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Tips on Working from Home
Normally the decision for an employee to work from home takes weeks if not months of planning, logistical decision making and purchasing of any DSE equipment, and is done on an individual basis. In these unprecedented times, organisations have had to make provisions for a large number of their workforce to be able to work form home within a very short period of time, and employees have had to adjust to working from home, whilst contending with the schools closing and the children also being at home, alongside all of the anxieties and concerns these times have brought us. Everyone has been affected by the Covid 19 Corona virus in some form or another, and we have all had to make sacrifices and significant changes to our lives. Whilst the transition to working from home may have fallen well below the normal standards, there are still things you can do to keep yourself physically and mentally well:
- Create a Suitable Work Environment : Try to separate your work space from your personal space as much as possible. You may be in competition with your partner/children/other family members so try to establish some boundaries, and if you have to work in a communal area, always pack away your work items at the end of the day and return your home back to being a home, not a work space.
- Set a work timetable : It can be hard to keep motivated without your work colleagues and supervisors, so set a timetable for each day eg 30 minute slots, schedule in breaks and a lunch break. Have a start and finish time, and don't forget your DSE training of looking away from the computer screen/laptop regularly (your blinking rate greatly reduces the longer you are looking at a screen) and getting up and away from the computer every hour, even if it's just to make a coffee, go to the toilet, check your neighbours are socially distancing!
- Communication : It can be underestimated the positive impact your colleagues can have with the "Good Morning" "How was your weekend?" inane chat, being able to ask quick and simple questions whenever needed, being able to discuss your frustration with something you are struggling on, with people who understand your role and demands of the business. Make sure you schedule time in for communications with colleagues, this can be with your supervisor/manager/team leader to discuss your progress, work load, any challenges you are facing etc but also with other work colleagues that you would normally be seeing and talking to. Think about different modes of communication, texts are great with quick questions, but don't just rely on texting and emailing, it's important to have telephone conversations and even better face to face via some form of web cam platform.
- Remember your DSE training : Look at how you have set up your work space and think about any improvements that can be made. If you are working from a laptop - have you got a separate keyboard and/or mouse to enable you to position yourself correctly. Try moving the laptop around and raising it (the Guinness Book of Records works well!). You may only have access to a normal dining room chair, but you can still be keeping a good posture. Are your feet flat on the floor? Are you sat upright and forward towards the screen? Are your shoulders relaxed, or almost touching your ears?
- Mental Health - Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. From the food shortages, lock down procedures, not being able to see family and friends, challenges of going out food shopping, media full of scary facts and figures and speculations, and a complete disruption to life as we know it, our mental health has never been so challenged. Our normal techniques of how we deal with feeling stressed or depressed may have been taken away from us eg going clothes shopping, going for a swim, visiting close friends, going out for a meal, going to the beach/day out. So we must find new ways to be able to relax, let go of all of our worries and fears, take time to look after ourselves. Take time to appreciate the small things you may miss in normal life eg the birds singing (there are so many different tunes!), talking to friends remotely, exercising at home (you tube is full of brilliant classes). Maybe you have a hobby you started but never had the time to fully embrace - have you got a set of watercolour paints in the garage or a "Italian for Beginners" CD under the stairs? Also look at apps available that aid relaxation and meditation - you don't have to wear a flowery skirt and be one with the trees to meditate - it is a fantastic way of escaping from the pressures and worries of life (even for 10 minutes), giving your mind and body a time to rest and heal. Limit the time and frequency of checking the news and try to keep to just the facts - there are a lot of "Experts" who want to have their opinion and view publicized and will only increase your anxiety. Equally social media can be a source of communication and amusement, but also a platform for scaremongering and fake news, so monitor how much time you are spending on social media and ask yourself honestly is it helpful or just fueling more anxiety?
Cambridge Safety are pleased to announce their support of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Nothamptonshire Wildlife Trust
We have donated £1000 to support their project out in Uplands Meadow in the Great Fen.
Click here for further details Further Details of the Upland Meadows Project
“Thank you for your time and effort over the past few months. Your experience, materials, fantastic facilities and all the small touches I feel really made the course both educational and enjoyable.”