Posted by Kayla Cloete - REMAX on 22 Jun 22


Life at Home

Initially, the work-from-home trend might have been viewed as a temporary set-up for most South Africans. But, for those whose current arrangement is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, experts advise setting some time aside to prioritize your overall wellbeing in your new work environment.

"Since the pandemic, a dedicated study has become a sought-after feature in a home," Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa notes. "Investing some money into creating a more permanent study space could add immense value onto your property, not to mention the mental benefits it can provide too. To achieve this, homeowners could 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," he recommends.

For those who cannot afford to undertake a costly renovation, RE/MAX of Southern Africa shares some other ways to take care of your wellbeing when working from home...

    1)Set up an ergonomic workspace

    While working from home provides the ability to slouch on the sofa while replying to emails, your neck and your back will not thank you for this later. If you do not have a separate room for an office, you can create a dedicated workspace (possibly in the kitchen or dining room) 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. If your chair isn't adjustable, sit on a pillow or place your laptop on a few books to make sure you are not hunched over all day.

    2)Remember to take breaks

    Those office chit-chats around the water cooler are far more important than you might have realised. For those without distractions at home, it can be easy to sit at your desk all day and get absorbed in a task. But, it is important to get up every hour or so and just move, whether that means getting up to fetch a drink from the kitchen or even simply using the toilet. Remember that several short breaks throughout the day will be more beneficial than longer but less frequent breaks.

    3)Create separation where possible

    When working from home, the temptation to binge Netflix all day can be a real struggle. On the other hand, it can be just as easy to work late into the evening without even noticing. To avoid work spilling over into your home life and vice versa, try to create some form of division between the work and living spaces within the home. Set up a workspace that is facing away from any distractions (like the TV) and when the workday is done, shut down and pack away the laptop, turn off all email notification to your mobile device, and pack away all traces of the workday.

While many aspects of life are slowly returning to pre-pandemic routines, there are certain changes that are seemingly here to stay; the work from home trend being one of them. "Working from home can be great, but 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," Goslett concludes.