While working from home was once only a dream, as technology evolved, it has become a reality for many.
For some people, their home is the only office space they know. Others have a chance to work from home only occasionally – they even have to travel for work sometimes – but most employers are becoming increasingly aware of all the benefits remote works bring.
However, all the work from home advantages come with possible risks attached, most commonly related to the physical and mental wellbeing of remote employees.
To prevent the dream from turning into a nightmare, follow these seven tips to stay healthy while working from home.
1. Create Your Office Space
Working on your sofa or your bed is never a good idea and can have adverse effects both on your health and your workplace productivity. Furthermore, these kinds of ergonomically unsound “working spaces” can harm your physical health while also making you sleepy, sluggish, and easily distracted.
Your bed should be reserved for sleeping and trying to finish work tasks on your sofa can bring too many business-related associations later on when you’re trying to relax.
The best thing you can do is create a separate office space in your home that you will use only for business purposes, and that will be free of any distractions.
You must equip your office space with the right kind of chair. The chair needs to support the proper alignment of your back so that your spine doesn’t make any particular efforts to support your natural curve.
2. Avoid Sitting Long Hours
However, lower back pain is one of the most common health issues those who work from home face. Even with an ergonomically sound chair, sitting for too long puts stress on your back, causing pain, which can become chronic.
You should try to correct your sitting posture and avoid sitting long hours. During your work, take frequent and regular breaks.
Having a standing desk can be beneficial as it will reduce other risks associated with prolonged sitting hours such as weight gain, obesity, heart disease, high sugar levels. It may also improve your mood and boost your productivity.
3. Stock Your Fridge With Real Food
When you’re home, you can be tempted to check out your fridge every once in a while, and not only when it’s mealtime.
Make sure you stock your fridge with some real, nutritious food instead of snacks and treats. You should always have fresh fruits and veggies available, as well as nuts and seeds when you need a quick energy boost. It’s best if you can keep the sweets and treats out of your home completely, or try to limit their intake.
This way, you fuel your body with all the vitamins and minerals your body needs, preventing many nutrition-related health issues.
And if you’re spending a lot of time indoors, the chances are high that your vitamin D levels are low. Vitamin D plays an important role in the nervous, immune and muscle systems, and maximizes calcium uptake, keeping our bones strong. Its deficiency can result in many health problems, such as stroke, heart disease, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, dementia, etc.
Most people get the required daily amounts of vitamin D through sun exposure, but if you’re not able to get enough sunlight, consider taking vitamin D supplements.
4. Maintain Healthy Work-Life Balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be quite challenging when you’re working from home, and can lead to stress and burnout.
Hold yourself accountable for not overlapping your working and personal hours. Dedicate the time of the day that you’ll commit to your business tasks, and stick to it.
If you face difficulties when organizing your day, track your time to recognize the distractions that keep you away from finishing your tasks. That’s when mastering common time management techniques can make all the difference.
5. Schedule Workouts
Your physical condition should always be your priority, so do your best to stay active. General recommendations for adults are at least 150-minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity during a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity.
Schedule your workouts to at least meet these general requirements, and use your flexible working hours at your advantage.
Choose an outdoors activity you find enjoyable, or simply start working out at home. There are many options online, with or without basic equipment.
6. Dress Up For Work
If you’re not familiar with the phenomenon of enclothed cognition let’s try to sum it up as simple as possible – what we wear, we become.
So, if you want to be confident and efficient, don’t work in your pajamas. It will make you feel lazy and sloppy. Take a morning shower and dress up, just like you would do for work.
7. Interact With Your Colleagues
Working from home may add up to the feeling of social isolation, and if it lasts for a while, it may even lead to depression and anxiety.
Stave off some of the negative effects working from home can have on your mental health by keeping in regular touch with your colleagues. If you’re working as a freelancer, try to create a professional, supportive network you can be in contact with.
Talking about ideas or challenges will promote satisfaction and help us be more efficient at work. At the same time, meaningful relationships we form will create a sense of belonging, vital for our wellbeing.
Use these tips above to stay healthy and, at the same time, be more productive while working from home.