31 Mar Teleworking Tips for Employee Productivity, Well-Being, and Happiness
By Amy Lourenco, HR Manager
As most of us settle into our new routines of telework, we thought it would be worthwhile to share some tips for maintaining your productivity, well-being, and happiness. You will find many more in this article from ZDNet, 64 expert tips for staying healthy, happy, and productive.
- Routines are crucial. You have probably heard that you should approach your working day just as if you were going to the office. Get up at the usual time, breakfast, get dressed, etc. But to ensure your productivity through the day, you will need to get organized. The article linked to above offers tips, such as organizing your days with recurring tasks (Mondays, do X; Tuesdays, do Y, Wednesdays, do Z; etc.), scheduling breaks, making a task list, etc.
- Do your best to set up an ergonomic work environment. Given the short timeframe we all had to equip our home offices, this might be tough. However, sitting in your recliner with your laptop on your knees will rapidly lead to discomfort! A desk or table is best for long stretches of work. Stand up and stretch frequently; wiggle your fingers and shake your hands. Too much keyboarding from an awkward position will hurt! Don’t eat or drink next to your computer. What happens if your cat jumps up and knocks it over? If you are working with kids around, trade off with your partner to get uninterrupted time. Know this situation will likely continue for a longer time than you would like but do your best! Some tips from the article above, such as connecting your computer to your TV, might be an option for more comfort. Noise-cancelling headphones could help you concentrate.
- Physical health is important. It isn’t just about doing a block of exercise every day, although if you are, that is great! It is also about taking time to rest your eyes, look away from the screen, shake your hands, rotate your neck/shoulders, move about at least once an hour, eat your greens, and limit your junk food consumption. Take a walk every day with your children and/or your dog (consider fostering one, if you don’t have one). Get fresh air when you can (work outside for a bit if the weather permits).
- Don’t forget your mental health. We are all dealing with uncertainty and the anxiety that comes with it. If you are not used to telework, the isolation of it can be hard. Keep open a chat window with a few close colleagues and keep in touch. Have an ongoing chat running with family/friends and take a break to support each other from time to time. Try meditation (there are lots of apps available for that). Help your neighbor; sometimes the best therapy is helping others. Most insurance companies, states, and others offer hotlines for mental health counseling as well.
There is no perfect solution for every person. You should experiment, try different approaches, and figure out what works best for you and your families.