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Our top tips for working from home that ensures you stay healthy and safe

Are you working from home? Here at Altta, we understand that many of us are familiar with working in an office environment. As a result, working from home can be quite a challenge!

Recently, Prime Minister Boris recent rolled back on his push to get people back into workplaces as cases continued to rise in the United Kingdom. Therefore, he urged people to return to working from home wherever possible.

However, for some, this brings up more challenges. In an age where working and home lives need to integrate much more successfully, remote working can be a wonderful thing! But it is also full of pitfalls for both managers and employees.

There is no doubt that working from home can provoke anxiety and make many workers feel anxious as a result of being plunged into home working for the first time, with potentially being left in isolation. But for more information on promoting your wellbeing while working from home – check out our other blog here. But, working from home can also cause numerous occupation health and safety risks.

That is why, in this blog, we have listed our top tips for maintaining health and safety at home. What can we say, health & safety is what we do best.

What do the statistics say about working from home?

A recent study of 1,481 people (Source) researched how habits may change for office workers following the pandemic. The survey found that 22% work outside of usual office hours when working from home. But, 54% say they’re happier working from home, compared to 18% who prefer to be in a traditional office environment. 

With statistics like this, it is easy to see why people fall into the trap of forgetting about their health. That is why we want to ensure workers are fully aware of to make working from home as safe as working from the office space. 

Our top tips for working from home

1) Maintain a routine

Try and establish a routine with a regular start and end times. That way, you can manage your time, yet not slip out of your everyday working pattern. Furthermore, according to statistics, 22% work outside of usual office hours when working from home. By working varied hours, it can be hard to escape work. Therefore, establish a routine to keep a good work-life balance.

If you are part of a large, connected office, share diaries. Whatever you have planned for the day, whether it be childcare or a trip to the shops – make a note of when you are available.

2) Communicate

If you are a manager, don’t be too tasked focused! Now is a very daunting time for people; therefore, this needs to be taken into account. Instead of asking if work has been done, ask how someone is, and genuinely be interested in their answer.

Sometimes life can be a bit confusing, and everyone experiences different emotion at different times. Therefore, we need to embrace this and understand everyone reacts differently to varying situations.

3) Workstation and work environment

Here is when traditional health and safety ideas come into play. Working from home can disrupt your working environment. So, from your comfortable office chair and table, you may now be working from a not so perfect environment.

Even though it may not seem like an issue now, in the long run, working with a non-supportive chair or by not taking regular breaks can cause long-term problems.

We recommend finding space away from your main home area if possible, but preferable not in your bedroom. However, we understand that you can’t always avoid working in your bedroom. Therefore, if you’re in that situation, make sure to take a regular break. We recommend every 25 to 30 minutes. By doing so, you can take yourself away from work, which leads us onto our next point…

4) Minimise distraction

If you’re working from home, there are often distractions. Sometimes these are inevitable, but there are some you can control. One method to help to get less distracted is by getting horrible, large, ugly jobs out of the way first. Then, you will be ready and in the zone for small, more manageable jobs.

Furthermore, one of the most considerable distractions in mobile phones. Many phones now have a “do not disturb” feature, which stops texts, calls and other notifications coming through.

On the other hand, while a mobile phone is a controllable feature, having kids around the house is not. Therefore, try an establish time to tend to them. If your children get into a routine of understanding when you are working and when they shouldn’t disturb, this will ultimately help you concentrate.

5) Regular breaks and protect your eyes

In an office, you’re likely to have a good quality desk and chair that make it easy to position your devices at a healthy distance from your eyes. It’s just as essential to ensure you do the same at home. A few things to pay attention to include; your distance from the screen, the brightness of your screen and lighting. 

Additionally, dry eyes can cause your eyes to feel heavy. As a result, this can disrupt the quality of your vision and lead to symptoms of eye fatigue. 

As well as ensuring a healthy working space for your vision, these methods below can help reduce dry eye whilst working from home:

1) Blink regularly

2) Take breaks

3) Eye drops

4) Drink lots of water to stay hydrated 

6) Get Fresh Air

We have mentioned it before, and we will repeat it – take regular breaks! Especially in the fresh air. If you have a lunch hour, take a walk. If you have breaks, complete a short workout routine to keep you active. It can be hard to break out of the cycle of work, but the consequences of working long hours, trapped in one place can be extremely detrimental.

Overall, there are five key ways that you can avoid becoming burnt out and disengaged while working from home:

 1) Maintain your work routine

2) Recreate the office environment

3) Take regular breaks & walks

4) Set boundaries

5) Don’t get hung up on ‘normal’.

However, for more information regarding our top tips for avoiding a burnout while working from home, head to our blog on Altta Wellbeing

So, if you’re looking more information on becoming a health and safety executive, get in touch with Altta Health & Safety. 

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