Over the past several years, workplace environments have seen drastic change. From collaborative driven work-spaces to superior ergonomics, the offices and buildings we live in from 9-5 have morphed, and all for the betterment of our mental and physical well-being.
Enter 2020. By necessity, many of us shifted from stand-up desks in a stimulating environment to slumped couches or a wobbly impromptu desk. Some may be able to make the shift to WFH seamlessly, but for those of us still struggling, we have some tips to keep you healthy and your mind inspired!
Designated Workspace: Having a workspace separate from you living space can make a huge difference on your productivity and mindset. First, it will help others you live with know when you are ‘at work’ and can help to put you in the appropriate mind. Having a defined line between work life and home life when it is under the same roof is important for your mental well-being. Choosing the right space is vital too. Working in a space with good lighting, a window, and minimal noise/ distractions is a recipe for productivity. If you add in elements such as some plants and photos, that’s even better.
Set a Schedule: A crucial part to getting the most out of your day is to set a schedule. Having a clear start and end time to your day is just as important as separating your work life from home life. Having a schedule also helps to prioritize your work and complete tasks on time.
Let’s Talk Tech: Changing setups can be a shock to your workflow, that’s no secret. However, what you can do the combat that is to try to mirror the setup you had at work.
- Monitors: If you had dual monitors at your office, set up two at home. Working from a desktop with a monitor is key for good posture and it keeps you from getting too relaxed on your comfy couch with a laptop. If your monitor isn’t at eye level where it should be, consider purchasing a riser or getting creative with the use of books.
- Keyboard and Mouse: Adjusting your keyboard height is just like having your monitor at eye level, important for the most ergonomic set up. Your keyboard and mouse should be level with or slightly below your elbow. Be sure to always keep your shoulders relaxed and wrists straight to avoid any strain down the road.
Desks and Footrests: Not everyone is going to have access to a proper desk at home. You may find yourself using the kitchen table, or whatever looks like a doable workspace. Depending on the height, this has the chance to wreak havoc on your muscles and posture. The average height of a desk is 28 – 30 inches, so if you find yourself positioned at a higher surface, raise your chair to that sweet spot where your elbows are equal level to the table. Now that we have covered the desk, how about what’s underneath! Many don’t give a lot of thought to how your feet or dangling legs affect you. Your legs should be at a 90-degree angle while sitting. A footrest can help you get there. By having your legs at 90 degrees, it helps support your back by being properly pushed into your chair.
Seating and Posture: How your chair is set up directly affects your posture. Poor posture can have many negative effects, including headaches, poor circulation, jaw pain, moods and more. By having your lumbar support slightly below your belt-line, the back of your knees an inch or two from the edge of your seat, and sitting reclined a little, you will be set for a comfortable workday.
Stiff? You Need a Break: Making it a point to schedule in breaks keeps your mind fresh and energized. Take a walk outside, a quick bike ride, or just step away from your work to take 15 for yourself. These things give your mind the break it needs and can spark creativity. If you are feeling stiff, doing some exercises and stretches goes a long way. Since most of us left our standing desks at the office, switching your position now and again and doing some tasks standing are good ways to fend off those stiff joints and muscles.
Nutrition and Hydration: Even though we’ve all been told how important it is to drink enough water, it is easy to forget to drink your recommended 64oz per day when your routine has completely changed. Dehydration leads to fatigue and headaches which is not ideal for your workflow. Along with this, continuing to eat a scheduled lunch and healthy snacks throughout the day is important to stay focused and energized. Stay away from sugary foods and shift more towards lean proteins, whole grains, and fruits/veggies.
The way you structure your day and environment is important to your health. These tips will help you comfortably adjust to your new WFH environment. Your productivity will be high and your stress low. At the end of the day, don’t forget to ‘clock off’, your mind will thank you!
Have questions about your WFH tech or tips? Drop us a line at [email protected]