The end of the global pandemic of COVID-19 is yet to be seen. With positive cases rising and falling from time to time, many non-essential businesses are encouraged to allow their staff working from home. Nevertheless, some countries have been handling the pandemic better than others so their businesses can resume faster, such as in Malaysia where offices have started to reopen and employees will be able to go back to the office after they get vaccinated. Other countries, however, are compelled to implement a Working From Home (WFH) policy for industries that can operate remotely, such as what is happening in Indonesia.
Although abiding to this policy is wise for health and safety reasons, it is undeniable that working from home can be really draining after some time. The lack of personal space and proper facilities can even affect the quality of work, often leading to the inability to focus and thus deteriorating work performance. In order to avoid the unwanted outcomes from working from home, here are 7 things you can consider purchasing or upgrading to make your working from home activities less stressful.
Typical workers spend most of their working hours sitting in front of computers. That being said, it is essential to choose a comfortable chair that accommodates a good posture. Sitting on a chair that is too short or not proportional for your height can cause slouching, which often becomes the source of back and neck pain in the long run. Therefore, you can consider purchasing a chair that is ergonomic, such as a chair with an armrest and a soft cushion, so you will feel comfortable despite sitting down for hours.
Similar to a chair, a proper working desk is something you can consider investing in to enhance your working from home activity. Choose an ergonomic desk because the height of your desk should be adjusted to your posture, so it will be neither too high nor too low. In addition, make sure your working desk is spacious enough to put your gadgets, such as laptop, smartphone or documents in place and visible, so you will not have to deal with things being scattered and stacked.
3. Earphone or Headset
Online meetings are a mandatory routine to ensure smooth collaboration when working remotely. Therefore, it is worth it to purchase an earphone or a headset that can help you to both listen and talk clearly over the call. You can consider an earphone or a headset that has a built-in microphone and provides comfort to your ears. If you opt for an in-ear earphone instead of an over-ear headset, make sure to choose earbuds that are not too tight for your ears, as this can cause discomfort when used for a long time.
4. External Web Camera
Most people might be comfortable turning their webcam off during online meetings. Are you one of them? Besides audio quality, visual quality is also an important part of online meetings. Although the majority of laptops nowadays have built-in cameras, you can consider adding an external web camera, so you can adjust the angle of your visibility. Other than that, an external web camera gives a higher definition of video quality compared to built-in web camera, so this will be beneficial if you need to turn your camera on often.
If your job requires you to read a lot, then reading lengthy pages on the screen can be really exhausting for your eyes, especially if you have to do this for hours every day. However, taking time off screen too often may delay your workflow. Therefore, you can consider buying a printer and get some pages of your work printed. This will help you rest your eyes without having to take an actual break.
6. External Keyboard and Mouse
Have you heard about Computer Vision Syndrome? It is a cluster of eye and vision-related symptoms including eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain – all this can come from hours of staring too close at the screen. To anticipate this, you can purchase an external keyboard and mouse so you can work without having to stare too close at your screen. Move your laptop forward, away from your sight, and place an external keyboard in front of you with a connected mouse beside it. These two items will help you rest your eyes without having to take a break from work.
7. Essential Oil Diffuser
On top of all technicalities mentioned before, a peace of mind is one thing worth treasuring during the working from home period. Video call fatigue is real and working from the comfort of your own home can feel like you are losing personal space to rest and relax. Because of this, you may find it stressful and difficult to loosen up. Boost your mood with a good scent, which you can get from an essential oil diffuser. It has an automatic scent diffusing system that gives no hassle to regularly monitor it. Moreover, an essential oil is said to contain organic compounds that have health benefits, such as boosting the immune system towards flu and helping to relax better.