With the COVID-19/Coronavirus lockdown still firmly in place, many of the UK’s offices and workspaces now stand empty. Meanwhile, the offices, dining tables, sofas and spare rooms of British homes have become hives of weekday industry. Work has broken out of the workplace and invaded our homes.
Working from home is “the dream” for many employees. Comfort, flexibility and – best of all – no commute (unless you count walking downstairs via the toaster)! Yet increasing numbers of newly quarantined remote workers are discovering that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. While working from home offers a wealth of benefits, there are plenty of downsides too.
From battling the distraction of quarantined children and finding 6,000 ways to procrastinate, to developing neck pain from hunching over a laptop all day, there are lots of unexpected negative aspects to working from home. Whether you’re a remote worker, or an employer keen to support staff during this period, these small changes to homeworking spaces could help boost motivation…
Are you sitting comfortably?
Long hours of sitting with poor posture can be very uncomfortable and very demotivating. At work, your employer has likely made adaptations to ensure your working posture is healthy and your workstation is supportive. Perhaps you have an ergonomic chair, a mouse rather than a touchpad, a rest for your wrists, or a footrest to keep you comfortable?
Although your employer has the same responsibilities to ensure your health as you work from home, under the current conditions, you probably won’t have all of these benefits in your home workplace just yet. In the interim, there are some adaptations homeworkers can make themselves. This Health and Safety Executive (HSE) checklist will help you identify key problems and potential fixes.
If you’re using a laptop at home, there are lots of smart changes you can make to your homeworking space to reduce discomfort and boost motivation. Investing in an external keyboard and mouse is a crucial first step. This will allow you to keep your forearms at a right angle to your body (if your desk and chair are at the appropriate height). This is the foundation of a good working posture. You can then use laptop stands, props or even a stack of books (in a pinch), to elevate your laptop screen so that it is at eye level. You should not need to learn forward or hunch in order to read the screen.
For more information on setting up a comfortable home-working space, check out this guide from Posture People.
4 quick tips for homeworking motivation
1. Display a to-do list
This could be a printout, a blackboard, a whiteboard or even your kids’ chalk paints on the back of your door. Whatever you use, it could help you stay on task and is very satisfying to tick off.
2. Reduce noise
Noisy workspaces are rarely conducive to productivity. If you have some flexibility over where you work in your home, choose a location away from activity, in the quietest area. If you are still affected by noise, consider investing in good earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones.
3. Add motivating ambience
This can take many forms. Some people find certain scents (like lemon and jasmine) stimulating – the perfect excuse to order an oil diffuser! Other people find inviting greenery into the office boosts productivity – time to get plant shopping! Whatever makes you feel more motivated, add small touches to your homeworking space to create an area where you want to get down to it!
4. Keep it clean
There’s little more demotivating than a cluttered, dirty office. Take 10 minutes at the end of your workday to remedy this. Throw away rubbish, organise documents, wipe down surfaces and have a quick hoover (if needed) to clean up ready for a fresh start tomorrow.
The Abbey Cleaning Service can support your business with expert cleaning services during the COVID-19/Coronavirus lockdown. Get more information about our commercial cleaning services across South Wales. Contact us today on 029 2067 9323.