Early Stage Company Development · Entrepreneurship

With more people working at home due to COVID what tools are you using to manage your health and wellbeing?

Chirs Zink

Last updated on April 24th, 2020

Whether at home or in the office what tools do you use (if any) to track your productivity, health, and wellbeing? If you do not currently use any software to provide repetitive strain injury (RSI) risk reduction, would you consider using one? I have had a project on the back burner for a while and with all that is going on in the world I'm thinking now might be a good time to focus more efforts on it and start looking for partners.

Aleksandra Czajka Freelance Senior Software Engineer, Developer, Web Developer, Programmer - Full Stack

April 28th, 2020

Great question! I've worked from from home for about 10 years now and have developed a few good habits. Honestly, there are a few services out there that you can install to make you take a break, but to me that has always proven to be very distracting. I'm a programmer, and if I'm working on an algorithm and that thing pops up telling me to take a break - that would be the end of it's existence on my laptop 😂

These are the things that work best for me. But, remember that people are different. For me, building a structure and sticking to it comes easy and naturally. And since I've been doing this for years, breaking out of the structure is what's important for me and keeps me more engaged in my work.

1. Exercise - schedule your exercise for the day. For me, taking a break during the work hours is best for exercise because a 9a - 5p day can be daunting if you think about the fact that you'll be sitting for all those hours.

2. Stand while working - sitting down for long hours can not only be physically unhealthy, it has also proven to me to be mentally unhealthy adding to monotony. I find that I never get bored when I'm standing - probably because I keep thinking about wanting to sit down 😂.

3. Change up where you work - it's amazing how just changing the location of where you work can incite new ideas and better, clearer thinking.

4. Do something other than work during work hours for a few minutes - like cooking lunch.

I'm not against some tools to help me be more productive and healthy - I just haven't seen any good ones that prove to be "smart" rather than annoying. For me, I would use a tool that I can access once I'm feeling the desire to break out of the monotony - rather than a tool that bugs me every 20 minutes 🙂

Good luck with your project!

Nina Rong Growth Specialist

April 29th, 2020

Absolutely! I have been working remotely for 8 months now. Covid-19 is not just WFH. It's more stressful than the normal WFH style.

It's important for team leaders to mentally and emotionally check-in with the team. Have the chit-chat and talk about their everyday life. Giving people some emotional support can make the team more productive and trusting.

I am working on something to help remote team building. Happy to hear what you all think! www.toasty.ai

Leon Rubinstein Co-Founder @ Mobiiuz - products that improve people's life

Last updated on April 30th, 2020

It's great to hear that at least some of you use the standing desk.

Just curious, how long do you actually use it in the standing position as opposed to the sitting position?

There are studies that show that on average employees use standing desks in the sitting position 80-90% of the time! Not very effective, especially for the price of a standing desk.

The number one reason for not standing is the fatigue. How do you handle it?

Chirs Zink

April 27th, 2020

According to statistics 60% of office workers suffer from wrist pain and other RSI related issues, not to mention sitting all day is in general terribly unhealthy. It doesn't seem like there are many software solutions available. One of the easiest and most effective exercises is taking micro-breaks. These are simple short 20 second breaks that have a profound impact on health and wellbeing. Creating a software that combines micro-breaks with other resources such as ergonomic assessments, training, breathing exercises, eye relaxation exercises, and other features would not only help the user but help the company.

Aleksandra Czajka Freelance Senior Software Engineer, Developer, Web Developer, Programmer - Full Stack

April 30th, 2020

Hi Leon!

I don't actually use a standing desk. I find a place in my apartment to put my laptop that's at a high enough level - my kitchen table, bookshelf, etc... which goes hand in hand with the idea that I've mentioned before about changing up the location at which you work. I usually stand at it for 1 hour.

To address the fatigue question - to me it's more of an 'annoyance' factor 😂. I find that the first 10 minutes of standing I keep thinking about sitting down and it's a bit annoying - but it keeps me from being bored. After that I get into my work and forget about it. But, you don't have to do it for an hour... you can do it in spurts too.


Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

April 24th, 2020

How is software in any way related to RSI? Ergonomics are still the responsibility of your employer, even when they send you home to work from a new environment. It's not the employee's responsibility, even if for many, it's been left to them to figure out how to work from home equivalent to the office.

Work-from-home habits, remote and tele-work productivity, both these are still employer responsibilities. Tools? No. Techniques for forming good habits? Yes. Health and well-being? Well, has your employer ever been involved?

Working from home reveals a lot about self-discipline, and it also reveals the amount of supervision versus leadership required to build skills many workers never had to develop before. What's probably much more helpful in this area is not a tool to monitor or track anything. Instead it's a path for employers who have always fallen short on developing employee skills, training, and career coaching to do so responsibly now, that would benefit industry long-term, not just now.

That's my opinion. I'm interested in the reaction you hear from others.

Young Lee Venture OM, Process Development

April 26th, 2020

That's an interesting idea. I know of exercises and adjustable office furniture that are provided, but I don't know of any software that can help. I think it might be useful in U.S., where lifespan of employees are longer and where resolving workplace injury claims can be more costly than preventive tools.

Kumar Dharma I'm the Founder and CEO of a technology staffing platform called GigaMe.

April 28th, 2020

Please practice yoga. There are so many online classes. Please let me know.It helps for me to manage my acute shoulder and back pain.

Young Lee Venture OM, Process Development

April 29th, 2020

I wanted to share what I do in case it can be helpful. They are not software tools.

I placed my tablet to my right so my head would turn 90 degrees for any messages and calls. I do emails and words on my laptop in front of me. I do browsing, watch videos/presentation via projector screen that is to the left. My head turns 90 degrees for those. I think it also helps with my eyes because my eyes are focusing on objects at different distances. I have three different chairs that I rotate so be in different position. Come to think of it, it might be nice to have an office chair that gradually/routinely switches the position. (convertible chair) I have regular office chair, yoga ball chair, and a kneeling chair (?) I made.

Jerry Feedler Senior Software Engineer

April 29th, 2020

That's actually a great idea. I totally agree with Aleksandra; when a bunch of apps are telling me that it's time to take a break or stand up or do some exercises every half an hour, it's highly likely they will be deleted in the next few weeks. It's actually much better to set aside a certain time during your working hours when it's comfortable for you to take a break. You had some small traditions at the office, hadn't you? Something like 3 o'clock coffee with your colleagues or small talk at 12pm in the kitchen. Do not break them just because you're stuck at home. Go and make you a cup of coffee at 3 pm and call to your friends and colleagues at 12. This will help not only your physical health but mentally, it'll help you switch from monotonous work to other activities. You'll get back to work refreshed and much more productive.

Regarding the software, I'm pretty sure that among the latest telehealth trends, there's a tendency of integrating all these fitness trackers with healthtech apps. Such apps can collect and process data about workers' physical and mental health, set up activity goals, and track calories burnt.