Making your home office a productive, healthy place to work

ramsac person from home During the current Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic record numbers of people are now working from home, many of whom are not used to working in this way. For people unfamiliar with homeworking making sure you are comfortable in your working environment is key to enable you to work to the best of your ability.  It is possible to be very productive from the comfort of your own home. Whether you are working from home due to isolation from coronavirus or just working from home, here are some tips that we think will help you create a routine and a suitable space to work.

1) Try to maintain your regular morning routine for getting ready for work.

Washing hands during covid time icon Although you are working in your home office, living room or bedroom, it is important to make sure that you are motivated to start your day. Don’t change much of your regular “getting ready to work” pattern. It is a great way of motivating yourself and also tricking your mind to maintain that working balance. Make this the first thing that you do each day (depending on your work schedule) as this helps to reduce the amount of procrastination that may occur throughout the day. Have breakfast, do some exercise, get dressed, follow your usual patterns. By keeping the mental association that you have between work and an office, you’ll be able to get work done in the same way at home.

2) Make a plan for the day.

Taking notes icon Plan your meals and your day to day activities as much as possible. This helps your mind to formulate a structure. Try and make this as specific as you can. This will be good to help you to manage your workload and to stay on top of things. This is a great tip if you are alone: Set yourself timers, this will help with prioritising certain tasks and increasing focus.

3) Missing the usual hustle and bustle of a busy office?

Stapler icon Being at home can sometimes be very quiet especially if you are alone, some people miss the sounds of a busy office. You may find it useful to have some background noise while you work, but music and podcasts can be distracting. To recreate the atmosphere of an office, you can use office ambience sounds, they mimic an office feel with general chatter, keyboard tapping and coffee making sounds. Here are a few of our top picks of office sounds: 1: YouTube: Office Sounds 2 Hours 2: YouTube: Office Sounds Ambience – Background for Study and Work 3: One hour of HQ Coffeeshop Background Noise

4) Make sure you get some fresh air

Fan icon Especially during this pandemic, ensuring you get outside and get some fresh air is vital to a successful and productive day. It is found that 53% of workers in the UK are likely to regularly suffer from cabin fever like feelings about their office environment, so it is only natural that you may feel this way when you are working in a home environment. Getting outside once a day will boost your mood and is of course good for your physical and mental health.  

5) Limit the distraction of social media.

Social media can be a distraction while working from home and it is easy to get sucked into random posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Set yourself a limit, for example 15 mins after mealtimes, for when you can access social media, you will then be ready to focus back on your work with minimal distractions. You may find it beneficial to turn off your social media notifications during work hours. This can be done via your device settings.  

6) Try to have a designated space for work

Desk icon A change of scenery can make you more productive.  But it is important to remember if you change where you work within your home, that you are able to be comfortable and set up ready to get on with your tasks in the best way possible. Having an good ergonomic set up is very important. Having a good chair and desk space to ensure you are not crouched over your laptop, will help reduce the risk of long-term injury at your desk. Here are some useful tips to reduce the risks of long-term injury and maintaining good posture while working from home.
  • Balance your head – make sure to not lean your head too forward.
  • Arms relaxed by your side – make sure that your forearms are parallel
  • Sit back in your chair with good posture
  • The top of your screen should be at eye level and your feet flat on the floor.
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7) Use technology to stay connected

Chat icon During your time working from home you may feel cut off from the rest of the organisation and the social element of the office. Staying connected with your colleagues via instant messaging and video conference calls will help maintain relations and prevent a feeling of isolation. There are plenty of applications and your organisation is probably already using them, finding the right tools to remain connected and productive is essential to making working from home that little bit easier. Here at ramsac we use Microsoft Teams to stay connected and share documents via SharePoint. For more information on how to use Teams click here. Here are some useful videos on Microsoft Teams communications: A short (5 min) vlog about using Teams to schedule web chats and video calls with colleagues and those outside of your organisation A longer (20 min) vlog about the wider use cases of Microsoft Teams.

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