Work from Home Tips
Do’s and Do Not’s of Working from Home
Navigating the challenges of working from home? You’re not alone! Despite the pandemic nudging us into this situation, there are ways to make it better. Check out the work from home tips below, and by following the Do’s and Don’ts, you’ll not only streamline your routine but also create a more positive and productive work-from-home experience.
- Work at a desk or table if possible.
- Why: Good posture will lead to increased productivity and energy
- Use some form of a monitor riser in order to get the middle of your screen close to eye level.
- Why: Looking down will strain the posterior neck muscles leading to fatigue and tension.
- Use a wireless keyboard/separate keyboard, if possible, in order to keep your arms and shoulders from having to elevate in order to type.
- Why: Elevated shoulders will lead to increased tension in the upper traps, and lead to discomfort and even headaches.
- Sit near a window to utilize natural light.
- Why: A recent study at Cornell showed workers exposed to natural light experienced an 84 percent drop in issues such as headaches, eyestrain, and blurred vision.
- Keep a full glass of water nearby to sip consistently throughout the day.
- Why: dehydration impacts things like mood, concentration, working memory, and energy.
- Take frequent breaks to either exercise or love on your fur babies.
- Why: Breaks increase productivity and creativity. Working for long stretches without breaks leads to stress and exhaustion. Taking breaks refreshes the mind, replenishes your mental resources, and helps you become more creative. “Aha moments” came more often to those who took breaks, according to research. Other evidence suggests also that taking regular breaks raises workers’ level of engagement which, in turn, is highly correlated with productivity.
- Listen to instrumental music.
- Why: Music can have a dopaminergic effect on the brain, meaning it creates dopamine. The more dopamine produced would result in a more effective prefrontal cortex and the ability to be more productive…be careful though because music with lyrics can hinder productivity.
- Create boundaries for your family or loved ones.
- Why: You are working from home, and you have a job to get done. Make sure your loved ones understand that, and respect that.
- Work on the couch.
- Why: Slouched posture will hinder productivity and lead to pain.
- Have the TV on while working
- Why: Unless you are someone that is capable of putting on something that is not entertaining, having a TV on is inevitably going to pull you away from the task(s) you’re trying to accomplish, thus hindering productivity. You will also be more likely to position yourself in a room that isn’t conducive to working, in order to be closer to the TV. Think: living room floor, couch, bed, etc.
- Work in a dark space/room.
- Why: Working in a poorly lit room will lead to increased eye strain and fatigue and potentially headaches and blurred vision.
- Work from your bed.
- Why: Research has shown that when individuals work from their bed, it weakens the subconscious association between work and bedtime, and thus quality of sleep is negatively affected)
- Let social media distract you.
- Why: Social media often ruins your focus, chips away at your attention span, and leads to increased procrastination.
- Stay inside all day.
- Why: When you travel to your job, you tend to get fresh air to and from the car, on your lunch break, or when you run the occasional errand. When working from home, make sure to take breaks periodically and step outside. Fresh air and vitamin D from the sun have been directly correlated with reduced rates of depression.
Lastly, if you find yourself working in the same workspace as your spouse or significant other, try to be patient and understanding with one another. Refer to your pet(s) as upper level management. If you have a complaint, blame it on an imaginary co-worker, and take said complaint to upper level management. They’ll be sure to handle it promptly.
Stay safe, and healthy!
by Matthew Mundorf, DC, CF-L1