The scoop on working from home

It’s true: working from home is here to stay. Whether full-time or in hybrid mode, the flexible hours and lower absenteeism of working from home have convinced employees and managers alike. However, working from home requires quite a few adjustments.
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The importance of a suitable work environment

Ideally, you should have a dedicated workspace. Trying to concentrate with a fruit bowl beside the keyboard is not easy. Isolate yourself physically and intellectually: get a good headset to reduce ambient noise, especially when your better half is videoconferencing.

How your office is physically and ergonomically organized is of paramount importance. Here are a few tips:

  • The top of your monitor screen should be at eye level, which is almost impossible when working with a laptop. Think about your neck and elevate your screen. In the case of a laptop, consider getting an external keyboard and using the computer as a monitor.
  • A good ergonomic chair is a sound investment. With the latest height-adjustable workstations, you can easily alternate between standing and sitting; you should also avoid extended periods of working with poor posture.
  • Ask your employer if they intend to pay for some of the equipment and hire a professional installer to set up your space to your body size. For more information about ergonomic design, visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

A good Internet connection is essential

No worries if it’s reliable and fast. But it’s a nightmare if the connection frequently drops off or if it’s so slow that it garbles what you say in videoconferences!

Make sure you have all the bandwidth you need when you’re working from home. You can also use online tools to check the quality of your Internet connection. If you’re not satisfied, contact your Internet provider to upgrade your service. Your employer may also be willing to pay for better Internet access.

Routine and discipline

Once you're settled, you’ll find that there’s a thin line between work and personal life when you're working from home. Adopt a daily routine as if you had to report to the office, and give yourself breaks and logout periods. It’s a good idea to keep your evenings to yourself! And why not go out for a few minutes in the morning and evening as if you were still commuting to and from work.

Look after your mental health

Feeling isolated is the bane of many remote workers. Don’t stop instant messaging and phone calls to your colleagues and friends. Recreate the chats you used to have during office breaks, but from a distance. You’re still a member of a work team… you need to cultivate that team spirit!

Maintain a sensible rest schedule. It’s sometimes tempting to work a few extra hours in the evening when the office is ‘right next door.’ This can affect the quality of your sleep... and your work the following day.

Take regular breaks from the screen and maintain your normal vacation schedule. If you need help to manage your stress or to strike a better balance between working from home and your family life, don't hesitate to consult professionals who can provide tools and support you in your new arrangement.

Beware of too much sitting

You’re almost certain to put on weight if you don’t have to travel considerable  distances to go to work, to the cafeteria or to a colleague's office. With fewer activities that are also less intense, your joints will also become stiffer.

Get up frequently; stretch your neck, back and legs; and go for a 15-minute walk twice a day, just as you did on your breaks at the office.

Cybersecurity is a must

Now that you have access to your employer's data from your workstation at home, how vulnerable are you to cyber attacks? It's your responsibility to protect your equipment from cyber attacks and other threats that are becoming increasingly common, precisely because of the vulnerabilities of poorly protected systems at home.

In addition to updating your computer system as required, use strong passwords and encrypted WiFi. And to further protect yourself, contact your insurance representative and ask about Intact Insurance’s S.O.S. Identity® protection, which covers you for identity theft, cyber attacks, and more. This product also gives you 24/7 access to legal advice.

To maintain your professional motivation when working from home, you need to take care of yourself and your space. By following these tips, you'll maximize your chances of success!

This website provides general information only. Your insurance policy contract takes precedence at all times.

To learn more about working from home protections and S.O.S. Identity® protection, contact your insurance representative or learn more at the link below.

Learn more

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