The shift from office-based work to working from home has been the biggest change to the global workforce over the last few years. For many, working from home was something they did on the rarest occasions – often when juggling work and personal lives. As a result, they wouldn’t need to think too much about their working from home habits.
Poor working habits over a long period of time have had a serious physical impact on remote workers. Here are some of the worst remote working habits and what you can do to avoid them.
Bad Work from Home Habits
If you’re working in an office, most of the worst WFH habits wouldn’t even occur to you, because offices are generally set up for proper working conditions. But there are still some learnings you can take to improve your working set up, wherever you may be.
Poor posture has such a negative effect on our bodies. If you get used to poor posture early on, this can have serious consequences in the long run. Not everyone can work in a dedicated home office, with a proper desk chair that’s been set up correctly. If possible, you should work at a desk or a table, and avoid balancing your laptop on your knees as you work from the sofa.
By working at a desk, there are extra measures you can take to reduce stress on your body. You should raise your laptop off the surface of your desk, so the top of the screen is at eye level. You are not then putting too much strain on your neck and shoulders by hunching over to see your screen.
Take a Stand
The human body was not designed for sitting in the same position for hours at a time. As a result, spending your working day not moving a great deal, you’ll likely notice a few more aches and pains. Working remotely means a lot of aren’t moving around as much as we used to. Whether that’s walking from the station to the office or walking over to someone’s desk, we’re missing out on the small opportunities to move around.
To counter this, try and get into the habit of moving around at various times in the day. Aim to stand up each hour and take the pressure off. Also think about using a wireless headset or headphones as you work. If you can stand up in some calls and meetings, you’ll alleviate a lot of pressure. And if you’ve got the space, have you considered a standing desk?
Spending your days looking at screens may not be doing great thing for your eyes. And these days we look at more screens than ever throughout the day – phones, tablets, laptops, TVs and more. So huddling around a small laptop screen all day may not be doing you a world of good.
If possible, you should use a monitor as your primary screen. Simply connect your laptop (normally via HDMI) and benefit from multiple screens for productivity. If you’re short on space, consider getting a portable monitor that you can put away at the end of the day. Bonus points if you raise it to being eye-level!
Find a Balance
One thing a lot of people like about working from home is the lack of commute. The amount of time and money saved not travelling to an office has been a great bonus during a difficult few years.
But many people are missing out on some of the health benefits that come with a commute – in particular if you used to walk at either end of the day. With the time you save not commuting, try and put some of it towards daily exercise. Think about what you’re missing from days working in the office, and try to replicate them at home.
Wearing shoes at home? But I don’t want to get mud on my carpets! Wearing a sensible, cushioned pair of shoes can take pressure off Achilles’ tendon, knees, and hips. You could reduce back pain and improve posture as well.
You wear shoes around the office, so why not try wearing some as you work from home?
Making a few small tweaks to the way you work at home can have serious benefits for you in the long run. Staff working from home? Make sure your systems are set up as they should be. Get in touch with ACUTEC and discuss your remote workforce today.