Remote work is driving lots of debate among businesses in the UK and beyond right now. While some praise its flexibility, affordability and how it broadens recruitment opportunities, others have found that staff productivity and collaboration has dropped.
Regardless, remote working appears to be here to stay in some form or another. Some businesses are adopting hybrid approaches to allow both office and home working, as well as offering more full-time remote positions.
If you’re one of those to make the shift, you may well have already discovered various pros and cons for yourself. But to help make it a viable option in the long term, read our tips for healthier home working below.
A recent survey by leaflet printing specialists instantprint found that only 16% of Britons are working from a dedicated home office. While evidently few of us have the luxury of a separate room, creating a designated workspace is still important for creating boundaries in the home.
That could mean setting up a desk in a spare bedroom for example, or even repurposing a hallway alcove. Just try to avoid the exact locations you relax in – including the sofa!
The right equipment
If you’ve been making do with an uncomfortable chair and unsuitable equipment, you’ll soon feel the health benefits of upgrading.
Ergonomic chairs are important for maintaining your posture, while extra help such as overhead lighting and a laptop stand will prevent straining your eyes. Other extras to consider depending on your role and working style include a stand-up desk, a headset and noise-cancelling headphones.
While you may enjoy the peace and quiet at first, social isolation is a common issue that home workers experience. Take steps to maintain connections both in and outside of work to make sure you don’t become detached.
During working hours that could mean scheduling regular team catch-ups over video calls. Try to get involved with in-person social activities where possible too.
A balanced diet, sleep and regular exercise are important wherever you work – but it’s sometimes easier to slip into negative routines when we don’t have to leave home.
You could find that healthy eating and exercise actually become easier if losing your commute gives you extra spare time. When it comes to your sleep routine, try to approach the working week in a similar way to how you would if working in an office.
Working at home can all too easily blur the lines between your professional and personal lives as you work and live in the same space. Try to stick to a regular working day by closing down your laptop or computer at finishing time and turning your work phone off.
Other rituals can help bring a sense of closure to the working day too, such as going for a short walk or calling a friend.
Remote working isn’t necessarily a walk in the park. Follow the tips above to protect your physical and mental health and make the transition a success.