This year has seen a dramatic shift in ordinary working arrangements, and the trend is unlikely to change in the near future. Many of us are now working from home, and even if it is not a full-time schedule, the home office is likely to play an important role for years to come.
Working from our usual place of leisure and relaxation can present some difficulties in organisation and self-discipline. But some of these challenges can be overcome with the right tools and equipment to create the perfect setup for a home office.
Lead image: Arek Socha from Pixabay
1 Ergonomic Desk & Chair
There is no doubt that our posture while working affects your productivity and overall wellbeing. For this reason, it is essential to find a chair that offers the right support for your back and shoulders. Ergonomic chairs can help to find the right healthy working posture, while a medicine ball is an option that lets your bodies stay active while working.
Your chair must be in harmony with your desk, which needs to be at the right height for your hands to rest so you do not strain and suffer back or shoulder pain. The screen that you are working on also needs to be at the correct eye level so you are not caused neck pain.
It is a good idea to choose a desk that is adjustable so you can find the perfect height. Remember that, to avoid unnecessary strain, you should change your position at regular intervals, take breaks and physically engage your body.
2 Get a VPN
When millions of people migrated to the home office en masse, cybercriminals quickly mobilised to find ways to exploit new vulnerabilities with phishing scams, social engineering or ransomware.
The first line of security should be a reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN), which offers a level of encryption for users to connect safely to a corporate network. Popular VPN services include ExpressVPN and NordVPN, but users should avoid the free options that are not as effective.
Cybercrime is fast increasing so businesses of all sizes need to be prepared for the worst. To find advice and support from experts, it is a good idea to hire a London IT support company like Computers In The City.
3 Project Management Software
Working remotely is only possible with a range of software tools that connect us with colleagues, partners and clients, and manage our tasks and time effectively.
Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype and Google Meet enable virtual meetings to keep everyone up to speed. Collaboration tools like Slack, Trello and Google Workplace allow us to communicate instantly, share files and track tasks, while tools like Zoho, Gantt and Wrike help with project management.
There are also useful software tools that can help remote workers adjust to the home office, such as time management apps like Rescue Time and Toggl, and home workout and wellness apps, like MindBody.
4 Good Lighting
Lighting is an important factor in keeping us healthy, nourished and focussed. It has been proven in studies that natural lighting increases productivity and reduces the chances of depression.
As places where we will spend long hours, home offices should have a good source of natural light and the working area should be well-positioned to receive this. If the amount of natural light is limited then it is possible to use a therapy lamp that mimics its effects.
A home office should also be well ventilated as poor air quality can be counterproductive, and soft background music will help to create a healthy and comfortable environment.
5 Home Workouts
Physical exercise and activity help us in many ways to achieve our daily working tasks. Exercise has been shown to improve the ability to focus on tasks, reduce stress and physical strain, increase productivity and improve overall wellbeing.
In recent years, physical activities have been integrated into everyday practices through the use of standing desks, treadmill desks, office workout equipment and workout apps.
The home workout takes little more than a yoga mat and an app, although extra products like weights, resistance bands or a Peloton bike can add extra dimensions to a workout.
Your workout may simply be to walk or run around the neighbourhood, but some physical activity will in most cases be beneficial to your health and well being. Keeping the body and mind active you will lead to a happier and more productive lifestyle.
Working from home is not always easy when there are so many distractions, and we are more used to spending our free time there. In order for it to be successful, we must be able to make a clear distinction between work time and free time.
The home office needs to be a place for working, so establishing the rules and acquiring the best tools and equipment should be a first priority.
When we have created the right working environment then we will be ready to work the most effectively.
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