The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Work-From-Home Habits for Wellness
Since the pandemic hit, our homes have become our offices. Most companies have adopted the fully remote or hybrid working arrangement. Remote work promises the freedom to choose whether to work from your bed, couch, or study room and for some people, it allows you to choose your working hours. Furthermore, it reduces commute time. Yet, it may be challenging to establish a healthy routine to enhance productivity, prioritize your wellbeing, and maintain a healthy work and life balance.
1. Set up a dedicated workspace
Creating a home office helps to separate your work life and personal life. Even if you don't have an extra room or study, setting up a dedicated workspace can help you keep off distractions and offer a work environment that sparks your creativity and motivation to work. Personalize the workspace with artwork or your family’s pictures to make the space more welcoming.
Ensure you choose a comfortable chair, table, or desk to prevent neck strain and back issues, especially if you work long hours. Consider a standing desk to keep you moving as you work.
2. Create a daily routine and stick to it
When you work from your company’s premises, waking up early and driving to work gets you into the work routine. However, when working remotely, it is easy to throw the daily routine out of the window, but that only sets you up for failure. You may be tempted to work in your pajamas, but that could affect the transition between your time and workday.
Instead of waking up late and rushing to your desk, wake up and sleep at the same time every day, exercise, shower, and dress up. Create a schedule of how your work day starts and ends so that you can signal your brain when it is time to start or stop working. Also, have a daily checklist of what you need to work on and do it. Adopt a good work ethic and deliver on your targets even without supervision to improve your career prospects.
3. Set working hours boundaries
It is easy to work more hours without commute time, but you need to know when to stop. Just because your desk is a few meters from the bed, it doesn’t mean that you should work until bedtime. You need to strike a balance. Set a specific time to wrap up work and stick to it. Close your laptop, go for a walk, or do something to signal your brain to shift from work to your personal time. Don’t check your emails in bed instead of spending time with your kids or partner. Also, get adequate sleep so that you get enough rest.
4. Take regular short breaks
Working from home doesn’t mean you should be glued to your desk to prove you are productive. When working from the office, you take short breaks and chat with your colleagues. Take a break, stretch, and walk around the house. The short work and break intervals boost your focus and productivity and prevent burnout. You can use the Pomodoro technique, where you work for a set time, like 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break. Always include a lunch break to recharge and nourish your body.
5. Stay active
The biggest challenge with working from home is that you sit for a long time and may need more motivation to commute to the gym. When working from the office, you move around with little effort. You walk to the car, around the office, or to meetings and pass by the gym on your way home. Despite the challenges, prioritize your physical wellbeing and create time to exercise since it boosts your mood, keeps you fit, and reduces your risk of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease that correlate with a sedentary lifestyle.
Visit a gym near your home before or after work hours whenever possible. Alternatively, find YouTube videos for simple home workouts such as yoga, walking, dancing, or high-intensity interval (HIIT)training, and exercise for 30- 45 minutes daily. Take every opportunity to move during breaks, and aim for at least 10,000 steps daily. Set an alarm to walk around the house or stretch, especially when talking on the phone, and wear a fitness tracker or use your phone to track your steps. Lastly, opt for a standing desk to keep your legs moving as you work.
6. Eat healthy foods
It is tempting to snack every hour when your fridge is just across the room. You may realize you are more aware of hunger when working from home versus in the office. The first step to eating healthy when working from home is to plan your meals to make it easy to stick to a healthy diet. Then, stock your pantry with healthy foods such as lean protein, healthy fats, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit processed foods. Snacks such as yogurt, nuts, and freeze dried fruits such as bananas, apples, blueberries, mangos, and pineapple can come in handy when you need to snack without affecting your nutrition goals.
7. Practice mindfulness
Stress is part of daily life but can accumulate when working remotely because of the thin line between personal and work life. Being mindful of your emotions and the present moment can help you observe when you get overwhelmed by negative thoughts. Disconnect from your work and recharge whenever necessary.
8. Stay connected to other people
You meet many people on your way to work, but working from home can be an isolating experience. Try to connect with your friends and family through video calls, texts, and email to stay sane when you feel isolated. Initiate online meetings with your colleagues instead of using email and phone calls instead of texts when you need to feel connected. Also, spend time with your friends and family over the weekends, eat meals together, play games, or watch a movie.
Working from home presents unique challenges than when working in the office. But you can have an amazing experience if you master these eight healthy work from home habits. Once you establish a healthy routine, have a dedicated workspace, prioritize your health, manage stress, and maintain social connections, you’ll notice an improvement in your productivity and overall wellbeing. Which area of your work from home schedule have you struggled with, and how will you change that? Please share in the comments section below.
- Branden Evans