As the COVID-19 pandemic changes the way we live, many of us continue to work from home. While working from home has advantages, it also comes with many challenges. Working from home can present a unique set of challenges, especially when it comes to your health such as joint aches and weight gain.
Working from home has many advantages, but it can present several physical, mental, and social challenges.
There will always be hiccups, but with the right effort, you can stay productive while taking care of yourself and your loved ones. Here are a few tips which can help you remain stay healthy and focused while working from home:
- Set up a dedicated workspace and choose a good ergonomic chair
You need a comfortable place at home where you can work without distraction or interruptions. If you don’t have a separate room, find a space of your own until you can return to your office. Just make sure that all distractions are minimal.
Although the couch may seem tempting, a chair that will keep your back properly aligned throughout the day will be best for you. Practice good posture while working at the computer all day, keep your screen at eye level so that you don’t have to stoop and most importantly be sure to stretch often in regular intervals to avoid neck and shoulder pain.
- Create a soothing environment.
Staying home means you can choose your surroundings, so choose a work area that can be soothing and can help you keep your stress level under control. If you are fond of scented candles, place them around your desk. If a beautiful view helps you stay calm, place artwork within your eyesight. You can also open the windows for some fresh air, add some plants and set up your desk in front of a window.
- Make a schedule and stick to it.
It is tempting to wake up late and work at odd hours, instead make a schedule as if you are going to the office, that will benefit your mental health and the quality of your work. Then stick to those hours as best as you can. You’ll feel better emotionally and mentally with an organized and productive daily routine. Track your hours and keep an eye on how much time you’re spending on work every day. Keeping a work-life balance is the key to good health.
- Get dressed as you do while going to the office.
When you get dressed in the morning, it helps your brains to shift into “work” mode. It gives you a signal that you need to get serious about work and helps you create a boundary between work and home. You don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but you can put an outfit you would wear to the office. Otherwise, you can also consider workout clothes, which can be a subtle reminder for you to get some exercise while you are working from home. A study in 2012 mentions that people who thought they were wearing a doctor’s lab coat displayed heightened attention, while those who were told it was a “painter’s” coat were not as attentive.
- Mind Your Health When Working from Home
It is tempting to enter the kitchen when you know that it’s packed with treats, so keep the temptation at bay by buying fresh fruits and vegetables.
When you’re feeling tired, it is difficult to stay focused on work. So be sure to take care of yourself, by exercising and relaxation techniques that can be done at home. Munch on fresh fruits instead of junk or processed food that contain high calories.
- Take Care of your Eyes
Just like the rest of your body, you need to give your eyes a break especially when you work in front of your PC or laptop. Moreover, studies show that staring at screens tends to dry out your eyes. So, make sure to look away from your screen every 20 minutes or so, for at least 20 seconds or longer, to give your eyes a chance to recuperate and avoid eye strain and potential headaches.
- Make sure to take regular breaks
Make sure to schedule breaks while you work from home. It is easy to get stuck in your seat, especially when you feel comfortable in your space. Set a timer to remind you to get up and stretch every hour. Maybe you can take a walk or throw a load of laundry in or something to get your thoughts away from work.
If you have a family, schedule a regular time to eat lunch together, just make sure to get back to work at the same time every day. Choose healthy, nutritious foods, and try to avoid eating at your desk. You must ensure to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Schedule active meetings with friends and coworkers.
One of the benefits of working in an office is social interaction with friends and co-workers. Even though you cannot see your coworkers in person, you can still stay in touch. Maintaining healthy social connections improves your overall well-being and helps you stay motivated.
If you have any friends or co-workers nearby, meet them for lunch or walks. You can also arrange to meet colleagues at the gym to discuss work, so you can get your work and workout done at the same time. Otherwise, you can schedule regular meetings through phone or video conferencing, this will help you and others to feel less isolated.
Working from home is an adjustment for everyone but you are not alone. Make time every day to care for your own physical and mental health. It can help you to remain productive and healthy. Stay strong!