Healthy Mobile Work
Clearly define the working hours with start and end
When do you start in the morning? And when does your working day end? Do you still check e-mails in the evening? Answer these questions for yourself consciously to get clarity your actions. If possible, stick to your usual work structure and times.
Create a work plan for the day
Make a list of realistic work goals for the day and also for the week. Write it down. Try to take on less. We tend to set the goals too high. With achievable daily goals, you can end the workday feeling satisfied and good.
Plan breaks firmly into your daily work schedule and stick to them, too. Breaks are designed to help you recharge your batteries. How about a moving break or a short walk?
Avoid disturbances and interruptions
Try to create a disturbance-free work environment. If it is not possible on a permanent basis, schedule disturbance-free time sessions.
Communicate your availability
Make your working hours transparent for your team and superiors as well as for family and friends. A schedule makes your working hours and therefore your availability clearer - for yourself and others. Use tools such as the mailbox announcement or the out-of-office note in the e-mail program to make your availability clear to the outside world. By clearly communicating your working hours, you prevent the feeling or claim of constant availability.
By the way, the Working Hours Act also applies in the home office with a maximum working time and rest periods.
Draw clear boundaries
Set up a place in the home office that is only for work. Do you have a study? If so, you can close the door when you're done working. If not, try to visually separate the workspace. Or put the work materials out of your sight at the end of work, e.g. in a drawer.
Rituals shape our daily work routine and provide structure and stability. Here are a few ideas for small new rituals in the home office to get in the mood for the workday and wind down:
- Wearing office attire during work hours
- Consciously getting some fresh air before starting work
- A "good morning" email to colleagues
- Having a fresh cup of coffee or tea at the start of the day
- End the working day with a walk or relaxation exercises
... get creative!
What should I consider when choosing a workstation for mobile working? And how do I set up the workstation ergonomically? You can find a video with ideas for healthy working with a laptop under Tips and Tricks.
Tips for ergonomic design:
- Position the device so that, if possible, no windows or light sources are reflected in it or so that you have to look into the backlight. Daylight is best from the side.
- The distance to the screen should be 50-70 cm.
- Use a separate keyboard, mouse and, if available, a separate monitor for working on the notebook, as they enable a more ergonomic working posture.
- It is best to look down at the screen from above in a relaxed position, as if reading a book. For optimal viewing, the monitor should be tilted back so that your gaze is perpendicular to the screen. This ensures that the head is slightly lowered when looking at the monitor, which prevents tension.
- Change your sitting posture more often and take breaks from movement to prevent back tension.
With the checklist "Healthy working at the PC" of the VBG you can test your workplace with regard to ergonomics.
If the table does not fit:
If the table is too high, it is best to use a box or stool to rest your feet so that your lower leg and upper leg form a right angle. If the table is too low, try to raise the overall work surface, for example, by extending the table legs or installing an additional countertop.
If the chair does not fit:
Not everyone has an ergonomic desk chair at home. That's why they sit for hours on rigid chairs in the home office. If the chair is too high, place a box or stool under the feet so that the right angle in the legs is maintained, but also the forearm rests square to the upper arm on the desk top. If the chair is too low, use a cushion that is not too soft or a folded blanket as a booster seat. Also make sure that you stand up every now and then and change your sitting position.
If you work with a notebook:
If you only work with a notebook, this can quickly lead to tension in the shoulder and neck area, as the head is tilted too much. It is best to place the notebook on an elevation (cardboard, thick books ...) and work with an external mouse and keyboard. Or leave the notebook on the work surface and connect an external monitor and mouse. An external mouse is highly recommended. Working with the touchpad for several hours leads to poor posture and thus usually to pain in the wrist and arm.
The activity break of the University of Bremen takes place every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:45 am online via Zoom. Here are the access data and all further information.
Small changes have a big effect. Change your sitting position again and again. Sometimes leaning forward, upright or reclined, making use of the entire seat surface. Adjust the backrest flexibly (if possible). By making these small and frequent changes when sitting, you relieve the strain on your spine.
Getting up and moving
Even if you don't have a height-adjustable desk, there are still some opportunities to work standing up in between, for example, during a phone call or video conferencing, or while reading current studies with a tablet. Get up regularly and move around the room. Apps and screen savers can help remind you to take short movement breaks on a regular basis.
New movement routines
In the home office, many paths are eliminated or are usually much shorter. Therefore, try to extend the paths. When you go to the kitchen for a glass of water, take a lap around the bedroom beforehand. Look for triggers in your home. For example, use every doorway you pass through to stretch.