Before COVID-19, only 7% of Americans worked from home regularly. In May of 2020, more than 60% of employees worked remotely. If you’re working from home, it’s probably a new experience for you.
Because of this, you may be struggling to balance your workload with your new work dynamic. Read on for 5 common mistakes to avoid when working from home from the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc.
1. Working in your pajamas.
We’re not suggesting that being comfortable at work is a problem. But staying in your pajamas can make you feel more tired, more relaxed, and less engaged when you’re on the clock.
There’s a significant amount of value to our mental health when we shower, put on clean clothes, and prepare for the day. Don’t be tempted to skip these important routines in an effort to sleep in later.
You’ll feel better and more productive if you’re clean and dressed before clocking in.
2. Not taking breaks while working remotely.
When you’re working from home and your laptop is easily accessible, it can be easy to continue working or checking messages during your lunch break or after 5:00.
This is not recommended. First of all, it can be detrimental to your eyes to spend that much time looking at a screen without taking regular breaks. It can also start to take a toll on your body and lead to injury.
But it’s also detrimental to your work-life balance. Taking a full, committed break occasionally will help you be more productive when you’re actually on the clock.
3. Failing to figure out how to work around your children.
Without the regular resources for childcare available to working parents, balancing work and children can be especially difficult.
If you have young children that need supervision throughout the day while they are home consider setting pre-determined “shifts” with a partner so that you can take turns being in charge of the kids.
When it’s not your turn you can really plug into work and complete some of your most essential tasks. When you’re on duty with the kids, you can passively work on little projects that can be interrupted if necessary.
4. Not setting up a proper office or workstation.
When you’re working from home, there’s nothing preventing you from setting your computer on your lap while you sit in bed. And while that might not be a problem for a day or two, over a long period of time it will be terrible for your back.
Consider investing a little bit of your paycheck into some comfortable, ergonomic furniture if you don’t already have some. This will help you maintain your physical health. You should consider giving a call to your boss or human resources as well, they may cover the cost for you.
You’ll want a desk, ergonomic chair, laptop stand, keyboard, etc. Most people don’t have access to a dedicated room they can use for a home office, so just try to find a comfortable place in your home that’s relatively quiet. If you can set up near a window, that’s even better.
If your employer hasn’t already done so, get a Virtual Ergonomics Assessments to ensure that your remote workspace is setup perfectly.
5. Disconnecting with co-workers while working remotely.
When you’re not sitting down the hall from your fellow coworkers, it can be easy to discontinue socializing with them. But maintaining those relationships is an important part of your employment.
Consider setting up “lunch calls” where you join your co-workers occasionally for a zoom meeting over lunch where you talk about non-work related things and catch up on each other’s lives.
Invest in your remote workstation now, as you may be working remotely for a while.
Working from home isn’t a trend that will disappear with the pandemic.
It’s likely going to be a part of many tech-related jobs far beyond the coronavirus. Now is the time to invest in yourself and make your work-from-home experience productive and valuable.
If you’re ready to upgrade your home office, get started with a virtual ergonomics assessment here.
As always, consider getting an ergonomics assessment of your home office setup from an expert. Solutions Northwest Inc. are now offering affordable Virtual Ergonomics Assessments specifically for remote workers (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone).
At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.
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