you step away for a break
- If in doubt, contact your IT team for help and advice
Five: Stay active outside working hours
If you’re working from home, it’s still important to maintain a healthy work-life balance once you’ve logged off for the day.
- Cooking: if you’re struggling to find ingredients for your usual recipes, take the opportunity to be a little creative
- Exercising: at home or outside alone, or with members of your household. Keeping active can help your physical and mental health, so make time to move if you can
- Watching your favourite TV show
- Keeping up with your hobbies: whether you enjoy crafting, learning a new language or musical instrument, drawing, gardening or upcycling, it’s important to focus on the things you enjoy
And finally, don’t forget to keep in touch with your colleagues and support one another while you’re away from the office.
Published on 14 April 2020