“Wow! I didn’t know working from home would be this hard” is what I heard recently from one of my patients. Because of the coronavirus requirement to work from home, instead of her usual office setting, she was feeling challenged. I’ve heard similar remarks from other patients, in my chiropractic office. This article will discuss some of the challenges and inconveniences that occur when working from home, as opposed to the office. It will also give some ideas on how to improve a home-based working situation.
Since most children are not allowed to attend their brick and mortar schools and daycare, they are home also. If you do not have someone at home to watch them, they may be underfoot and distracting you. You might be worried that they can be heard or seen in the background if you are communicating with others by telephone or online. Know that you are not alone. Many others are also working from home. They are in the same situation and can empathize with you and understand what you’re going through. They will be lenient and may in fact, find it charming and amusing to know a bit more about your family life.
Many of us have an excellent ergonomic space at our office – not so much at home. Make sure you designate a specific place in your home to be your “office.” It may be an extra bedroom, the kitchen table or rec room. It should not be sitting on the couch, in an awkward position, hunched over your laptop. You may have to experiment as to which location in your house is best for you.
One of my patients told me she has a variable, upright desk at her office, which she loves. Upon working her first three days at home, without an upright desk, she was noticing increased neck and upper back pain. She contacted her company and they sent a technician out to set up a variable desk at her home. So, make sure you have the equipment, space and set up you need.
Another patient told me he seemed to be working a lot more hours since working remotely from home. It is important to set regular hours, similar to your regular office schedule. Make sure to get up, stretch and walk around regularly. Take your usual lunch break. Shut down and leave work just like you would when you leave your office at days end.
Certainly, working at home will not be the same as being in your office. But, with a little tolerance, experimentation and planning it does not have to be difficult and can suffice for the time being.