written by
Lore De Jonge

There’s no place like home

Me@BESIX Me@SixConstruct Me@Socogetra me@BELEMCO Me@BESIX Infra Me@Cobelba Me@JacquesDelens Me@FrankiFoundations Me@Vanhout Group Me@Vandenberg 4 min read

5 tips for healthy and productive teleworking

Your home environment may be a pleasant place to be, but is it also the ideal working environment? We give you 5 tips to keep teleworking healthy and productive.

Tip 1: Provide a suitable workplace

Provide enough space

A workplace that is too small quickly creates a locked-in feeling and is also more distracting. Space is stimulating and inspiring. So make sure you have enough space. The ideal workspace is at least 10 m² and 2.5 m high.

Let light in

Working in a poorly lit room results in tired eyes, which reduces your performance. Therefore, place your desk as close to the window as possible. If there is no or too little natural light inside, install high-quality lamps that are as close as possible to daylight.

Keep the air clean

Contaminated air leads to irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract, headaches or feeling unwell. For this reason, always let in plenty of fresh air. If you use ventilation or filtering, you will need to maintain it properly. Because dust and waste also have a negative influence on the air quality, you should clean regularly.

Ensure a pleasant temperature

Are you too cold or too hot? Then you'll perform less well. A good climate control is therefore essential. On hot summer days, air conditioning works wonders, but usually proper sun shading is enough to keep the heat out. In winter, a well-functioning heating system is a must. The ideal temperature? That varies per person, but between 21 and 23 degrees is a good indicator!

Ban environmental noise

Noise can be a serious distraction. For optimal concentration, it is best to work in a place far away from the noise, such as street works, noisy neighbours or children playing.

Tip 2: Pay attention to safety

Avoid obstacles

Nobody likes to work in a messy environment. It also increases the risk of injury from inattention. If you trip and fall, you may be unable to work for a while. So clean up well, keep every passageway clear and mount computer and electronics cables to the wall where possible. This will reduce the risk of tripping.

Think about fire safety

With a few simple measures you reduce the risk of fire in your workspace. Regularly check the condition of electrical equipment (wires, cable, extension cords, etc.) and electrical appliances (lamps, electric heating appliance, coffee machine, etc.). Where possible, avoid flammable products in your work area. Make sure you are safe and install in a place where you can easily evacuate through a door, window or emergency exit. A fire extinguisher is also no superfluous luxury.

Tip 3: work ergonomically

Pain due to an inappropriate working environment is one of the most common work related diseases. A well-equipped workstation does wonders for your work ethic and performance. How do you do it?

  • Preferably choose an ergonomic chair and adjust it optimally.
  • Set your monitor so that everything is easy to read.
  • Take care of your posture for less strain on your neck, shoulders and lower back.
  • Stretch at your desk between work.
  • Use the right tools if you work with a laptop.

Note: the infographics above are only available in Dutch and French. If you want these tips in English, click here.

Tip 4: Work on a healthy lifestyle

Get out of your chair!

Sitting is the new smoking. The hours you spend sitting down every day will eventually increase the chance of all kinds of health problems. In combination with bad eating and drinking habits, this puts a brake on your productivity. Working from home usually means time savings. Make use of it and go for walks or sports during your break. Or make a habit of moving around in your home or workplace during every phone call.

Opt for healthy snacks

Eat healthy and sufficient to suppress the tendency to snack. A little hungry? Opt for healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts. Have as many caffeinated drinks as possible and drink plenty of water instead.

Tip 5: find the right balance

The impact of homeworking on mental well-being is different for everyone. Nevertheless, it is important to pay attention to some common pitfalls: too much scattering or lack of social contacts. This is how you tackle them:

Keep work and private life separate

Working in the silence of the home environment can be inspiring for one and a source of distraction for the other. Can you manage the hustle and bustle of your playing children or pets? Do you resist the mountain of household chores or the lure of social media? Homeworking can lead to more stress than initially thought. Finding the right work-life balance is therefore crucial.

Draw up a clear work schedule per day in which you also schedule sufficient breaks. This way you set deadlines for yourself and have time for relaxation in the evening. It also helps to use a workspace where you can work in seclusion. As soon as your workday is over, you close your workspace and stop answering emails.

Maintain contact with colleagues

If you often work from home, contact with colleagues can be diluted. Then there is a real chance that you will feel excluded from what is happening on the work floor. Therefore make regular use of online platforms such as Microsoft Teams to communicate with your boss and colleagues. Ask questions or respond to messages from others. This way you stay involved in the ins and outs of your team.

Also remember to plan your homework days strategically. A staff meeting or meeting? Make sure you're there.