The idea of working from home appears quite tempting, especially for those of us who dread commuting to the office daily. It saves a fair amount of effort and time on your part, but it has its share of disadvantages too.
For many people it becomes difficult to maintain a healthy routine whilst working long hours from home because they are mostly sitting at their desk, or even on their sofa or bed, and eating unhealthy snacks whilst staring at their computer screen.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made working from home a routine affair. With this new way of working, new health issues have come into the limelight such as back pain, burning eyes, emotional and physical stress, obesity and many more.
However, these potential health issues can be avoided with some straightforward steps. Here are nine important tips that could help you with maintaining a healthy daily routine while working from home:
1. Maintain your sleep schedule
Working from home means we do not have to sacrifice our early morning sleep to wake up early to commute. We therefore tend to become night owls and binge watch our favourite show on Netflix until late at night, and this becomes a routine.
The best thing to do is to maintain the sleep schedule which you were already following. It is fine to watch a few shows, but try to go to sleep on time.
Also, avoid afternoon naps just because you do not have much work. Utilise that time for some other productive tasks. If you avoid afternoon naps, you are more likely to fall asleep early at night.
2. Maintain your eating schedule
The next important tip is to maintain your eating schedule. While sitting at home working, people are often tempted to eat snacks. It can be fun to work while enjoying some delicious food because no one is there to watch you, but it soon turns into a habit.
So, cut down on all those extra snacks and make the ones you do have healthy. Have a filling breakfast before logging in, take a break to eat lunch, then have something for a mid-afternoon or early evening snack before logging off for the day. End your day with a light dinner.
3. Stay hydrated
It is very important to keep yourself hydrated as this keeps our body healthy and our brain alert. Keep a water bottle on your desk for your convenience. Make it a point to drink at least two litres of water a day.
You can utilise the time saved on commuting and indulge in an online exercise or yoga class. When you commute to the office, you are at least involved in some kind of physical activity, therefore it’s best to utilise that extra time effectively. Or you can undertake some household chores like hoovering or mopping to get you moving.
If you have a pet, take them for a walk. If you have children, play with them for a while.
5. Start fresh
Avoid logging in the moment you wake up. Take some time to freshen up, take a shower and get dressed before working. Spend some leisure time enjoying your coffee or tea. Set your goals for the day. This way you will feel energized to work, and you will also have your to-do list ready.
6. Do not overwork - follow a schedule
We often tend to get a little casual about our work while working from home. We can spend more time on something which generally requires less time at the office. We often do not follow a proper schedule, and as a result we end up working late.
Avoid this and try to follow a proper schedule instead. Allot your time accordingly and finish your work on time. Complete your pending work the next day if it is not that urgent. Do not keep your work due just because you have the liberty to work any time you want.
7. Have a well-organised workspace
Avoid sitting on your bed or sofa working with your laptop on your lap. These unhealthy positions wreak havoc on our bodies. Have a designated workplace at your home for you to work from. Sit up straight on a chair, just the way you would do at your office.
Having a designated workplace will also help you to concentrate on your work and finish your assignments on time.
8. Take regular breaks
Allocating a fixed number of hours for your work does not mean you have to be glued to your screen the whole time. Take regular breaks and indulge in something that makes you happy. Why not stretch, listen to music, watch the news, interact with your friends or take a short walk?
9. Maintain a work/life balance
Working from home can become more daunting than working from the office if proper boundaries are not set. Since there is no one to keep an eye on us, we lose track of working hours. This hampers our work/life balance. So, set your boundaries and take time for some self-care. Do things that you enjoy. Spend time with your family.
Social isolation is one of the primary causes of stress and depression. Your work is only a part of your life, and not your life. Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Do not ignore it.
It all comes down to maintaining a sense of discipline towards our life and work. A sudden transition to the work from home routine is of course difficult to adjust to initially. But with a little determination, a healthy lifestyle can be achieved.
Once we get used to our new schedule, we feel motivated to stick to it because it makes us happy and healthy!