The switch to working from home has led many employees to invest heavily in making their home offices more comfortable.
This can be achieved with the help of ergonomic chairs, adjustable monitor stands, and by investing in a quality two person computer desk when the office space is shared. And as some regions of the US go into another round of lockdowns, experts are sharing tips on other ways to make working from home more comfortable and efficient.
Many companies around the US have already taken steps to make the new work from home regime permanent for employees who wish to adopt it. Earlier in the year, Salesforce — a cloud-based software company with its headquarters in San Francisco — made headlines by declaring the end of the 9 to 5 workday for its employees.
Salesforce Chief People Officer Brent Hyder explained the company’s decision in a blog post. “An immersive workspace is no longer limited to a desk in our Towers; the 9-to-5 workday is dead; and the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables and snacks.”
In light of developments like these happening around the world, experts shared tips on how employees, employers, and policymakers can act to make the new work-from-home reality more effective and comfortable.
Dr. Alan Redman, an organizational psychologist, said policymakers and employers must ensure that staff is fully equipped and prepared to work from home long-term.
“The bigger picture is actually, societies, governments, employers, all need to make sure the capabilities are there for people working from home, like fast broadband,” said Redman. “Employers who are saving money on offices should be spending money on employees’ set-up at home.”
Some employees may be welcomed back to the office after the vaccine has been fully rolled out, but Redman believes we will see a “more balanced view” that requires only a few days a week of in-office work, while the rest of the week is remote working. This would also allow employees to get a return on their home office investments long after the pandemic is over.
Dr. Redman advises making an office space at home to improve concentration and focus. Another tip Redman shares is to consult with employers about more flexible hours—especially for employees who share housing or have space constraints. Those factors could lead to struggles at home while working.
Co-founder and chief executive of workplace mental health platform Unmind, Dr. Nick Taylor, suggests workers look at the new year as a way to “re-evaluate” their working space. “Even if finding a new working space isn’t possible, there’s plenty people can do to adjust to the working from home framework in the long-term,” Taylor said.
Dr. Taylor goes on to suggest taking walks before and after work to give yourself a sense of a commute. Turn off email notifications while out of work hours. He believes that finding the proper balance is a key to successful remote working. Having a separate phone and computer just for work can also make it easier to separate your personal and professional life when both share the same space.
Dr. Taylor also stressed the importance of physical health and wellbeing while working from home. He suggests investing in supportive chairs and computer stands that help with posture, which can boost your overall wellbeing and productivity.