While lockdown laws are in flux, many of us in the UK are still choosing to keep working from home. In this guide, we have the best advice for making home working as successful as it can be – so that you can get your work done, while retaining a work-life balance.
Step 1: Create a routine (and stick to it!)
Routine is important when hours are shifted or feel unclear. Without a commute, it is very easy for this to fluctuate. It’s also easy to forget to take breaks or finish off your day at a certain time. Start with a routine. Map out what works for you, set yourself reminders, and stick to what works. It may take some experimenting, but a routine that suits your needs is invaluable. Find opportunities to creating quiet time in your day, to share care for children or pets if possible, and stagger work hours with your partner or family to help maximise focus.
Step 2: Create a dedicated space
A dedicated workspace is important not just for concentration, but also for your posture. Setting out a space that works for you, and doesn’t strain your back or neck while you remain seated, will make or much more comfortable home working. Your Chiropractor has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area and can make suggestions for your particular circumstances. Ensure that your screen is not too low (it should be eye-level). Use books to prop this up if needed. Also, if you are using a laptop, consider investing in a separate keyboard and mouse to improve the position and angle of your arms. Try to maintain good posture to take the pressure off your nervous system.
If it is just not possible to have a dedicated work area in your home, use a variety of positions. Don’t use the sofa if possible, but sit in different locations in your home, and stand (perhaps against a kitchen surface) if possible. Regular stretching and moving will help and take pressure off joints and nerves.
A dedicated space also means you can stand and walk away from it when your day is done. Boundaries are important!
Step 3: Take your breaks
In a normal workday at the office, you would naturally stand and move around, even if just for meetings, or make a cup of tea. At home, this can be easy to forget, as you don’t have colleagues to physically meet and chat with. Set yourself reminders on your phone. Regular breaks are important for your body, so set your timer to beep every hour to remind you.
A daily mindfulness or meditation session can be a great way to keep mental health intact, as you only need a few minutes to achieve a reset. Try to also get out of the house at least twice a day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Fresh air reduces stress, increases energy and alertness whilst also relaxing us. We also need Vit D for bone strength, mental health and many other things. Make time to get up and get some sunshine outside!
Step 4: Keep hydrated and eat healthy snacks
When you take your break, use it to grab a glass of water. We need around 2L of water per day. Also, snack on foods that will nourish your body like veggies, nuts, or fruit so you don’t end up overindulging in junk foods. Avoid the temptation to graze constantly if you can and choose items that are healthy in the first place to avoid picking processed or high-sugar snacks if you are feeling tired or stressed in the day.
With these steps, working from home can be a success. Maintain good health and benefit from a better work-life balance, and a happy body and mind.