How to survive and thrive while working from home

6 April 2020

For many of us still lucky enough to be employed and working in an industry that can continue to operate, albeit in an unusual COVID-19 environment, working from home is something that we all need to get used to.

Working from home, is not ideal for some of us. It really tests our level of concentration, self-discipline and for some, a tendency to work additional hours.

Here are six tips to ensure you get the most out of your work day while trying to maintain your health:

1. Keep your existing morning routine

This is all about starting your day off positively. If you roll out of bed and straight onto your first zoom/teams meeting, chances are your day will follow that trend. If you normally start your day with a coffee and walk or reading the paper and some toast, then its best to keep that routine so you start the day off on the right foot.

2. Ergonomics, ergonomics, ergonomics

Most of us will be working from an improvised environment or at least a home office that is not as well set up as our office. It’s important to build your permanent workspace and to keep this (where possible) only as a workspace. Try and avoid working on the couch for the sake of your back. Once established do some basic ergonomics checks such as; having your ears, shoulders and hips aligned, having your keyboard the same height as your elbows and your monitor the same height as your eyes.

3. Get up and move

Sitting behind your desk all day is not good for your health. Working from home is no different to working in your office in this regard. It’s best to stand or walk around every hour. Try and sync this with your coffee/tea breaks or a call that doesn’t require you to be in front of your computer.

4. Avoid work creep

It can be easy to let work take over and forget to take breaks. Often people work through lunch without even noticing. Plan some breaks just to grab a drink and stretch the legs. I’m guilty of keeping my computer turned on or staying logged on after I have finished my day. I then find myself back at my desk working on a task fatigued, when in fact the next day I could complete this task in half the time. (Caveat – this can’t always be done where you have urgent and important tasks)

5. Technology

Some entities might have found that COVID-19 is responsible for them adopting time and money saving technologies much faster. Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand for example have brought forward their plans to issue exams online from 2022. So, adopt the technologies that are at your fingertips, review that live document, scan using an app and schedule those virtual drinks.

6. Connect beyond work

For those who are getting most of their human contact from colleagues at the moment, it is important to stay connected with family and friends. As always, it’s important to find a work/life balance.

Findex has developed a Government Stimulus Health Check and free Business Wellbeing Toolkit to help businesses manage potential risks and take full advantage of eligible stimulus assistance. Book your Health Check here.