Create a dedicated workspace free from distraction. Providing you have a laptop and a wireless connection, your workspace can be as simple as a desk and chair. Adjust your back rest and raise your seat so your elbows are level with the desk. If you don’t have an adjustable chair, sit on a pillow.
Use an external keyboard and mouse if you have them. Raise the top of your screen to eye level (use books if you don’t have a stand) and place a plastic container underneath your feet so they are supported. If standing, don’t slouch, lean or twist to the side. If you find yourself standing on one foot, sit down.
Working from home requires flexibility, creativity and teamwork. Prepare for “home life” before starting work (put on the washing and set the kids up with activities). Plan your day and talk through your work schedule with other household members. Ensure your plan is realistic – if you have young children you may need to alternate between working and playing. Put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your office door. Switch off social media and resist “over-checking” email and phone messages, which will interrupt your concentration and reduce your efficiency. Plan an activity you enjoy for the end of your workday as a reward.
Create a healthy routine that works for your unique circumstances. Shower, dress in work clothes, go for a walk in place of your regular commute, and then start your work day. Stick to your normal meal breaks and knock off at your usual time. Without the ideal office set-up, regular movement is key. Alternate between postures and tasks every 20-30 minutes to avoid muscle fatigue. Sit at your desk or table for computer work and then walk around to make phone calls. Take a deep intentional breath to refocus and relax each time you change your posture.
Working from home can be challenging so go easy on yourself. Get to know your inner voice by paying attention to, and labelling your needs and feelings. Acknowledge that your feelings are impermanent. Stay connected and maintain a supportive network of colleagues or like-minded individuals through social media groups, virtual meet-ups or text-chat groups. Keep participating in healthy activities and hobbies that you enjoy and find relaxing. Find new ways to create meaning. Exercise regularly, keep regular sleep routines and eat healthy food.
For a 15-minute video conference with one of our occupational therapists contact us on 1300 51 70 70