The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to the Work from Home (WFH) paradigm. Not only has this brought added benefits such as cost and time savings in the work-home commute, but it has also been partnered with several new challenges that must be navigated.
In her article titled, “How to Work from Home with your Partner in Times of Crisis,” Elaine Lipworth notes the following:
“From staying connected with co-workers to staying sane while working… [from home] …the new work-from-home reality has created many challenges for employees and leaders.”
Now that we have acknowledged that working from home has its challenges, it is essential to note that these issues are solvable. Therefore, let’s consider 5 tips on how to solve these challenges and thrive in the New Normal.
1. Create a home office
The first step is to set up a home office where you can sit down and get to work without distractions. The office size and location are entirely dependent on the size of your home or apartment. Suppose you have a spare room to turn into a home office, great. However, if you live in a tiny apartment, you can always create an office space in the corner of the living room or designate another nook as a home office.
The takeaway point here is that your home office space must provide a calming, professional ambiance, making it easier to work without distractions.
2. Set up your office desk and chair based on ergonomic best practices
One of the WFH paradigm’s stated challenges is that countless remote workers do not have the tools, such as an ergonomic chair and desk set up, that they need to work from home without injuring themselves and promoting long-term health. Statistics reported by the University of Cincinnati show that 58% or all remote workers have an office chair, 27% use dining chairs, and 15% work while sitting on beds or couches.
Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your home office setup is as ergonomic as possible. Preventing eye strain from looking at a laptop screen or desktop monitor for hours at a time is the next challenge to solve. The lockdown and the need to stay at home for weeks and months at a time has led to the scenario where people are spending long hours staring at a computer screen watching movies, video clips, and chatting to family and friends using digital tools like Zoom, FaceTime, and WhatsApp video. Therefore, it stands to reason that the potential for eye strain is much greater.
The good news is that eye strain can easily be solved using a pair of blue light glasses when looking at a digital screen. These computer glasses are specially designed to protect your eyes from the detrimental effects of light produced by a computer or mobile device screen.
3. Establish a routine that works for you
Routines are associated with improved well-being and greater happiness. Succinctly stated, routines provide boundaries and structure, ensuring that people feel in control of their lives. Additionally, routines have the ability to help people feel in control, especially in a world where so much is uncertain and out of control due to the pandemic.
Consequently, it is essential to focus on implementing regular workday hours, starting and ending work at a specific time each day. One of the benefits of remote work is that people can adjust their working hours to suit their individual preferences. For instance, early risers can choose to start and end work earlier, while late risers and night owls can choose to start and finish later in the day.