In light of all that’s going on, many of us have started working from home. Working from home sounds really great, but in reality, it can present a whole new array of problems. There are far more distractions at home, not to mention you often don’t have the set up you’re used to at work. So, as we have been working from home for almost a month now, here are 7 tips from us here at Thermaltake Australia, to make sure you’re working from home in the most optimal way possible.
Stick to a Routine
While I wouldn’t say you have to wake up at the same time, waking up five minutes before you are due to start work isn’t ideal. You need to create a separation between work, and home, despite it both taking place in the same location. So, if you used to wake up at 6am, wake up at 7am, have some breakfast, a shower, get dressed and then start work at 9am. Maintaining some sort of normality is a great way to get your brain into working mode, and will help you maintain concentration in your work, despite the many tempting distractions.
Invest in a good chair
At work, you no doubt have a comfy, expensive chair supplied to you so you can sit for hours no worries. This might not be the case for you at home, especially if you’ve had to whip up a makeshift set up at your dining room table. Our very own Gillian started off working at home with a standard home chair, and had to go pick up her Thermaltake office chair, as she was in too much pain! Take Gillian’s word for it, and get yourself a good chair!
Investing in a good ergonomic chair for your home work station is the best long-term solution, but it will set you back a little bit. Another solution is trying and reinforce your normal chair as best as you can with pillows etc, however this really only is a band aid fix. Back health is incredibly important, and considering we don’t know how long this will be going on for, just make sure you’re looking out for yourself!
Let the sunshine in
It’s very easy to get caught up in working from home and forget to get some Vitamin D, but lack of sunlight may be doing you more harm than you think. Vitamin D is important for overall health and has been linked to reducing depression, helping encourage weight loss, and fighting diseases. Getting out into the sunshine and doing some exercise can really boost your productivity, so during your lunch break or before you start, having a quick walk around the block might do you wonders.
Create a work station
This is hard if you don’t have a good desk setup, but having a clear space for work is essential. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT work from your bed! Even your dining room table is a better idea. As tempting as it is, having a space designated for work is a great way to ensure productivity. You need to train your brain now to register this space as a working space. This may take a few weeks (especially if the space is usually used for gaming), but it will be beneficial. If you don’t have a good desk, or at least a dining table you can use, investing in a desk is ideal. EVEN better if it’s a sit/stand desk as sitting all day isn’t always a great idea either.
Step away from your desk when you’re on break
Your gaming desk may now very well be your working desk, which can make it tempting to fit in a quick gaming session during your break. This can be very harmful for overall productivity. Stepping away from your desk during your break provides you with a nice reset switch, telling your brain “this is not working time”. Because you’re in the comfort of your home, it can be hard to get your brain to create a distinction between these two modes. When you are on the clock, you should treat your desk as your work station, meaning you should try and avoid doing anything that’s not working at it if possible. So, eat your lunch in the living room, then go for a stroll, instead of staying at your desk to help solidify that distinction.
While this may seem like a strange one to chuck on this list, it’s worth thinking about. When you’re at work, you may not have a tempting supply of snacks just down the hallway. And even if you do, you probably can’t pop down every 2 minutes to get another cookie. Working from home can make snacking very tempting, especially on foods high in sugar. While these are good in smaller doses, just try not to get into a habit of snacking too much. I admittedly fell into this on my first week working from home, and while the snacks tasted good, it really just made me feel sluggish, and by 3pm I was almost in a food coma. If you must snack, things like fresh fruits and nuts are far more likely to keep you productive.
Try and stay social
It can be easy to become a bit anti-social working from home, and that’s to be expected. Going from an office environment where you work with different people all day, to an isolated home station can take it’s toll. Look into setting up a chat or something with your teammates so you can all stay in touch during these tough times. We here at Thermaltake have our own work Discord channel where we just sit in a voice channel all day together. It’s not quite the same, but it does make you feel a little more like you’re at work. We also use this as a way to clock in, in a way. So joining the voice channel means you’re at work. It’s a good way to stay social, and stay punctual as others can hold you accountable for working.
More team tips
- Gillian stressed the importance of standing up and doing some stretches every hour or so. This is because you probably are getting up far less working from home than you were at work.
- Justin said that if you can, invest in a second monitor. Many work places supply 2 monitors, and often you can accomplish tasks far better with 2 monitors over 1. Of course, only do this if you are in a financial place to do so.
- Taylor reinforced that standing up and getting away from your screens every so often is a good idea.
- Lastly, Jono pointed out the importance of having good peripheral ergonomics. Having a dodgy keyboard or mouse can really zap your productivity, so ensure your keyboard and mouse aren’t causing wrist or arm strain. Additionally, ensuring your monitors and chair are at a good height level is critical to avoid neck strain.
We hope those working from home tips help you with your working from home setup!
If you have any other tips, feel free to post them below! Also, check out our other post on games to play in isolation for when you’re off the clock!
Take care everyone during these tough times. We can all get through this together!
And REMEMBER, if you’re looking for an awesome desk or office chair, we do sell some! Our stunning Level 20 Battlestation is the ultimate sit/standing desk and looks amazing too. On top of this, our brand new CyberChair is a great way to have the comfort of a gaming chair, without it looking like a gaming chair!