Working from home is becoming increasingly common nowadays. You have likely heard stories from coworkers, family members, or friends about the benefits of working from home. Remote work can offer a variety of perks such as flexibility, commuting time reduction, increased productivity, and autonomy. However, it can also come with its own set of unique challenges, particularly when it comes to maintaining overall wellness.
The physical and mental health impact of working from home should not be underestimated. Without the resources and support of an office environment, remote workers need to be proactive in establishing and maintaining healthy habits. This long-form blog post will take an in-depth look at seven wellness strategies for successfully working from home.
Strategy 1: Create a designated workspace
When working from home, it is critical to designate a workspace to do your work. This allows you to create physical and mental separation between work and home life. Having a designated workspace can help you to stay focused, establish a sense of structure, and be more productive than if you work from your couch or bed.
Setting up a designated workspace is easy, and the options are limitless. Some people choose to convert a small room into a home office, while others decide to settle for an isolated corner of their living room. Choose a place that is free from distractions and well-lit. If possible, invest in a comfortable chair, a sturdy desk, and good lighting that won’t strain your eyes.
Strategy 2: Establish a routine
Empowering yourself with flexibility is one of the key benefits of working from home. You can start working whenever you want, right? Well, not exactly. If you aim for a consistent and productive work schedule, then establishing a routine is a must.
Developing a routine ultimately comes down to learning what works best for you. Identify when you are most productive and tailor your work hours around those times. Set yourself up for success by starting each day with a plan, including priorities, goals, and realistic expectations. Structure your day with frequently scheduled breaks to ensure that you are taking care of yourself.
Strategy 3: Limit your distractions
Remote workers face a host of distractions when working from home, including social media, household chores, family members, or pets. Managing these distractions carefully can significantly increase your productivity and generally improve your quality of life.
To limit distractions, establish and communicate boundaries with your family and pets, put your cell phone on silent or vibrate, and temporarily disable notifications from non-work-related apps. A good visual indicator can be a “Do Not Disturb” sign or a lock on your door to send the message that you are working and should not be disturbed.
Another strategy is to focus less on multitasking to aim for a higher quality of work. Switching between multiple tasks leads to split attention and can affect productivity levels.
Strategy 4: Stay connected with your colleagues
One of the most significant drawbacks of remote work is the potential for social isolation. Without coworkers’ conversations, you may find yourself feeling lonely, disconnected, and demotivated. This is why staying connected with colleagues remotely is crucial.
Find ways to virtually connect with your colleagues on a frequent basis. This could include one-on-one chats, video conferences, or group socializing events. Don’t forget to discuss off-work related topics, as this can lead to strong bonding and improve your overall team dynamic.
Strategy 5: Take regular breaks
Taking frequent breaks throughout the day is essential for maintaining focus and maximizing productivity. Taking just a couple of minutes away from your computer to stretch, go for a walk, read, or simply relax allows you to recharge mentally and physically.
You can also use breaks to incorporate wellness activities in your day. For example, take a mid-day yoga or pilates class, go for a run, take a walk or do some meditation. Even small, simple habits such as standing more often, doing breathing exercises or taking your calls on a walking stroll outside can improve your mental and physical health.
Strategy 6: Maintain healthy habits
When working remotely, it’s essential to cultivate and maintain healthy habits. Establish a schedule for physical exercise, healthy eating, and even self-care activities. Create a strategy that works best for you within the context of your work-life balance.
Plan regular exercise throughout the week, either through a structured workout or by practicing yoga in your designated workspace. Ensure that you have access to healthy snacks and meals to reduce the chance of reaching for less nutritious food options out of convenience.
Small practices such as being aware of your posture, regular stretching, keeping hydrated, and getting enough sleep can make a significant improvement to your overall wellness.
Strategy 7: Minimize technology-induced stress
Technology is an essential tool for most remote workers, but it can also be a significant source of stress. It is essential to set boundaries so that you can separate work from home life and avoid feeling always “on” and overwhelmed.
Consider scheduling “offline” time throughout the day, disabling notifications from non-work-related apps, or deleting your email app on your phone outside of work hours. It’s also good practice to schedule in occasional digital detoxes such as a technology-free weekend or social media fast.
Strategy 8: Set boundaries
Working from home can blur the line between work and personal life. It’s easy to fall into the trap of overworking, leading to burnout and decreased productivity. Setting boundaries for yourself and your work is key to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Set clear guidelines for work hours, breaks, and communication, and communicate them with your colleagues or clients. Create a system for organizing and prioritizing your work, so you can avoid taking work home with you. Learn to say “no,” and be firm in sticking to your boundaries.
Strategy 9: Invest in ergonomics
Working from home often means spending a lot of time sitting in front of a computer. Poor posture and inadequate ergonomic support can lead to discomfort, pain, and even long-term health problems.
Invest in ergonomic furniture, such as an adjustable chair and desk. Make sure your computer screen is at eye level and that your keyboard and mouse are within easy reach. Take regular breaks to stretch and move around, and consider using a standing desk or exercise ball chair to promote better posture.
Strategy 10: Seek support
Working from home can be isolating, and it’s easy to feel disconnected from your colleagues and the broader work community. Seeking support can help reduce feelings of loneliness and improve mental health.
Join online communities or groups of other remote workers to share experiences and ideas. Reach out to colleagues for virtual coffee breaks or check-ins. Stay in touch with family and friends, and make time for social activities outside of work.
Strategy 11: Prioritize self-care
Working from home can be stressful, and it’s essential to prioritize self-care practices to reduce stress and promote mental and physical well-being.
Engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as meditation, deep breathing, or journaling. Make time for activities you enjoy, such as reading, crafting, or playing music. Practice good sleep hygiene, such as creating a soothing bedtime routine and avoiding screens before bed.
Strategy 12: Take advantage of flexibility
One of the benefits of working from home is the flexibility it affords. Use this advantage to your benefit.
Schedule appointments, run errands, or take breaks whenever you need to. Embrace your freedom to work from different locations, such as a coffee shop or park, to boost creativity and productivity. Remember that taking time for yourself and your personal life can ultimately lead to a better work-life balance and improved wellness.
Strategy 13: Stay motivated
Working from home can be challenging, and it’s easy to lose motivation or focus. Stay motivated by setting goals, creating a system of accountability, and finding ways to stay excited about your work.
Break your work into manageable tasks and create a timeline for finishing each one. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and use them to motivate yourself for future tasks. Change up your work routine to keep things interesting and stay connected to your passion for your work.
Strategy 14: Create a separate work phone number
Using your personal phone number for work can be stressful and lead to intrusion on your personal life. Consider creating a separate phone number for work-related calls and messages.
This strategy can help establish better work-life balance by reducing the amount of time you spend answering work-related calls and texts outside of work hours. It can also help you maintain professional boundaries and limit distractions during personal time.
Strategy 15: Stay flexible
Finally, it’s essential to remember that working from home, like any job, has its ups and downs. Staying flexible and adaptive can help you weather any challenges that come your way and maintain good mental and physical health.
Be open to change, and always look for ways to improve your work processes and habits. Embrace the benefits of remote work, but also be willing to adapt as needed to ensure your overall wellness and success.
Working from home can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also present unique challenges to maintaining overall wellness. By implementing these 15 wellness strategies, you can set yourself up for success and promote good physical, mental, and emotional health while working from home.
Establishing a designated workspace, creating a routine, limiting distractions, staying connected with colleagues, taking regular breaks, maintaining healthy habits, minimizing technology-induced stress, setting boundaries, investing in ergonomics, seeking support, prioritizing self-care, taking advantage of flexibility, staying motivated, creating a separate work phone number, and staying flexible are all critical components of maintaining your overall wellness while working from home.
Remember, everyone works differently. What may work for some may not work for others. It is crucial to pay attention to your needs and adjust your strategies as needed. By focusing on your wellness, you can enjoy the benefits of remote work and be successful in your professional life.