Optimizing Your Home Office Workstation

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COVID-19 has resulted in many of us working remotely. Unfortunately, working from home can lead to a lack of motivation and productivity. Spending a lot of time at a desk can result in eye strain, body aches, and fatigue. Taking the time to optimize your desk setup can reduce stress and aid in eliminating these issues. You can improve your physical health while working from home by following these simple steps.

  1. Check your chair height. In whatever chair you own, your knees should be at a 90-degree angle with your thighs parallel to the ground. If you are not sure how exactly to adjust your seat to get the right height, there is a trick. You should stand in front of your chair and have the edge of the seat touch the bottom of your kneecaps. This will ensure an accurate height.
  2. Adjust your desk height. After adjusting your chair height, it is important to make sure your desk matches it. Tall desks can result in neck and shoulder issues. Your elbows need to be resting by your ribs at a 90-degree angle. To make sure you are in the correct position it is recommended to install a keyboard tray or an adjustable footrest.
  3. Watch your distance from the computer monitor. The distance between your eyes and monitor has an indirect effect on your vision. Depending on the distance, you may crane your head or squint your eyes. This is going to cause strain. Everyone has different monitor sizes, space limitations, and eyesight. However, keeping your monitor an arm’s length away is suggested.
  4. Make sure to utilize proper lighting. Artificial lighting is not great long-term. It is good to try and sit your desk by a window in your office. Natural light plays a large role in mental health. If your computer is surrounded by lots of light, make sure that your screen brightness matches it. This will prevent eye strain.
  5. Get rid of clutter. There are cognitive benefits to a clear workspace.  If your workspace is messy, it takes more mental energy to process the mess. This is only going to distract you from other important tasks. Easy things like keeping a trash can or a paper shredder near your desk will make a huge difference and increase productivity.
  6. Get a standing desk. A standing desk is a perfect for getting ergonomic benefits. Having said that, it can be hard on your feet, back, and neck if not used correctly. Standing all day is just as bad as sitting all day. Instead of standing all day, switch positions in intervals. This will slowly get your body comfortable with a standing desk.

Tria is Here to Help

Working from home is challenging and a huge adjustment. It can also be difficult on your mental health. If you are dealing with mental health related issues, Tria can help. Many patients decide to take medications to effectively manage their mental health. If Tria Health is offered through your benefits plan, you have the option of receiving a one-on-one, private consultation with one of Tria Health’s pharmacists over the phone. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. If you are interested in exploring medication treatments for mental health, Tria’s pharmacist will be able to provide you with recommendations.

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Source:

  1. https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/work-desk-productivity/

Virtual Teamwork

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Transitioning from an office to working from home can result in a multitude of changes for employees’ daily habits and mental health. Keeping employees healthy and supported promotes a productive and positive work environment. While you and your employees may not be in the office, you can still maintain your company’s culture virtually. Below you will find some options that can help boost productivity and work from home comfort.

Virtual Activities with Co-Workers

Resource: Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, Teams

  1. Happy Hour
  2. Trivia Night: Charades, Heads up, Random Trivia Generator
  3. Weekly updates with team
  4. Team Building2 activities
  5. Yoga: 30-60 min.

Brain-Break Activities

  1. Yoga- Short Sessions, Quick Flow
  2. Taking a walk
  3. Get fresh air
  4. Meditation- Short Sessions
  5. Check the mail
  6. Organizing day/week/month
  7. Journal or color
  8. Stretch- Short Sessions

Staying Connected

Resources: Google Docs, Slack, Teams

  1. Photo sharing- Just because break room sharing isn’t an option anymore doesn’t mean all those photos of the dog, kids, new meals or beautiful landscaping can’t be shared. Create channels for those that want to share and keep up with others new social normal.
  2. Entertainment updates- Remember going into the office excited to chat about what happened during that new show or movie? Well try it a new virtual way- create a channel on the communication app your team uses to share your thoughts or even use one of the recommended breaks to catch up!
  3. Recommendations- With all this time at home people are beginning to discover new shows, podcasts, movies, and plenty of other activities you or your family could take advantage of. Create a channel or google doc for people to add suggestions and use as a resource when they need recommendations from trusted co-workers.

While the transition from the office to home may seem simple, establishing a routine to ensure effective health management is important. For those with chronic conditions, staying healthy now is more important than ever.

Have questions related to condition management or medications? Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742. Tria Health is a no cost benefit provided through select health plans.

Sources

  1. https://www.pcmag.com/news/get-organized-20-tips-for-working-from-home
  2. https://biz30.timedoctor.com/virtual-team-building/

Telecommuting Tips & Tricks

Image Source: Christopher Gower/Unsplash

Since the COVID-19 outbreak more people are working from home than ever and for many of us this is all new. It’s drastically different than going into the office but by using your resources and communication work will go on and you may end up being more productive than ever. Here are some tips and trick to improve productivity and encourage growth throughout this time:

  1. Create a designated workspace: Establishing a physical difference between work and home life will help keep you connected to each but not overlap one another.  If you are not able to have a designated office room it’s important to create the make-shift office somewhere you don’t spend a lot of personal time (i.e., living room, kitchen, bedroom), or else it can be hard to distinguish work time versus personal time. Although your work is in the home now, they are still contrasting elements that need to be treated as so in order to stay efficient. 
  2. Avoid being stuck in the same chair all day: Remember all those times you would get up from your desk to ask a question or grab something? Well since everything is virtual now it’s easy to get stuck behind that screen. Don’t forget you can take the dogs for a walk, check the mail, or take a call outside, just try your best not to get cabin fever. Creating a plan to get yourself moving throughout the day can boost productivity and allow for new routines.
  3. Overcommunicate with everyone: Working remotely is a new thing for most people so don’t feel like you’re asking a dumb question. Since verbal communication plays such a large role in the office atmosphere it’s hard to transition from popping your head over the cubicle or walking down the hall when asking a question to sending an email. It’s also important to note that most people will be working their normal hours so it can even easier to just give them a call or use Zoom.
  4. Create a routine for before, during, and after work: Accountability can be very hard during this time so creating a routine during the weekdays can prove to be effective, especially if you have others in the house with schedules. Although you are not going into the office it can be helpful to change into ‘work clothes,’ whether that’s a new pair of sweatpants, or an outfit that boosts your confidence it can help give the feeling of work and increase performance. With a routine it’s important to block off time to handle things that may be distracting to you and/or your work (i.e. kids and homework schedules, etc.). Get to know yourself during this time and how you work, don’t be afraid to recognize what distracts you and how to boost your own productivity.
  5. Take advantage of this time at home: This may be the only time you get to work from home so throw that load of laundry in at lunch. Eat lunch with your quarantine crew while you have the chance and don’t forget to wash your hands!

If you have a chronic condition, these changes may be having a larger impact on you and staying healthy now is more important than ever. While the transition from the office to home may seem simple, you need to establish a routine to ensure you’re effectively managing your health. If you have any questions related to your condition management or medications, call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742. Tria Health is a no cost benefit provided through select health plans.

Working From Home

Image Source: Sven Brandsma/Unsplash

Making the Switch

As those with the ability to work from home have probably learned, it’s a lot different than going into the office. Although production and availability can increase, separating work from home can get more complicated. If you don’t use available resources early, it can only get worse. Those working from home for the first time have probably noticed how much verbal communication plays a role in the office and how productivity works throughout the week. Asking a question by peeping your head over the cubicle or walking down the hall is no longer that simple. It can be if you stay up to date on communication software and available technology your employers employ. But just having them downloaded to your computer and phone doesn’t solve all communication problems. Doing a quick Google search about the program can give you articles, tutorials, and videos to help improve your work-flow ability. Transitioning to working from home can be difficult and takes time to understand your schedule while managing all the other distractions around you at home.

Physical Health

Now more than ever it is essential to listen to your body and keep up with or even start those healthy routines. Just because you’re in the comfort of your home doesn’t make anything simpler, it can sometimes make things more complicated. All those times you walk around to ask questions, pick a paper up off the printer, grab a snack from the kitchen or get up to move in general you’re not doing anymore while being stuck behind that screen. It’s easy to get busy so don’t forget to move around throughout the day. Adding some sunshine will even help boost your mood and productivity. Taking some time at your desk to stretch and re-group in between meetings or projects can help create a transition too.

Mental Health

Monitoring your mental health during this time is just as important as physical health. Everyone has had to make drastic changes to their everyday life and its crucial to recognize those and work through the struggles that can arise. For those prone to anxiety and depression it’s important to recognize your feelings and work through them in ways that have worked in the past, such as reading, staying connected or even remote therapy.1 Being aware of your mood and behavior throughout this time will be valuable to your working from home experience. Always be mindful and reach out to the appropriate people if necessary.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Create a designated workspace to ensure the separation of work and home.
  2. Avoid being stuck in the same chair all day. Take the dogs for a walk, check the mail, or take a call outside, just try your best not to get cabin fever.
  3. Overcommunicate with everyone and never feel like you’re asking a ‘dumb’ question.
  4. Create a routine for before, during, and after work to hold yourself accountable.
  5. Block off time to handle things that may be distracting to you and/or your work (i.e. kids and homework schedules, etc.)
  6. Take advantage of this time at home. This may be the only time you get to work from home so throw that load of laundry in at lunch. Eat lunch with your quarantine crew while you have the chance.

Do what’s best for you!

If you have a chronic condition, these changes may be having a bigger impact on you and staying healthy is more important than ever. While the transition from the office to home may seem simple, you need to establish a routine to ensure you’re effectively managing your health. If you have any questions related to your condition management or medications, call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742. Tria Health is a no cost benefit provided through select health plans.

Sources:

  1. https://www.fastcompany.com/90479504/how-to-maintain-your-mental-health-while-working-from-home