If you, like most Washingtonians, are forced to work from home during this coronavirus pandemic, there are some key things you need to be considering with your workstation set-up. For most people who rely on a computer to do their job, you spend a lot of time sitting and typing away at a keyboard. It is important to be protecting your back while working from home. The office supplies many workers with ergonomic chairs and keyboards, stand-up and sit-down desks, and other ergonomic equipment that are geared towards lessening the impact of “sitting and typing” all day long on your body. But what about the workstation at your home? Are you possibly compromising your physical health by forcing your body into stagnant positions for hours on end while hunched over on the couch, or slouched over the dining room table with your laptop? Maybe you’ve already noticed that your body hurts when working from home. This blog is aimed at giving you some guidance when looking at your workstation and hopefully some motivation to change how you are working, so that not only can you continue to be productive from home, but physically healthy as well.
Creating Your Desk
Some easy things to consider and eliminate right out the gates are “where” and “how” you are working? Is your workstation conducive to good posture or are you working from the couch, bed, or some place else that will put you in compromised postures? Finding the right place to work is essential and I assure you there are some places that are better than others right in your own home. Clearing the dining room table and putting your workstation there is the answer for some, but also if you have a high counter top or kitchen bar/island that will allow you to work while standing is another great option. You don’t have to have a desk or office in your house to work safely. Consider working from different places, that allows you the freedom to work while standing or sitting, depending on how you are feeling. Some larger online retailers offer cheap solutions that provide a sit and stand options in one platform that move up and down with a squeeze of a lever and you can adjust to whatever height works best for you. If you’ve been in our office, you’ve probably seen these platforms being used.
Keeping Things The Same
For some, the monotony of long hours at home on the computer is the harshest impact to their body. Without the “9 to 5” schedule at the office, employers are telling many workers to work on their own timeline, as long as the job gets done. This flexibility and freedom of their workday, without the lunch breaks, and time to “go home” have many people working longer than usual, or at odd hours. Trying to maintain some familiarity to your day is crucial. If you woke up at 6am every day to go to work by 8am or if you were “off the clock” by 4 or 5pm every day, then try to continue those patterns of work hours through this period. Not only will this keep you mentally and physically aligned with your previous habits, but it will lessen the impact when this is all over and you must go back to the office setting.
Keeping Your Focus
Another key factor to consider is distractions….look squirrel! In an office setting, you don’t have the same distractions as you do at home. With children out of school, the television within sight, the “honey-do lists” hanging off the refrigerator, all too often your focus can wander. That means playing catch up later or not being as productive as is expected of you. Be careful what you surround yourself with. If you have an office at your home, then work from there or find a space that is quiet and isolated from as many distractions as possible. Incentivize your children to let you work in peace, and schedule “play breaks” during your workdays so that you can connect with them. Use regular breaks during your work schedule to your advantage. Make the most of those breaks so that it allows you the ability to work distraction-free. Your stress levels will be much lower when you’re not constantly worrying about missing deadlines or having to weigh whether re-organizing the closet or playing with your kids takes precedent over the work you must accomplish in any given day.
Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Hope some of these easy tips gives insight in how to arrange your work space to be more productive, less stressful mentally and physically, and allow you to enjoy working from home more. When the dust settles after this COVID-19 pandemic, what will the workplace or workday look like? Given productivity and job expectations are being met, and for those who don’t necessarily have to be in an office setting, is the option to work remotely or from home going to stay? Is this pandemic the first of many in our collective futures, where working from home will be the new normal? Many questions, and little answer unfortunately, but one thing remains; Make the most out of your time at home and help lessen the impact to your body and mind. If you are already feeling stressed out physically or mentally, give our office a call and let us help you through these transitions.
Want to know more about what we can do for you? Check out services offered at Moore Chiropractic!