As remote work continues to become a permanent part of the new normal, it’s easy to forget about keeping an eye on our health when we’re in the comfort of our own homes. From the lack of boundaries to forgetting about proper posture, working from home can quickly cause discomfort in many aspects of our personal and work lives. If left unchecked, working from home can become a miserable experience.
Stay sane while doing remote work with these helpful tips and make working from home a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.
Create a Routine
When you work from home, you’re less likely to have an organized structure in your daily life than when you’re in a traditional office setting. In most cases, you won’t have a set schedule aside from your weekly Zoom meetings with your boss and co-workers. While many people think that routines can kill creativity and productivity, it’s actually the opposite.
Without a proper schedule or at least a to-do list of things you need to accomplish that day, chances are you won’t be as motivated or productive. In stressful times like these, it’s crucial to create a daily routine for yourself to help you feel more in control of your day and reduce stress. As tempting as it may be to work in your PJs all day, doing so will make you less productive.
Try to simulate your usual “heading to work” routine- get up early, have breakfast, take a shower, and change into clothes at least a level more presentable than your PJs. Doing this will get you in the right headspace to work, even if your work desk is just a couple of feet away. While they may seem monotonous, getting yourself ready like you’re going to work will help you mentally prepare yourself for a productive day ahead.
Remember to Take Breaks
Set alarms or reminders throughout the day that remind you to take a break. It’s essential to take a break at least every hour to stretch, grab yourself a cup of coffee, or do any other activity that briefly takes your mind off work. Doing this will help you maintain productivity, keep active, and feel more refreshed. Use multiple alarms throughout the day to remind you of when you need to take a break.
Invest in Comfort
When working from home, comfort is a priority. Choosing form over function when it comes to your workspace is fun now, but when you start working those long hours, you’re going to wish you chose function first. When you’re uncomfortable at your workspace, you’re likely to want to spend less time in it.
One of the most important things to invest in when it comes to your workspace is a comfortable chair. You’ll be spending most of your time in it, and if you don’t choose the right chair, your posture will suffer. This can eventually lead to back problems and, eventually, back injuries if left untreated. Once you start feeling any unusual discomfort or pain, make sure that you visit a chiropractor to relieve the pain before they turn into injuries.
Set Work-life Boundaries
Remote work can put you at risk of burning out faster than in-office work, which is why it’s important to balance your work and life responsibilities without allowing either responsibility from bleeding into the other. When this happens, it can result in increased stress, fatigue, and anxiety, among other things.
Maintaining a good work-life balance is easier than you might think. One of the most important things you can do to have a good work-life balance is to have a clutter-free, dedicated workspace that you can consider your “office zone”. Don’t work on your bed or your couch- once this turns into a habit, your body will associate those places with work instead of relaxation, which will make it harder for you to sleep or relax in those areas.
A messy desk also plays a part in decreasing productivity. When there is a lot of clutter on your desk, you can easily get distracted by so many things trying to get your attention. If you keep your workspace neat and tidy, you’ll find that you’ll be able to concentrate better and get more work done. Once you’re done with work for the day, turn off everything related to work and use that time to get your personal responsibilities done or even just relax. With a proper work-life balance, not only will you be more efficient at work, but you’ll also be happier.
Working from home isn’t easy, especially at a time like this. But make the proper adjustments, set strong boundaries for yourself, and prioritize self-care. You can keep your sanity and make working in the new normal a more comfortable and productive experience.