Now that many of us are working from home, there are a number of challenges we face when it comes to staying productive during working hours. One of the major factors is having a less-than-healthy workplace. Cultivating a healthy working environment leads to you being happier and more productive when working, something that’s needed more than ever as we work against the backdrop of a global pandemic and everything that entails.
These are trying times for most of us, so to help, we’ve put together a list of some easy ways you can make your work from home environment as healthy and pleasant for you as possible.
Make Sure You Have The Right Self-Care In Place
If you think about your deserted office desk, you might have had all sorts of little bits and bobs hidden away in your drawer for regular use or for more rare emergencies. Whether it was your favourite pair of Italian fashion work glasses, plasters in case of blisters or a nasty paper cut, daily vitamins, headache tablets or a pack of tissues, or something fun to distract you when you need a break, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re all covered on the necessities front so that you can work to your best ability in comfort. You can do the same at home, keeping everything you need at arm’s reach. Hopefully you have collected your work glasses and other important items from the office, and you can now create yourself an essentials kit that is dedicated to keeping you well and comfortable when working.
Stand And Sit
Studies show that it isn’t very healthy to sit for extended periods of time and prolonged sitting can actually raise our risk for a large number of health problems, both physical and mental. This is why many companies are now choosing to supply their staff with a stand-up/sit down desk. Of course, this may not be possible for you at home, but if it is, you might consider investing in a desk raiser so that you can alternate standing with sitting at your desk instead of sitting for long hours. You’ll keep your muscles active throughout the day and help to minimise things like back or neck problems.
Create Yourself A Comfortable Space
Just like you would at the office, you need to have an area that is dedicated to working. Working from here, there and everywhere can create confusion and stress and make your home feel like a disorganised mess. When working from your bed, for example, it can be hard to get your mind in the right frame of mind for work and this habit can even negatively affect your sleep. Even if you have to set yourself up on the dining table, it’s better to stay in the same place each day where you can create a working atmosphere. You should then try to make sure this space is kept clean, tidy and inviting. Incorporating simple habits into your routine like dusting regularly, cleaning your keyboard, tidying those papers and keeping the clutter to a minimum can really work wonders.
Add Some Greenery
Using plants is a wonderful way to create a healthier and happier environment to work in. Plants can help to improve air quality and create a more positive space and are ideal when working from home. Just looking at greenery can be very calming, so if you’re feeling the stress of working from home, a new plant friend could be just what you need. Stick to leafy green plants instead of anything prickly for therapeutic effects. You should also be mindful not to add too many as you might not want the stress of having to look after them and having them die on you if your space doesn’t match the required conditions for that particular species of plant. One on your desk and a larger one in your working space is a good place to start. If your window overlooks a garden or trees, keeping the blinds open is a free way to benefit from this too.
Having poor quality air in your working environment can cause irritation to your eyes, allergies, headaches and can lead to stress or loss of concentration. Although your home is probably the most comfortable place for you, the air inside is often polluted due to things like dust, VOCs, damp and poor ventilation. Think about adding in an air purifier with a HEPA filter to make sure you are working in a healthy and clean environment. You may also want to think about working somewhere near a window so you can open it for fresh air as and when you need it. However, you might need to be aware of your company policies, as many workplaces ask you to be away from windows so if there are people passing by they can’t see the work you are doing.
While working from home might not be 100% optimal for all of us, the important thing is that you keep motivated to keep improving it and find what works for you. Hopefully these tips will help you to do the work you need to, while keeping as healthy and sane as you can.