Split Working: The Home/Workplace Model

In the old days, there would be a clear distinction between our work and living spaces. While WFH was always set to become more mainstream, the speed at which it happened left little time for adjustment.

Thrown in at the deep end, workers have had to navigate the kitchen table being the place where important meetings were held. Or, trying to manage childcare and lead a team simultaneously – none of which even barely resembles what you had in mind when you accepted the job!

But as WFH is here to stay at least in some capacity, we now have to view our homes as both workplaces and living spaces. Here are some top tips to make the experience as smooth as possible.

Equipment

In an office space, care and attention go on the desk and chair you will be spending 40 hours a week in. The exact specifications also have to pass health and safety regulations.

Though when working from home, ergonomics doesn’t get considered in the same aspect. Kitchen chairs are designed to sit in while you eat a meal – not while spending 8 hours a day hunched over your computer. So, if you haven’t done so already, make sure you invest in a good desk setup that allows you to maintain a good posture, while also avoiding eye strain.

It’s possible to buy standing desks if you have the room, or at the very least screen adjusters, so that you don’t strain your neck looking down all day. If you’ve been noticing any aches or pains from your desk set up, then the sooner you address the issue the better.

Communication

office design ukTechnology is brilliant at making our lives more streamlined, and any pressure it can take off us during this time is even better. Most people are familiar with Zoom, though in reality there are thousands of apps, software and pieces of tech you could be utilising.

A notable mention goes to Monday and Slack, which allow you to organise projects between your team, regardless of where they are located. Even before the pandemic, such tech was incredibly useful. Being able to keep track of different clients and projects is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Seen as we can’t walk across the office to do such tasks in person right now, it’s well worth the investment.

For those of you who are in a management role, it can be tricky to do so from afar. Ultimately, one of the best ways to navigate things is to have regular, clear communication with your team. Take emails and messaging apps as an example. These are what we use the most – though plain text often lacks tone. So be sure to check in with voice or video call at least once a week too.

Physical Health

It’s easier said than done to exercise with so many restrictions in place. Though, even when WFH becomes the norm in the future, the issue will still exist that we aren’t moving as much anymore, especially as we ditch the commute altogether. But as we know, exercise is essential for our health, and this includes our mental health too.

Ideally, we should all get up and move at least once an hour though this isn’t always feasible with a heavy workload. As well as signing up for online fitness classes (or checking out free sessions on YouTube), you can also find tech that helps you exercise at your desk. There are also plenty of fitness trackers that will alert you if you’ve been sedentary for too long.

Any movement you can do is better than none. For example, spending 10-15 minutes in the morning stretching before you sit at your desk. Going for a walk on your lunch break instead of doom scrolling on your phone. Take notice of when you’ve been sitting down for too long and do something about it – these days, you can even hire a personal trainer remotely!

Mental Health

The reality of WFH is that the bubble of colleagues you’d bounce ideas off and even have a casual conversation with are now gone, at least in a physical sense. Of course, you’re still in constant contact over email, messaging and video calls, but it’s still not the same as communicating in person.

Thankfully, mental health is something that all of us are paying more attention to, and this definitely applies to those who are working from home. Loneliness, stress, anxiety and isolation are all issues which can crop up while WFH, even if it does have its perks such as more family time. So checking in with each other is key.

Equally, some employees aren’t going to feel comfortable talking about how they feel with their employer due to the fear of stigma. This is something that every company needs to tackle, either with training or the provision of counselling sessions if needed. Given 1 in 4 adults are experiencing a mental health issue at any time, addressing this more openly is something that will benefit your employees on a personal and professional level.

Find Out More

Need help or advice with anything we’ve mentioned above? Advanced Commercial Interiors has been helping businesses reimagine their office and commercial spaces since 2009. Based in Nottingham, we cover the whole of the UK including Derby, Birmingham, Leicester and Manchester.

From small re-fits to something a little more ambitious, drop us a line on 0115 939 7572 with your project enquiry and we’ll be in touch.