Lifehacks for language professionals 2023

Session review

This year’s Lifehacks for language professionals session covered the topics of workspace ergonomics and stress, presented by Emma Goldsmith and Jacqueline Costa, respectively.

Lifehacks 2022 presenters

In the first talk, MET chair and former nurse Emma took us on an ergonomics-oriented tour of a computer workstation. To tailor her talk to the audience, Emma had surveyed attendees in advance, asking us about our own set-ups and any ergonomics-related health issues. She’d also collected photos of fellow MET members at work to illustrate some of the alternatives available to the traditional desk-and-chair arrangement. After covering everything from posture and desk height to keyboards and mice, Emma finished up by highlighting the importance of taking breaks and getting exercise to compensate for our sedentary lifestyles. The Q&A session led to a discussion about the pros and cons of standing desks and the use of apps – and other, non-digital methods – to remind us to take regular breaks.

After the break, Jacqueline began her talk on harnessing stress for positive change with a glimpse of what quality of life means in her culturally rich corner of Italy. She then homed in on work-life quality and on one of the key factors that affects it – stress. Outlining the three phases of a stress response, Jacqueline encouraged us to use the initial “red flag” phase to observe our symptoms, identify our stressors and experiment with prevention and mitigation strategies. Focusing on internal and external stressors that are common among language professionals, Jacqueline gave us practical, easy-to-implement tips and tricks gleaned from her own personal experience. Lastly, she urged us to avoid second-hand stress by putting up barriers to protect ourselves and sharing her advice with those around us.

As online event host Pamela Barnby wrapped up the session, several attendees mentioned in the chat box that this was their first MET event and that they’d definitely be back for more. A big thank you to Emma and Jacqueline for making it such a useful session for newcomers and old hands alike.

Review by Annamaria Schenoni-Millier

Lifehacks 2022 audience