Have you been working from home more than usual?
How long have you been staring at this screen?
Even better, how much of today have you spent sitting?
Stand up and shake it off!
Working from home can be a dream come true for some and not so much for others. You can make your own schedule, set your own hours but how about wearing pajamas all day, and procrastinating? Working alone, with total freedom, makes it easy to cut corners with healthy habits. Admit it…. How many of us pay attention to how we are sitting let alone to giving our eyes a break from the computer? Linguists have been working from home for years and most have good tips on how to master that if necessary. Now that most of us have experienced working from home and some still are, we have to talk about staying healthy and productive while doing so. At a shared workspace or office there are lunch breaks, small side conversations with coworkers, meetings to attend, and other small events that break up the day and make you aware of your current well-being. Don’t make working from home a curse! Here are some tips to help keep you on the right path:
Movement is important! Do you sit all day? Maybe try standing at your desk for half of the day or every other day. Not into standing? Put a timer on your cell phone for small stretching breaks every other hour. Get inspired with some daily stretches here. If you can, step outside and take a deep breath every now and then! It may seem small, but it makes a difference in your mental health.
2. Rest Your Eyes
To prevent any complication with your eyes from prolonged screen exposure, be sure to take a 20 second break from all screens every 20 minutes by looking at something at least 20 feet away.
We all know we should practice good posture but its importance is overlooked by many. Try to be conscious of how you hold your body up, supporting your neck and head. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle and rest your feet flat on the floor or on a small stool. Try not to cross your legs. Stretching exercises and yoga can also help develop your habits of maintaining correct posture.
4. Create Your Space
Set aside a place in your home that is just for working. Put up your favorite artwork or motivational décor in the area. Make that area your work area, a place that is not just another part of your home. Working and living in the same place can wear on many of us. Avoid this by making your designated work area inspiring to your process.
Also, did you know that you can file a Form 8829 with your taxes to receive tax deductions for the part of your home that is your workspace? Many people, unfortunately, don’t know how to go about this or are afraid to claim a percentage of their home as their office. But you should! You work hard, you deserve it!
If working at home doesn’t suit you, you can also rent a hip shared workspace or check out your nearest remote-worker-friendly café. Make sure you love wherever it is you sit down (or stand) to work.
5. Avoid procrastination
Procrastinating can be hard to avoid when you work from home but making a schedule can help keep you on track. Schedule tasks with deadlines, as well as breaks, to keep your life balanced. Log your hours, set limits, and don’t let yourself drag the work day out due to procrastination.
6. Eat Well
Stock your work area with healthy snacks. A daily diet of coffee and sugary snacks can offer a short-term spike of energy but when you’re working at home, you can’t let that turn into a habit. Physical health is as important as mental health, so make sure you have both sides covered.
Photo: Brandon Wilson
7. Keep Learning
Now that we have covered tools for staying healthy and happy while working remotely, what about making sure your career is healthy too?
Research trends in your professional role, as well as in the industry itself. Never stop learning, keep that brain active!
Online education is more popular than ever. Take advantage! Browse through popular, and often time low-cost, options like Udemy or Coursera. Pick out some courses that will help you level up within your role or even take a class that may inspire you and get you to think outside of the box.
8. Build Your Community
Without coworkers at a set office space, we lose that community from our lifestyle. Studies say companionship and community can be as important to health as a good diet and exercise.
Don’t miss out just because you are working remotely. Become active in a community and find people who share your same interests, passions, and hobbies.
Read blogs, comment in discussions and forums, participate in Facebook groups, or join Meet Up groups.
This can also go hand in hand with #7: Keep Learning. These communities can introduce you to new trends, ideas or opportunities.
What other tips and tricks do you use to have a successful life working from home? Share in the comments below!
This article was originally published on May 30, 2018 and has been updated for freshness and relevance.