From distractions to a lack of equipment, different people face different issues when adapting to working away from the office. Here, we speak to people about the issues they’ve faced and how they’ve dealt with working from home.
Alan, Contract worker, with full office closure
I am used to working in different offices locations, the world over from my laptop and / or different desk set up. But when my office closed and I was sent home, I then had no place to work.
My wife already takes the space in our small office and my children were working from the table in the lounge. My office for 2020 is now our dining room. What was once a comfy place to sit and entertain has now become an uncomfortable environment to work.
Our dining chairs are not suited for all day sitting. Our dining table is not set to the correct height for my laptop. For the first time ever, I have had to visit a chiropractor to fix the damage this work set up has done to my neck and shoulders.
Connor, Council Marketing Executive
I am lucky to have recently bought my own flat with my girlfriend, but we do not have a massive amount at space at home. This was never an issue before because we are both office-based workers. That was until lockdown, and now my company is not looking to reopen until mid-2021.
My laptop is now set up on my kitchen worktop, as we do not have a suitable space or table to use. My girlfriend is working from the sofa with her laptop on her lap. Neither is optimal... I am having to stand all day as the counter is too high for any of our chairs; my girlfriend has hurt her lower back because she’s slumped on our soft sofa. It seemed only temporary when we first went in to lockdown. Now we are heading on for at least a year...
John, Account manager, with a spare bedroom set up
Working from home was a complete change to my typical working day. I had to learn how to balance work and home life.
I initially assumed that the lockdown would only last a couple of weeks and we would be back to normal life, unfortunately this was not the case. After a month of working at a makeshift set up on my dining room table, crunched over a small laptop, I started to experience a number of migraines and headaches along with struggling to sleep at night.
This is when I realised, I needed to make some changes. I decided to buy a small desk and office chair, creating an office environment in my spare bedroom. I then realised to keep working efficiently and more comfortably I needed an additional monitor.
I never noticed before the difference a monitor makes to your work flow and health. Within days the number of migraines had reduced and I started to feel back to a more comfortable work and home life balance.
Jane, Office based company manager, with small home office.
Working from home for me is not an issue, I have a small study and have it already set up with a dock and dual screen monitors.
My struggle though is the home / work balance. Being at home I am constantly distracted, the postman at the door-bell, the window cleaner, the kids when they are home from school demanding snacks. And don’t get me started on the poor broad band connections... How do you switch off?
Where do you draw the line of work vs home?
Kelly Oke, NLP Practitioner
“We are all very unique human beings and what makes us individuals is an intertwined combination of our neurology and physical body. Therefore, these unprecedented times will affect each of us differently. Looking after not only yourself, but being there for colleagues, friends and families is now of the upmost importance.”
Top tips to build resilience include:
Emma Milligan, Director at Lower Earley Osteopaths
“At the beginning of lockdown, my clinic saw a huge increase in lower back and shoulder problems, the main cause of this was the lack of equipment provided by companies. People were working from makeshift desks, sitting on sofas with laptops or iPad or even sitting on the floor surrounded by kids. This did however change once companies started to provide access to furniture or provide budgets for people to create home set ups. Another issue we have seen in the industry is people’s bodies starting to seize up and muscle fibres starting to shorten causing increase strain on the body due to the lack of movement.”
Tips to overcome these issues include: