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March 16, 2020
8 min read

Making the most out of your home office

With a pandemic outbreak of the COVID-19 virus affecting almost every single country, the measures taken by each country are quite similar. People are all required to work from home, as much as possible. Offices are closed, left, right and center, ergo working from home is what we’re all doing now. Even though working from home sounds like a great set-up but there are a lot of things one needs to bear in mind.

Economics versus ergonomics

While working from home is a great solution to keep people working and thus the economy up and running, however, many do not have the right tools to work from home. Some extreme examples have been popping on social media. People are uploading crazy images of their home set-up; one is working at the dinner table surrounded by remnants of the family breakfast, some from the sofa in between the toddlers while others use the ironing board as a flat surface to work from their bed. As we said, these are the extremes. One should be aware that you have to sit properly when working, this can be problematic as most people don’t have a screen and keyboard to use. Not only is the surface on which you work and the seat you are in important, working on laptops is not good for your posture. When possible, ask your employer if you can purchase a laptop stand or screen, a keyboard and mouse. Looking down on your laptop will lead to tense muscles in neck, shoulders and back and will cause headaches. A proper desk chair, with lumbar support preferable, will also help you sit properly.

Get up offa that chair

Another thing that you’ll face when working from home is that you’ll get way less exercise. Not only is the commute gone, the distances between coffee machine, toilet and your work spot are also probably a lot less. That casual stroll to your coworker? Nope. But not only that, in many countries, gyms have also closed. So what can you do for exercise? Well, where would we be without YouTube workout tutorials or apps like 7-Minute Workout? So set your alarm after 60-90 minutes and take a 7-minute break to do some squats, lunges, planks, jumping jacks or sit-ups. Or take a break in the afternoon and go for a run or a long walk outside if permitted.

WAT – Working apart together

With entire companies working from home in most countries around the world, we all find ourselves in the same boat. Make sure that you set up some WAT-guidelines together so you are all on the same page and keep each other in check, without checking up on each other, of course. Email, Slack, Messenger – they’re all great communication tools. But when you have meetings or calls, put the camera on every single time, so everyone can see each other’s face. It makes it just a bit more pleasant for everyone. Working from home only works when there’s clear communication as well as mutual trust in teams. When you live alone, make sure that you don’t isolate yourself too much. You don’t have to feel too alone, just touch base with your coworkers regularly. Because, though the team might not be together, you’re still working together.

Even though, you might be feeling fine, think about the ones who are more susceptible to the virus. We all have to pitch in and isolate ourselves a bit more, just to make sure that the curve doesn’t go up anymore, wherever we are. We’re in this collectively, and by flattening the curve, we can get through this unitedly.