Remote work has become the new normal for millions of people worldwide. The freedom to work from anywhere has brought significant benefits, such as increased flexibility, reduced commute time, and more control over one’s schedule. However, remote work can also be challenging. Workers often face the difficulty of separating work and personal life, dealing with isolation and distractions, and maintaining physical and mental well-being. In this post, we’ve put together ten essential wellness tips for remote workers that can help them stay healthy, happy, and productive.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
One of the most critical factors to ensuring a successful remote work experience is establishing a workspace exclusively dedicated to work. This space should be organized, comfortable, quiet, and well-lit. The setup should resemble an office in terms of furniture, such as a desk, chair, and storage units designed for office use.
Having a dedicated workspace helps to create a home-office boundary, which helps us mentally prepare for work and avoid getting distracted by home life. A desk with drawers and designated storage areas for all work-related items prevents clutter buildup, which can save time by removing the need to dig for important documents. Also, the set up of ergonomics such as an adjustable chair or standing desk can prevent stress on our bodies and can be a significant factor in preventing work-related injuries.
One of the most significant challenges remote workers experience is sitting for extended periods. Long hours of sitting at a desk can lead to a myriad of health problems, such as back pain, neck pain, and other potential cardiovascular diseases. Being physically active can improve overall well-being, fitness and minimize the risk of developing health conditions.
It’s essential to take care of your physical health when working remotely. Scheduling short breaks throughout the day to stand up, stretch your legs, and move your body can greatly benefit your health, especially for those who have more sedentary jobs or working hours.
Incorporating simple exercises, such as stretching, exercising with resistance bands, or doing short yoga practices before starting work, can be a way of incorporating physical activity into your busy schedule. Also, using standing or adjustable desks or taking short walks around the house or neighborhood between work intervals can increase our activity level.
In some cases, having a dedicated work area can allow for exercising equipment such as a stationary bike or treadmill. Doing so within the confines of the workspace can lead to improved work efficiency and wellness.
Taking breaks is a vital factor in maintaining focus and productivity. However, it’s easy to get caught up in work and forget to take breaks, which can lead to burnout and decreased productivity.
Taking a few minutes to stretch, meditate, or step away from your desk can recharge your batteries and help you refocus.
Scientific studies have shown that taking breaks during work can increase our cognitive abilities and creativity. These breaks should be regular, such as every 50-60 minutes of working is followed by a 10-15 minute break.
One method used by some is the Pomodoro Technique, which involves breaking the workday into intervals of 25 to 30 minutes followed by a 5 to 10 minute break. These small, repetitive breaks can help decrease work stress and increase focus and productivity long term.
Establish a Routine
Remote workers often have the luxury of flexible work schedules. However, to ensure productivity and effectiveness, establishing a routine is essential. Establishing a daily routine can include specific times for work, self-care, and leisure activities.
Having a schedule to follow can make it easier to switch between work and personal life, which can prevent the problem of overworking. Keeping to a schedule can also help prevent burnout by focusing only on the tasks scheduled for that particular day.
Scheduling personal time, an hour in the evening for family time, or a coffee break with a friend can provide a work-life balance that is vital to prevent overworking and burnout.
It is worth noting that sticking to a routine does not mean adhering to a rigid schedule. It is important to have flexibility in our daily routine and allow for changes in the schedule when necessary. Creating a routine that works best for our lifestyle can make us feel more fulfilled in keeping to it.
Working remotely can be isolating, so it’s essential to stay connected with colleagues and clients. Regularly communicate with them through video conferencing, phone calls or messaging apps. Being communicative with our coworkers and clients is also important in ensuring the business is running smoothly.
Socializing with your co-workers outside of work can also help you deal with the stresses of work. Scheduling a virtual team building activity or water cooler chat session can help to maintain team spirit and prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation.
It also helps to be part of larger remote communities that can provide support, advice and help in feeling connected with the larger work community.
Get Some Fresh Air
Spending all day indoors can take a toll on our mental and physical health. Make it a priority to get outside and enjoy some fresh air whenever possible. Even a few minutes of sunlight and fresh air can provide numerous benefits to overall well-being.
Exposure to sunlight can help regulate sleep patterns and improve immunity, while breathing fresh air can improve mood and overall health. Taking short strolls around the neighborhood, having lunch on the balcony or in a near-by park can limit the feeling of being confined.
In some cases, a walk in nature can further improve mental health, reduce stress, and improve cognitive functions. We can also use nearby nature areas for meditating or clearing our minds, which can increase productivity in our work.
Working from home can be distracting, especially if you have roommates, pets, or family members around. It’s essential to establish boundaries and limit distractions as much as possible.
Setting limits with family or roommates or any other people close have to be respected, blocking off a schedule, or putting a “do not disturb” sign on our workspace can limit distractions. Digital distractions such as social media, inbox notifications, or other distracting applications should be minimized or turned off completely when working.
Noise cancelling headphones, white noise, or soft background music can create a noise reduction work environment that can make concentration on our tasks easier.
Prioritizing self-care is crucial when working from home. Choosing activities that help you relax and feel good, such as taking long baths, reading books, or practicing yoga, can help stabilize your mood and leave you feeling refreshed.
Ensure taking care of personal needs such as eating healthy, staying hydrated, and sleeping properly when establishing a routine of self-care. Creating daily self-care routines such as a skincare regime or preparing a healthy meal can further help balance in our daily routine and maintaining our mental and physical health.
Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or breathing exercises, can also improve concentration, reduce stress and promote mental wellbeing.
Keeping work and personal life organized can help you maintain focus and productivity. Making use of digital tools to manage our schedule, projects, and to-do list can help have full control of our work, but still have remaining time for personal activities.
Utilize storage containers and filing systems to keep your workspace organized and clutter-free. Ensuring regular cleanups of your workspace and storage areas can further prevent clutter buildup and reduce stress in our work environment.
Learn to Disconnect
It can be tempting to keep working long after your normal work hours have ended, but it’s crucial to learn to disconnect from work. Disconnecting from work can limit feeling overwhelmed, decreasing anxiety and work-related stress.
Unplugging from devices and off-hours use of phones, turning off notifications or email reminders from work can provide the necessary disconnect time. Partaking in hobbies, focusing on family activities or reading are a few ways to enjoy our leisure time.
Ensuring that we don’t have a workload pile-up is important when disconnecting from work during off-hours.
Working remotely has been an immense change, and it has introduced a new paradigm in the world of work. Remote work brings with it benefits and challenges in terms of work-life balance and personal well-being. It is important to stay active, create a dedicated workspace, and establish routines to ensure wellness and productivity.
It is essential in keeping the communication lines open with colleagues and limiting distractions to maintain focus throughout the day. Taking frequent breaks, exercising, and limiting sedentary activities such as sitting can further improve overall well-being.
Prioritizing self-care, staying organized, and knowing when to learn to disconnect from work can improve the feelings of separation of work and personal life while reducing stress and anxiety. With this guide, we hope we’ve provided remote workers with the essential wellness tips that will help them stay healthy and productive in all areas of their lives.