First introduced as an emergency measure during the pandemic, teleworking has become the new normal. A number of companies have discovered its beneficial effects on their staff, productivity, and the environment, and now continue to offer it full-time or a few days a week. Here are some tips to make working from home healthier and more efficient!
- Take care of your eyes
Screens are an intrinsic part of teleworking. Make sure to take regular breaks to protect your eyes and avoid visual fatigue at the end of the day.
- The Canadian Association of Optometrists proposes the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet (6 metres) away.
- Position your monitor at eye level.
- If you need glasses, wear them. There are also prescription-less glasses that protect against blue light emitted by screens.
- Make sure your home office has the right equipment
At home, you’re the head of ergonomics! Get the equipment you need to work comfortably:
- An ergonomic chair. Ideally, its height, seat, and armrests should all be adjustable. Don’t hesitate to test them out at the store!
- A desk with adjustable height. This non-essential, yet convenient type of desk allows you to work either standing or sitting to vary the support muscles used.
- High-performance computer equipment. If you have time to fold a load of laundry before your computer is done turning on, consider upgrading your equipment.
- A good Internet connection. The speed required varies based on your needs, the nature of your work, and the number of people using the network at home at the same time. Check out our tips for choosing the right Internet speed.
- Maintain an active lifestyle
While working from home, some physical activities may have fallen by the wayside, like going on walks at lunchtime or going to the gym on the way back from work.
- Find a sport you love and make it part of your schedule. Why not use of the travel time you’ve cut down on to do something you enjoy?
- Exercise at home. There’s been a boom in online exercise programs during the pandemic. If you have a gym membership, find out more about their remote services.
- Get a walking pad. You can place it under your desk so you can walk while working. It’s a well-known fact that oxygenation helps fuel creativity!
- Mark off your workspace
Reserve a space as your “office” at home, even if it’s not an enclosed room. Avoid working at your kitchen table or in the living room as much as possible, as these areas should be for relaxation only (plus, they’re not very ergonomic!).
- Manage your schedule well
Stick to a fixed work schedule (start and end your day at the same times).
- Take breaks and make sure to change rooms when doing so, get some fresh air, or play with your pet (who is always looking forward to this moment!).
- When your day is over, stop for real. You could even switch off your devices to avoid checking your emails.
- Maintain relationships with colleagues
We all miss those happy hours and impromptu hallway chats.
- Schedule virtual group coffee breaks.
- Organize an online or in-person happy hour event.
- Connect to a social room. This is a virtual ongoing meeting where colleagues can engage with each other on a more personal level. Join the meeting when you’re ready to unwind for a few minutes!
- Stop by the office once in a while
Going back to the office can top up your motivation, while allowing you to reconnect with some colleagues you may be less familiar with online.
- Ask for help when needed
If isolation is taking a toll on your morale, take the time to consult a healthcare professional. Toll-free hotlines are available across Canada. You can also use the resources available through your organization’s employee assistance program.
Let’s make the best of this
Work life has changed a great deal, and that’s a reality we all have to deal with. By adopting good habits, you can maintain your drive and motivation as you pursue your career. Take care of yourself!