A recent survey carried out in 2021 discovered that out of 5,000 workers 52% were now working from home. The Covid-19 pandemic has created a shift in how we work, with many of us setting up dedicated spaces in spare bedrooms or at dining tables to stay safe and get work done.
However, this shift in the workplace has lead to an issue with workers being unable to turn off and eventually leading to burnout. The office and home are the same location and so when it comes to 5.30 and the end of the working day, many people are finding it difficult to switch off.
And this inability to switch off is not only chaos for our mental health but also for our eyes and bodies. With so many hours glued to a screen, we’re straining ourselves while working.
With this in mind, we’ve come up with just a few simple ways to manage working on a screen all day to ensure you stay happy and healthy and productive.
- Wear your glasses if you need them
Such a simple solution but one that many of us avoid or forget. Make putting your glasses on part of your start of the day routine.
Turn on your laptop, take that sip of coffee and put on your glasses ready for a day in front of your screen. Blue light glasses are a great option, as they protect your eyes from glare.
Can’t find your glasses or need new ones? You can buy glasses online now with your prescription included.
- Book in regular breaks
Screen breaks are so important. Not only do they help relieve strain on your eyes but they also give you space to breathe and can improve productivity. It’s a good idea to work for 25-30 minutes solidly, then take 5 minutes away from your screen.
This could be a five-minute activity as simple as going to make a drink, fussing your dog or saying hello to your partner if they’re also working from home.
Breaking up your day with little breaks will make you feel less overwhelmed and also gives you a rest from the screen.
- But don’t turn to another screen on your breaks
It’s tempting to take a break from that work screen and instead pick up your phone, to browse social media or an online shopping app. Try to avoid doing this or you aren’t really taking a break from your screen at all!
Take time to get outside for some fresh air or to maybe get through the chapter of that book you’ve been meaning to read. You could even use the time to get a small job done in the house such as emptying the dishwasher. Break up that screen time and give your eyes a break if you can.
- Move around if you can
Don’t stay glued to your dedicated office space. Take your phone out with you and have a walking meeting with a colleague, pick a shady spot in the garden to get your emails done on a warm day or maybe prep dinner while listening in on a meeting that perhaps doesn’t require your full attention.
The beauty of working from home means you can get away from your screen in its traditional setting and enjoy a little freedom.
- Ensure your room is well lit
Sitting in a dimly lit room with just the light of your computer screen isn’t going to do anything for your eyes. Try to let in as much natural light as you can throughout the day and in the winter months ensure you have a bright lamp or ceiling light to illuminate the space.
- Remember to blink
Sounds silly, right? But when we stare at a screen for long periods of time we can forget to blink. This then dries out our eyes which leads to them feeling sore and itchy. Try to remember to blink regularly to keep eyes moist and feeling fresh.
- Stretch regularly
It’s easy to become stiff and sore while sitting at a desk all day. Take time to stretch to relieve strain on your neck and avoid soreness and tension when you finish at the end of the day.
This guide from Bupa features some useful stretches that you can try out without getting up from your chair. It’s also important to make sure your desk is in the right position with everything on your desk (mouse,keyboard etc.) in easy reach. You shouldn’t have to stretch to work or strain your muscles.
Try out these tips to help you manage working on a screen all day to stay as productive and healthy as possible.