Working from home—what to consider

Here you can find a movie about how to create good ergonomics when you work from home, and some other useful tips! (in Swedish only)

Structure

When you work in the same environment where you also have your private life, it is especially important that you create structure, which, for some of us, may include new routines. In order to recharge your batteries, it is important that you have the opportunity to think about something other than work (daily, weekly, and yearly). So be clear with yourself and decide: when does the work day start and when does it end?

Let your colleagues know that you are teleworking and how and when you are available. A tip might be to, for example, say good morning to your closest colleagues. It's not only a nice way to start your day, it also signals that your work day has begun and that you are reachable. Similarly, it is also important to bid farewell to your colleagues at the end of the work day. Be sure to turn off your work computer and log off from the active channels you use in order to signal that your work day is over. You have the feeling of being part of a team while also signalling "I am done for today, we'll talk again tomorrow."

Ergonomics

How can you ensure a good physical work environment at home? Many people who work from home sit with their laptop at the kitchen table. That is not necessarily a problem, but the less ergonomically correctly you sit or stand while you work, the more important it is that you take breaks. Get up every 20 minutes. Move your arms and legs. Stretch your back. Walk to a window and look as far away as you can for a minute before returning to your computer. Then you've refreshed your brain and your eyes have been rested. Be sure to review and speak to your manager about what work tools you can take home.

Contact with manager and colleagues

Come to an agreement with your manager about expected working hours and work content and check in regularly. Are you going to work at home full-time or part-time and how should your working hours be planned in that case? A good dialogue and the need to check in is important not only for your work but also for maintaining contact with the workplace.

Telework can make people feel lonely, isolated, and unmotivated. The solution is to communicate often. Of course, meetings should and can be held online, but it is also important to not only to have meetings that are about work. This will be particularly important if we are to work remotely for several weeks, or perhaps even months.

Hold regular virtual non-work-related meetings with your colleagues; perhaps you can have a shared morning or afternoon coffee and a weekly shared lunch. Tell your closest colleagues that you'd love to hear what's being talked about in the office. Perhaps you can keep a chat dialogue open so that it’s easy to "talk" quickly and informally. E-mails often feel more formal. Keep in mind that it can be through informal conversations that information is disseminated and that can be crucial both to feeling included in a work group and to being able to make the right decisions in different contexts.

Work environment at home

If you want to be able to work sustainably from home, you need to be able to maintain boundaries with family/ friends. If possible, physically close yourself in and ask any family members to respect your working hours. We are all different when it comes to this, but it is important that you find a way that suits you in order to maintain work-life balance.

If you have children who are at home all or part of the day, check with your manager about how you can plan your work. For example, can you adjust your working hours to your children's sleep schedule and work when your children are asleep? Together with your manager, set guidelines for how you are going to work and communicate this to your colleagues. Note! Keep in mind that if you are teleworking and your child becomes ill, the normal rules and possibilities around caring for an ill child apply.

What about occupational injuries at home?

Your manager is responsible for ensuring that you have a good work environment, which applies even if you work from home. For telework, you and your manager should discuss your work environment at home and you are obliged to communicate any risks associated with working in your home environment. This is in order to give your manager the opportunity to take their health and safety responsibility.

In the case of telework, occupational injury insurance (TFA and PSA) applies. Unlike work at work, the accident is required to be directly related to the work you do, i.e. the injury occurs while performing your duties. For example, if you injure yourself when you are making coffee in the kitchen, this does not count as an accident at work, even if it occurs during fixed working hours.

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