In these weeks, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are resorting to smart working; for some, it is a novelty, for others, it is a working model already in use.

With smart working, you can work from home and manage your time, carry out activities digitally and hold meetings remotely.

“Smart working requires organization, even more so where you are forced to do it and you may have to share your home with other people, who in turn are busy working remotely or attending classes in the case of children who are students,” stresses Professor Daniela Lucini, Head of the Exercise Medicine and Functional Pathologies Section of Humanitas and Director of the School of Sports Medicine and Physical Exercise at the University of Milan.

Five tips to manage smart working:

  1. Being at home all day and for a long time can bring with it difficulty in managing your time. I recommend that you set yourself concrete daily and weekly or monthly goals, depending on your needs and type of work. Having a real to-do list can help you take stock and organise your time. 
  2. The obligation to work from home saves us time on travel, so the morning routine may be more “relaxed”. However, it is important to maintain regular rhythms and schedules, starting work or study at the usual time and ending, unless otherwise required, at the same time. 
  3. It is important to have a healthy and balanced lunch, take breaks from time to time and take care of yourself and your appearance. Even if you dress more comfortably at home, avoid staying in your pyjamas. 
  4. Let’s create a workspace, as best as possible and in an attempt to reconcile the different needs of living together. If we work at the computer we sit at the table, avoiding working on the sofa or bed, and if we have one, we connect the laptop to the keyboard and monitor and use the mouse. Let’s pay attention to posture: if we use the laptop, let’s raise it up so as to allow our column to maintain a physiological curvature and not to keep the head and neck flexed downwards. If you do not have an ergonomic chair, it is advisable to place a cushion on the back of the chair at the lumbar level. Finally, also pay attention to the light, it is preferable not to have light shining onto the computer screen, but it can possibly come from the side instead. 
  5. Do not confuse work and private life. Being at home can help with some domestic needs, but in order for the day to be fruitful and not to worry between work and home, it is important to organise yourself here too. During the lunch break, it can be convenient to put the washing machine on or hang out the clothes, but it is useful to plan the different activities by distancing the time when you focus on work from the time when you focus on home or personal needs.

A good organisation of the day improves your work performance, counteracts stress, and allows you to cope a little better with remote work management.