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Working From Home: Setup, Productivity and Wellness Tips

Remote work is transforming how, when, and where we work. It may be an adjustment for those familiar with the traditional office environment. The following are tips to assist those transitioning from a traditional office environment to working from home.

Setting up your workspace

Your home workspace is your new office, and you’re still at work, so it’s important to set up an environment that will allow you to be as productive as you can.

Have a specific, quiet location where you work and organize this space to keep everything you need handy.

Make sure that your internet signal is strong and secure enough to fulfill your job deliverables. Remember to update your software, and beware of malware, phishing, and suspicious messages.

Since your company devices are for use by you only, you will want to lock them whenever you’re not at your desk.

Choose a comfortable chair, as you will be spending most of your time in it.

Poor lighting can lead to eye fatigue, so you’ll want to ensure that you have proper task lighting.

To help settle into working from home, try to keep as closely to your office schedule as possible. Input your breaks, meetings, projects and lunchtime into your planner to keep your working day on track.

If you feel that the temptation to spend time on social media apps instead of working is too great, delete them from your devices and re-download them during breaks and lunch.

Keeping your workday normal may also include childcare. If you can enlist family members to assist with childcare, do so.

It is important that your surroundings in video meetings look neat and tidy, with no questionable items visible.

And setting boundaries is key: determine which interruptions are acceptable and which are not, and let your family and friends know.


Your workday is still your workday. It’s not time off or leisure time.

To help you keep accountable to your workload flow and deadlines, make a ‘to-do’ list and check off your accomplishments at the end of the day.

Start and log-out at the same times as you would for your usual workday. You may be tempted to work longer hours than usual, self-creating an overwork situation.

If possible, open your window periodically, as fresh air helps you stay more productive.

Virtual meetings and phone-in meetings are the work-from-home equivalent of a conference room, so conducting yourself accordingly is important.

Make sure that you’re dressed and groomed appropriately for video meetings and in a quiet, private space to avoid interruptions and having confidential, sensitive, or private information overheard.

If anything in the virtual meeting left you unclear, email, text, or phone your supervisor for task clarification.

Because you can no longer just drop by your supervisor’s or colleague’s desk for an impromptu meeting, it is important to keep your phone and company instant messenger on to stay connected with your supervisor and coworkers.

Inform your supervisor of your work progress and any difficulties you’ve encountered, including if you need to put in for overtime to complete projects.


Because home furniture is rarely the same ergonomically as professional grade office furniture, you may notice that your own furniture is not as comfortable as what you have at your office workplace.

Be mindful of your posture to avoid spine discomfort, and if your lower back is aching, put a small pillow behind for lumbar support.

Your laptop should be placed an arm’s length away from you.

You may forget to look away without your colleagues to distract you, and screen hypnosis can cause eye strain. Take frequent breaks from staring at your screen. Every fifteen minutes, look away for fifteen seconds to the most distant point you can, to reduce eye fatigue.

Stretching helps minimize muscle pains and strains from repetitive or awkward movements.

Doorway stretches can relieve pectoral and shoulder muscles, and chair exercises help with back and leg fatigue.

Take scheduled breaks to minimize muscle strain and stress.

Stretch wrists and neck between typing bouts as a micro-break.

Stand and walk around for a couple of minutes at least once an hour, vary work activities, and try to work in different position throughout the day.

Eat properly, avoiding the temptation of overconsumption.

Drink plenty of water, exercise at home, and try to sleep on your normal schedule.

Have coffee breaks or lunch with your work friends as you normally would, but virtually through video chat. Seeing friendly faces helps alleviate the loneliness you might be feeling.

Phone, text, Instant Message, or email those that you might usually see at the office to keep in touch.

Take your exercise friends with you on walks, and share your scenery though video calling.

Make a list with your work friends of things you’d like to learn if you weren’t always so busy. See what you have in common and do things online in a buddy system, like learn a new language.

Work From Home Statistics for Canadians

  • 90% of remote workers report consistent or higher productivity rates working remotely, as compared with in-office work
  • 41% of remote workers would prefer to work half their weekly hours remotely
  • 39% of remote workers would rather work remotely for most, if not all, of their time
  • 37-48% of all paid jobs in advanced economies, such as Canada or the United States, can be performed remotely
  • 8% of businesses are strongly considering consolidating their physical office spaces due to remote working options
  • 37% of remote workers are over the age of 55
  • 54% of gig workers believe they are working more than before the pandemic


HR Proactive Inc. has been building Respectful Workplaces Since 1997.
We can assist your organization to develop a Remote/Hybrid Workplace Policy.

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