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Increase productivity while looking after yourself: 3 essential work from home tips for mental well-being

Working from home has its benefits, but can have its negatives. Picture: File

Working from home has its benefits, but can have its negatives. Picture: File

Published Jun 22, 2022

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It can be easy to over-exert yourself when working from home. Without a set structure (work hours), you can end up taking up more responsibilities than you can handle.

Thabiso Mbevu, a web developer from Durban, has struggled with this since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“I did not realise how much I liked the office until I had to work from home. I had to learn to set up a healthy routine where I have enough time to conduct my work but still have time for a breather every now and then,” he says.

Adrian Goslett, the Regional Director and chief executive of RE/MAX, says investing some money into creating a more permanent work space could not add immense value to your property but also ensure mental benefits as well.

"Homeowners can consider a garage conversion, an extension or addition onto the home, or possibly the installation of a low-cost container room as an outdoor garden office,” says Goslett.

Here are the CEO’s tips for taking care of your well-being when working from home:

Set up an ergonomic workspace

Working from home has its perks, such as nobody giving you a side eye if you decide to slouch. However, in the long run, this will not be great for your back and neck.

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“Create a dedicated workspace where you can set yourself up for a comfortable workday. Check that you are not sitting too low or too high for your desk – the rule of thumb is that your elbows should be bent to 90 degrees,” he says.

Take breaks

According to Goslett, it is important to get up every hour or so and just move. This means getting up to fetch a drink from the kitchen or simply using the toilet. Several short breaks throughout the day will be more beneficial than longer but less frequent breaks.

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Create separation where possible

Set up a workspace that is facing away from any distractions (like the TV), and when the workday is done, shut down the laptop, and turn off all email notifications.

“I would encourage those who work remotely to invest in their space and make sure they are comfortable in their home-office environment to avoid putting their overall wellbeing at risk,” says Goslett.

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