Most of us have felt the effects of Covid-19 in one way or another, whether by the disease itself, or the profound impact it has had on all areas of life. One such way is that much of the population has been forced to setup an at-home office, and for some that will continue to be their workspace for some time. At first glance, this seems like it wouldn't be so bad. We groan at the jarring alarm each morning, and race home after clocking out each evening. Isn't this what most want? Maybe, but when this luxury extends beyond temporary, there are serious challenges that can develop. Check out these tips to keep yourself healthy while you wait to go back to your place of work.
1. Maintain Regular Hours
Set a schedule and stick to it. Work designated hours, and then stop when those hours are up. This gives your brain time to work and time to rest. While working remotely does mean that there is added flexibility with your personal life schedule, it’s best to stick to a schedule where you can be productive, get your work done and call it a day when work hours are up.
2. Create a Morning Routine
Humans are creatures of habit—and that’s partly because routine helps us mentally and physically prepare for things. Whatever you can do every morning, have some coffee, take a walk, stretch, make breakfast, creating a morning routine can greatly help you get ready for the work-day at home.
Aside from a routine, there are other aspects you can control. Working in your pajamas may work for a time, but around 11AM you'll start to question every one of your life decisions. It’s impossible to do great work while wearing pajamas. Pajamas are clothes melatonin. By day three, flannel feels like failure. Even the people on the Price is Right got showered, dressed and made it in time somewhere to be part of a studio audience. They might be aggressively average at guessing the price of a vacuum cleaner but they did something today.
Creating a clear separation between home and work is vital. Employees should avoid doing home tasks, like laundry and dishes, during work time. At the end of each day, employees should stop working and allow themselves to shift back into their regular home routine.
3. Schedule Breaks
Just like any working environment, giving yourself breaks is incredibly important to let your brain and body relax. Take a 15-minute walk, go make some lunch or catch up with a loved one on the phone. Studies have shown that breaks can actually significantly improve productivity levels and a person’s ability to focus.
4. Leave Home
Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day isn’t healthy at the office, and it’s not healthy at home. In fact, being sedentary might pose a higher risk to employees working at home because they’re not getting up to attend meetings or talk to their coworkers face to face.
It is important to leave your home and give yourself a new space to breathe, work or exercise. This is true for in-office workers too: leave the building at least once a day. Your body needs to move, and fresh air and new scenery do your mind a lot of good. In fact, being sedentary might pose a higher risk to employees working at home because they’re not getting up to attend meetings or talk to their coworkers face to face.
5. Prevent common workplace injuries
Your workplace has a responsibility to maintain the office to prevent some of the most common types of workplace injuries. When your working from home, your environment doesn’t have the safety standards you have in place at the office, the following tips can help support you in keeping your home safe.
One of the greatest frustrations you’ll face working from home today is to hold yourself to the exact same goals you had when you were in an office in January. Tell a toddler that you expect to have firm office hours from 8AM-5PM with at least 45 hours of uninterrupted quiet time per week. If you think that’s happening, you are adorable. Tell your work out plan that even though the gym is closed and you’re the kind of person that needs a class setting to get the most out of your work out that you expect to burn the same exact calories this week. Tell your client in the restaurant industry that you really need to hit your sales numbers even though they don’t have any revenue coming in this month.
Things are different right now.
But some things are different and one of the most encouraging things you can do is to get creative with your goals. New challenges require new goals. New conditions require new goals. New opportunities require new goals.
With any luck, this will be over soon and we can be back to our offices. But until then, lets remain diligent in making safety our priority with working from home.