16 / 03 / 2020 – 2 min read
How to Help Your Clients Work From Home
While home-based work has been rising over the last few years, the sudden arrival of COVID-19 has forced many people into home working and self-isolation. While for some this won’t be much of a problem, for others, home working comes with its own set of challenges.
In the workplace, we tend to have things set up the way we like them. Our monitors are adjusted, we have comfy office chairs and we stroll around the floor to chat to colleagues. Socialising, movement and workspace environment all get honed over time.
When someone suddenly moves to home working, all of those conveniences they took for granted disappear.
If you work in the physical therapy and general health practitioner space, you may already be aware of the difficulties that arise from home working. Preparing to help your clients adjust is important, especially if the instances of home working increase.
Risks for Home Working
Home working sounds like the dream, right? For many people though, their houses just aren’t working environments.
If someone doesn’t usually work from home, they might not have a desk or a supportive chair. Many workers will find themselves operating from the kitchen table, the sofa or cramped spaces. It doesn’t take long to develop temporary back pain, muscle stiffness or aching joints when spending long periods of time sitting in uncomfortable spaces.
In the office, there’s often a good reason to move around regularly. While many people do it without thinking, walking to speak to colleagues, lunch breaks and tea breaks all contribute to movement. At home and isolated, there may be less movement required, pushing the worker into a sedentary lifestyle.
Social isolation is another big problem with home working and mental health might be at risk. When you’re used to chatting and working with colleagues each day, going into isolation can be surprisingly stressful.
Guidance for Working at Home
Physiotherapists are in a good position to advise clients on how to stay active and healthy during stints working from home. Creating infographics, explanatory videos and written instructions allows your clients to take the necessary steps to prevent issues like back pain.
If you’re in the occupational health space, advising on how to correctly set up a home working environment easily may also be useful. While working on a laptop from the sofa sounds enjoyable, after a few hours the lack of support will be the opposite!
If people are unable to leave their homes to visit gyms and recreation centres, they may be lost as to what exercise they can do without much equipment at home. Creating guidance on activities like yoga, stretches and other equipment-light activities may come in useful.
The Benefits of Remote Guidance
The advice for healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19 is ongoing and frequently updated but making practices more accessible remotely might be useful beyond the current situation.
Offering online and telephone consultations allows physical therapists to assist those who may not be able to come into the practice. Telecare and telehealth have been shown to reduce healthcare costs and could be more convenient to patients who don’t need to be seen face-to-face.
Technology like the D+R Therapy app can help you track and monitor your patients’ progress remotely as well, reducing or eradicating the need to see them in person.
With basic home equipment such as resistance bands and gym mats, many people can fulfil their physio needs, even if they’re unable to leave their homes. By providing guidance for useful exercises, physical therapy professionals may be able to continue helping their patients with relative ease.
Ease Into Working From Home
Thousands of people work from home during normal work weeks and develop strategies to make it work for them. As this current situation is so sudden, many people will be forced to work from home and spend more time in a smaller space than usual.
By ensuring your clients and patients understand how they can stay active and strong while working from home, practitioners can help home workers minimise the risks of issues like back pain and muscle stiffness.