Although it can be a challenge at times, working remotely can be a dream: the flexibility, the recaptured commute time, the independence, and the trust. But it’s still important to take care of yourself and practice self-care to prevent burnout and manage stress. With many of us new to working from home, we encourage you to try out some of these tips and ideas for integrating structure and wellness into your daily work routine. They may help you feel better and keep your productivity going!
Don’t ignore what you need
Have you ever been working for hours and realize you haven’t stopped to eat lunch? Or stood up from your chair? It happens to most of us when we’re engrossed in our work. However, working without breaks can have consequences over time. It’s important when you’re working remotely to take stock and cultivate healthy habits. Make sure your schedule includes regular breaks and a real lunch break. Enjoy the whole break. Don’t go back five minutes early because you heard your email chime. For many of us, working remotely is a big shift from our previous in-person working style. Give yourself time to transition to your new situation.
You may work remotely, but it is likely that you communicate via email, phone, Skype, IM, or another online system with your manager, your colleagues, or even your direct reports if you’re a manager. Truly “show up” for these interactions by keeping your profile image current and by using your webcam anytime the platform allows. Connecting with people by video is not the same as in person – but it is massively better than just using the phone (which is better than just email), and it will allow you to build trust and rapport with remote colleagues more quickly. You’ll also have to get out of your pyjamas, which helps draw a thin line between work and rest.
Take a short walk every day
This is a must-do whether you work in an office or at home. But if you’re home, you’re less likely to have to walk to meeting rooms (or even much further than the kitchen). Walking can be a meditative break, a moment to reflect on your work, to generate ideas, or to clear your head and think only of the weather. Getting your body moving will benefit you in the short term with a change of pace, and in the long term by reducing your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Never underestimate the power of a good meal – brain power, that is. We’ve all experienced the energy rush or drowsiness that certain foods can cause. But did you know that spikes and drops in your blood sugar can directly affect your cognitive performance and productivity? It’s not only food that makes a difference in fuelling your brain. Dehydration has been linked to poor planning skills, so make sure to drink plenty of water (and take it easy on the coffee)!
Keep these habits strong in your work routine, and you’ll enjoy all the benefits of working from home without sacrificing your productivity or your satisfaction. If you’re just getting started with working from home, keep in mind that everybody works differently, and it will take some time to find a structure that works best for you. Stay committed to your goals, and eventually you’ll create a near-perfect healthy system.
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