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October 12, 2020. Written by Elise Tarvainen @ Elise Tarvainen

COVID-19 has led many societies to recommend to the employers to favor remote work as much as possible. By working from home, we have been able to slow down the spread of coronavirus and employees have managed to stay healthy while allowing employers to continue running their operations. Remote work has become a lifeline for many businesses, and our perception of office has expanded to any place in which a professional person conducts business.

For us who are used to leave home every morning at certain time to reach the office this is a new reality with no ready-made code of conduct. Working at home can be awesome – and most challenging at the same time.

To my surprise, the most difficult matter proved maintaining work ergonomics and creating new routines combining work and private life in an environment that has not been originally designed for office work. The cozy couch or the inviting armchair were not the right places to work: my shoulders ached, and the computer rocked in my lap unsteadily. The dining table appeared to be a good place to work first, but soon the pain in my lower back reminded me that the sitting position was anything else but ergonomic.

During the first months of working mainly from home I realized how important it is to aim for healthy and safe working conditions similar to anyone working in an office. Both the employers and increasingly the employees themselves need to pay attention to physical, cognitive as well as to social and organizational matters. Being mindful of the factors of healthy working conditions and practices, we can better rhythmize our workflow during the day, and thus reduce stress and strain in the body.

Above all, you can affect to your well-being at work yourself. My greatest #workingfromhome lessons learned — through trial and error — have been as follows:

Build and maintain positive bonds. Authentic interpersonal work relationships contribute not only to the well-being of employees, but also to the creativity and productivity of working team resulting in the success of the businesses.

Take a break. While work can be inspiring, even addictive, energizing pauses on a regular basis are an integral part of the workday no matter where you work. The power of restoring balance of mind and body in between the meetings cannot be emphasized enough.

Invest in a tailored workstation. Ergonomic choices in home offices are just as important as if you were working in an employer’s office. Dedicated and quality workspace is vital to productivity and a prerequisite for work well-being. It’s only a question of finding a solution that meets both the ergonomic requirements and the style and decor of one’s home.

Developing new routines and practices for at-home work is a journey that begins with tiny steps towards a more significant objective. Looking forward to seeing where this journey will take and what the next lessons to be learned are. Already wondering if I should fix the tittle of the blog to #workinganywhere…

About the author

Elise Tarvainen

Elise has robust experience of working in multi-cultural teams and international markets. These assignments and projects have been a unique possibility to create innovative, world-class learning and innovation environments by fusing the best practices from Finland into local context and needs.

As a COO of ISKU’s international operations, Elise enjoys and gets inspired by working with a team of high-caliber professionals to foster company's growth.