Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, many of us have modified our work environments and moved our office into our home spaces. This can potentially pose mental and physical challenges as our time of isolation, distancing and quarantine continues.
For those who were once in collaborative offices, the isolation of working from home can be difficult to adjust to. We all have unique situations that come with different challenges to navigate. If working from home is new to you, you may be struggling with how to define work and home-life boundaries, or perhaps the overall stress with the COVID-19 global event is weighing on you.
These are all understandable responses to an unprecedented time. FYidoctors wants to provide you with five tips that could be helpful as you manage the uncertainties that come with working from home.
5 Tips for Working From Home:
If your home allows for it, create an entirely different space for work versus personal time. This is important because it allows you to set boundaries between home-life and business. A different space will help you concentrate and will also cue your mind and body to relax in personal spaces when the workday is done.
A work set-up might simply be comprised of a desk in a quiet area away from distractions. Try to make it as comfortable as possible—use a chair that will support your back and a desk that is appropriately level with your line of sight.
Consider developing a work routine. Think back to when you did go into the office. You likely had a routine you followed every morning. Maybe you visited your favourite coffee shop or went to the gym, then got dressed in your work attire. Create new routines at home. Make yourself a drip coffee, try home fitness sessions before the work day, and you can even put on your work clothes if you think it would help you get in the right frame of mind!
Everyone’s situation is different—set up a routine that works for you. If children or other family members need your attention, try setting boundaries with your family to increase your productivity in both work and personal life. This could mean taking turns doing chores, allocating silent times throughout the day or coordinating family-wide breaks.
Now more than ever, you may be tempted to stay glued to your screens all day. Virtual connectivity is how we stay close to the people in our lives, for work and leisure. At home, you have fewer opportunities to interact outside screen time than working in an office, where you likely had regular face to face meetings with your colleagues.
Prolonged periods of computer work increase your exposure to blue light, a naturally occurring wavelength of light that is generally known to produce wakefulness. If exposed for longer periods however, blue light can be disruptive and potentially cause eye strain. FYidoctors recommends taking regular breaks from your screens throughout the day to give your eyes much needed rest. Consider turning off interior lighting, to reduce the amount of bright light on your eyes. For more tips on reducing eye strain visit our computer eye strain prevention blog.
While on your break consider using the time to meditate and take care of your mental health. Apps like Calm or Insight Timer can help you relieve anxiety and provide tools to cope with periods of stress. You could also go for a walk, read a book, organize your home space, or phone friends who may also be socially distanced.
Working remotely is isolating. You may be accustomed to bouncing ideas off colleagues or collaborating on projects with you team. With an abundance of technology around us, these interactions can still occur virtually. Tools like Facetime, Zoom and Microsoft Teams allow for group video chats. There are also video chat options through social applications like Facebook messenger and WhatsApp.
It is very important to continue to reach out to others. This is a stressful and isolating time for many people but hearing familiar voices and keeping up a routine of connecting will be beneficial for your mental health in the long run. To limit screen time, you can always opt for a phone call instead of video chat.
Sitting in one spot for 8 hours a day isn’t doing you any favours— in any workspace! While taking a break from your screens, why not take five minutes to stretch? Common problem areas are the neck and back for individuals who are at work in front of the computer all day. Relieve potential pain by engaging in stretches or yoga poses that target specific areas of discomfort. Invest in a foam roller to ease out the particularly tight muscles.
Tools like Class Pass offer online workouts you can do from home. Many gyms and trainers are also providing IGTV workouts you can participate in remotely.
When the workday is done, enjoy your personal time. It may be difficult to detach from work if you have a stressful job. Taking a moment to spend quality time with family members or participating in a hobby that is pleasurable to you will allow you to recharge and give renewed focus to your next workday.
Working from home can be an adjustment for many who don’t have experience with it. Living socially distanced from others is unusual and difficult but it’s the new normal we all must adapt to. While there are unique challenges for everyone, we hope these tips will be useful as you create your workspace within your home.
For more information on how you can be mindful of your vision and overall wellness, read about The Link Between Eye Health and Overall Wellness.
You can also discover more helpful resources on our health and wellness blog page.