I. Working Environment at Home
For safe working environment at home, provide a room (in the ideal case), and if this is not possible, at least a specific space, designed to let you perform working activities with the following characteristics:
- preferably, to be noise - isolated. If there is distracting noise, try to use headphones, earplugs, soft music, or a quiet fan to reduce or mask the sounds;
- to accommodate the workstation, the equipment and the related materials;
- the floors should be free from objects and any danger;
- the document drawers should not be too heavy and should not be opened in areas of movement;
- telephone lines and electrical cables should be attached under the desk or along the wall and should be away from heat sources;
- temperature, ventilation and lighting should be adequate;
- the carpets should be well-attached to the floor and without damaged or worn edges;
- all radiators and portable heaters should be placed away from flammable objects.
II. Recommendations for the Computer Workstation..
- The wheels of the chair must be secure and the base of the chair must be strong.
- The chair should be adjustable.
- There should be waist support for the back.
- The feet should be on the floor or there should be a footrest.
- There should be enough room for the legs under the working surface.
- There should be no glimmer or reflection on the screen. Reduce or eliminate glimmer using window shades.
- Keep the upper part of the monitor at eye-level
Check Your Posture Regularly.
Maintain a proper posture, paying attention to the positioning of the head, neck, spine, arms, wrists, thighs and feet. Make sure that you have waist support, that your shoulders are not slack or raised and there is no pressure (caused by the edge of the chair) in the kneecap.
Take frequent mini - breaks throughout the day to give your muscles and joints a chance to rest and recover. Your body wants to move! Also, don't forget to take longer breaks, for example, take time to have lunch. You can use a regular clock or on-screen timer when you are taking a break.
Working with a Laptop
Laptops are not suitable for intensive or prolonged independent use.
- It is recommended to use an external keyboard, which will allow better position of the keys and independent adjustment of the screen height.
- Consider using a keyboard without numeric keypad. This keyboard style allows the mouse to be located closer to the midline of the body.
- Use an extra mouse with appropriate size.
- When using an external keyboard, adjust the height of the monitor using a docking station, laptop stand, or other stable device.
- If you can, use a separate monitor that will provide a larger screen and better resolution.
- Avoid using low tables and surfaces. Position the laptop on a standard desk/table.
- Position the cables so that they do not cause a risk of tripping.
III. Electrical Safety
- It is recommended that the computer equipment should be connected to a surge protector.
- All electrical plugs, cables and sockets must be in good condition. No exposed/damaged wiring.
- The equipment should be placed close to electrical outlets so that no extension cord (two consecutive couplers/extension cords) is used permanently.
- Power cords and extension cords must not be bundled together.
- The equipment should be switched off when it is not in use.
IV. Information Security
- Materials and equipment must be protected from damage and misuse.
- It is recommended that you have a list of the complete office equipment, including serial numbers.
- If applicable, use anti-virus software with up-to-date virus definitions and run frequent virus scans.
V. Stress and Isolation.
- Try to start and end the day with a routine or a daily ritual (get dressed, go for a walk or any other dynamic activity – without working on a computer, tablet or phone) and try to start and finish work at the same time each day.
- Set a schedule and stick to it, as you would do when working at the office. Make a to-do list and check your achievements at the end of the day. Meet all deadlines.
- Plan and take regular and short breaks and lunch breaks.
- Set boundaries around working hours with partners, children and/or roommates. Tell your friends and family what the basic rules are.
- Choose a specific room/space to work in, so when you leave this room/space, this should mean that the workday is over.
Keep the Communication Flowing.
Remember that not all stress is physical. To help yourself fill in the gap in socialization when working remotely, find a colleague you can call when you need to talk. Alternatively, you can look for a friend who works elsewhere and is in the same situation. Using a video call is also a good idea.
We all know that exercises are essential for overall health. When you work from home, the result is that you walk less because you don't travel to and from the office, you don't go to meetings, etc. Make sure you take time to exercise when you work from home.
Examples of exercises that can be added to your working routine:
- Stand up or walk during phone calls if you use a hands-free device.
- Eat away from your desk.
- Take a walk during your lunch break.
- Stretch out on your desk every 30 minutes.
- Add a minimum of 10 minutes of moderate or vigorous aerobic exercises to your everyday routine, which is enough to get your heart pumping and burning calories.
Keep going! This will pass too!