Working Safely at Home
At home, you're responsible for creating your own working environment, often in a space quite unlike an office. You also need to make sure that you stay mentally and physically healthy.
Designing Your Work Space
Creating an effective work space is essential if you want to stay on track and get things done. Have all the equipment you need to hand, and ensure that you've got enough room to work comfortably.
Make it a place where you'll enjoy spending time. However, you also need to be clear – to yourself and to your household – that, at certain hours of the day, it's a place of work. A few "office" touches might encourage you to be more productive, but you can still personalize your workspace, with fun posters or family photos.
A high-quality office chair is one of the best investments you can make. But if it's not one that you have the space or funds for, be sure that you can sit comfortably. If not, you'll likely find plenty of excuses to get up and go somewhere else!
If you share your home, be assertive and shut out people and pets as far as you can when you're working. At the very least, arrange your work area so that distractions aren't in your line of view – including your partner, if they're also working from home!
Pick your spot with light, air and noise in mind, too. Have enough light to see your keyboard clearly, but avoid reflected screen glare. Open a window if you can for fresh air. However, if your neighborhood is noisy, consider using headphones, while accessing online noise-canceling sites, such as mynoise . net.
Keeping to Healthy Routines
Working from home can present new challenges to your physical and mental well-being. So establish good routines to ensure that you don't lapse into unhealthy behavior.
Without the time spent commuting, it may be tempting to start earlier and finish later. This can make you more tired than usual, so make sure that you keep to regular times for starting and ending work.
Always ensure that you get enough sleep, and that you eat at regular times. Snacking can leave you feeling hungry at the wrong times, and irritable as a result. It's also not a healthy way to eat.
Regular short breaks can keep you energized and focused, and will also rest your eyes from continuous screen time. Try setting a countdown timer while you do, say, an hour of work. When the alarm goes off, reward yourself with a five- or 10-minute break to make a coffee, or get some fresh air. Remember, the idea is to take a screen break, so no swapping one screen for another by immediately picking up your phone!
Motivation When Working From Home
Without people around you it can be difficult to feel motivated and valued. There's no scope for high fives or impromptu shout-outs for a job well done. In these circumstances, using self-motivation techniques can boost your confidence, promote positive thinking, and keep you powering on.
Don't be invisible! Instead, be bold in offering ideas and suggestions in virtual meetings or in discussions with your manager about working from home. But remember to ask for help when you need it, too. Your manager will be less able to see if you're struggling, so let them know earlier rather than later.
People need to know that their successes are noticed, particularly when they're physically isolated. Otherwise, it's all too easy to fall into feelings of self-doubt and even Impostor Syndrome , where you fear being "found out" for supposed incompetence.
Remember to celebrate success on a team and personal level. You can do this when you get together online for team catch-ups. And if the success is significant for the team or the organization, broadcast it using positive narratives .
When a co-worker helps you out (pointing you to the right document, for example, or helping you to master a new app), acknowledge that openly. Even very small acts of thanks can help to bolster the self-esteem of others.