Shifting to Working from Home

As concerns over COVID-19 have grown, more companies have asked employees to work from home to help prevent the spread of the virus. Working from home can have a lot of benefits like not having to sit in traffic and having more time to spend with loved ones. It can also create challenges as well. As you are working from home ask yourself: Is your home work area safe and ergonomic? How do you keep from getting distracted with domestic duties?

Set up a separate office space: Use a space that’s designated solely for work where you can focus on your work with minimal distractions. Working from your couch can create mental associations that keep your mind occupied with professional obligations, even during off-hours. Even if you live in a tiny studio, set up a desk and chair and separate the professional from the personal. Do your best to replicate your formal office. If you had a two monitor set up in the office, see if you can do the same at home.

Inspect your work from home area: A home workspace should be inspected to make sure it is free from any safety hazards such as: fire, trip hazards, and ergonomic hazards. As you are reading this, take a moment to look around your work-from-home area.

Get involved in a virtual telecommuter community: It’s important to have some social connection, even in the absence of coworkers. Maintaining healthy social connections improves your overall well-being and helps you stay motivated.
Plan virtual teambuilding events.

Stick to a work schedule: It can be tempting to wake up late and work at odd hours, but you will benefit your mental health and the quality of your work by setting a schedule as if you were going into the office. Then, stick to those hours.

Make a stoplight for family members: Hang or tape colored construction paper on your office door. Tape the red light up when you cannot be disturbed, and the green light when it’s OK to come in. A yellow light means to check first.

Go For Walks: Consider a lunchtime walk. Getting out during the day has a positive impact on your productivity. Sometimes a change of scene can help break the deadlock in certain types of work.

Ergonomic Workstation Set-Up: Do your best to get your home work station as ergonomic as possible. Below shows some examples of how an ergonomic workstation should be set up. Please visit the SSOE Ergonomic Hub for more tips.

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