Working from home has taken on a whole new meaning since the arrival of the coronavirus. Employees who have the ability of working from home now are, which presents its own set of unique challenges. There are more distractions now: family members or roommates, the fridge, Netflix and a myriad of other things at home that weren’t in the office.
Luckily, there are ways to make working from home fun and even more productive, thanks to advice compiled by DiversityInc from Hilton (No. 4 on DiversityInc 2019 Top 50 Companies for Diversity) and the Harvard Business Review.
- Conscious movement is now one of the most important part of a stay-at-home employee’s day. There is no longer the walk to get lunch or coffee with a colleague or even a short commute home or frequent stops at the store. Try home workouts and take regular walks through the neighborhood. Working out does not necessarily mean fancy gym equipment is needed. Body weight exercises can be just as effective, according to Melissa Walker, RD, ACE-CPT, Hilton’s senior director of global wellness, customer experience and innovation.
- Set up your work-from-home space so that it’s comfortable, good for your posture and supportive of productivity. Even though it’s tempting, avoid working from the couch. Instead, work from a chair with a straight back and in front of a desk. Switch positions frequently and make sure there is a 90-degree bend in your arms. Your wrists should be supported as you work.
- Make sure technology is working properly and being used to its fullest extent. Hilton recommends making sure you have a good headset for audio and plenty of light while working from home. That way, virtual meetings have a bright and productive feel. Join meetings 5 to 10 minutes early to make sure that everything is working properly.
- Home decorations and set-up can have an impact on focus and creativity. According to Hilton, working in natural light and increasing natural design elements at home such as plants can help you feel inspired. Versatile workstations are also important. It’s good to have a place to stand and work, a more traditional office space and then a space that is more comfortable like a straight back armchair to get creativity flowing.
- Create rituals to increase productivity and reduce anxiety, especially during the pandemic, according to the Harvard Business Review. “The loss of many of our public rituals, including things as simple as meeting a friend for coffee or a drink, has led people to naturally look for new ones. People can’t go to church, so they’re creating new rituals to help deal with that loss and anxiety,” Mike Norton, a professor at Harvard Business School who has studied rituals said. According to Norton, rituals help us process grief and feel closer to other people who participate in them too. Exercise is also considered a ritual that has both physical benefits and mental benefits. “This all gives us that sense of control and it helps reduce anxiety and stress,” Norton said. “If it helps you create that sense of control, if it calms your anxiety, that’s what matters.”
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