5 Healthy habits for working from home
Remote working: doing it right
Congratulations! You're working from home now. Perhaps this is what you've always wanted. You can finally ditch the work attire and lounge comfortably in your pajamas all day and finally get a break from that coworker who never stops complaining.
Despite the obvious benefits, there are some challenges and pitfalls that can come with working from home. In order to sustain good productivity, mental and physical health, here are 5 tips to keep you at the top of your game.
1. Set Up a Proper Workstation
I know that the temptation to work from your bed, the sofa, beanbag, lazy-boy chair or any other cozy spot around the house, can be overwhelming. The main downside to this arrangement, besides it being too easy to fall asleep, is the strain on your body.
You will most likely be using a laptop and spending hours in awkward positions will be brutal on your neck and back. It won't be long before you go full Gollum and start to get that humpback that's normally reserved for your 80's. Do yourself a favour and set up a proper workstation.
The important thing to remember here is maintaining good posture. Get a comfortable chair that has decent padding and lower back support. Use an external monitor (if you can) and make sure the top of the screen is at eye level when you are sitting upright with a straight back. Working with a bigger display will reduce eye strain as well. If you can’t use a monitor, prop up your laptop with books or a box to elevate the display. The main idea is to try to keep your head level, as this will reduce the stress on your neck and back. Having an organized dedicated workstation will also reduce distraction and help keep you focused.
2. Set Daily Goals to Avoid Procrastination
Without peer pressure and the boss lurking over your shoulder, the temptation to give in to distractions, scroll Reddit endlessly or engage in countless other time-wasting activities can be too much to bear.
One way to stay in the zone is to set daily goals for yourself. Write out the tasks you need to complete for the day and check them off as you complete them. This will ensure you don’t fall behind and will give you a sense of accomplishment. Tools that allow you to give and receive recognitions, share your daily accomplishments and celebrate the accomplishments of your colleagues can be especially useful when working from home. Check out a free tool from Tradler here: With all your goals completed, you can indulge in as much Netflix and video games as you want, guilt-free.
3. Move your Body
This one may seem obvious, but working from home means you require less movement in general. They say sitting is the new smoking. I find that comparison a bit extreme, but it's true that too much sitting can lead to all sorts of problems.
To remedy this, try putting an alarm on your phone that reminds you to get up off your ass every 20 minutes. Do some stretching, bust out a few push-ups, chase the cat, dance to baby shark with your kids or really anything that gets the blood moving and the body in motion. I find that little exercise breaks revive my energy and make me feel like I’m taking care of my body throughout the day. Adding these exercise breaks to your goals list gives you an extra reminder and boosts the sense of accomplishment as well.
4. Breath Deep
Breathing is something we all take for granted and most of the time it’s too shallow and doesn’t provide the oxygen our bodies and minds need to operate at peak performance. Pausing to take some long deep breaths has a powerful impact on focus, stress, and wellbeing. Incorporating deep breaths with your breaks from sitting is a good practice.
I also find it helpful to pause for some deep breaths before responding to a colleague who is annoying me on Slack or after I get an email from a client who wants to delay the progress of a project. Emails, IM’s, and general communication are always more kind and understanding after a pause for some good deep breaths. Don’t rush to reply when you’re all hot and bothered with emotion, people. Take 5 long deep breaths, and resist the urge to digitally body slam the a-hole.
5. Adjust your Sight and Stay Hydrated
Staring at your screen for too long will cause eye strain and nearsightedness. Pause to look at something far away for 30 seconds at least every 20 minutes. Take care of your eyes and if they feel strained, take a break and give them a rest. Hydration is key. No, 20 cups of coffee is not what I’m talking about here. Good ol’ fashioned water is the key to good health. Keep a big bottle of water at your workstation at all times. This will reduce the urge to drink too much coffee, sodas or other unhealthy drinks. Feeling stressed? Take a drink of water. Feeling tired? Take a drink of water. Don’t want to make that next call? You get the idea. Drink lots of water throughout the day and make it easily accessible.
Working from home can be a great change of pace and can make you more productive, but it’s important to introduce healthy habits to reduce stress and stay mentally fit. If you have other tricks to enhance your work from home experience, please share them in the comments.
Want to learn how you can boost your productivity? Get in touch.
Author: Paul Lloyd
Tradler is a cross functional Employee Engagement Platform helping customers improve engagement between Executives, Managers and Employees while increasing motivation and productivity through smart incentivising using gamification. If you’d like to learn more e-mail our Key Account Manager, Paul Lloyd.
Client Engagement Manager
"At Tradler, we believe in the power of positive affirmation through recognition and incentives. In our view, productivity and positivity go hand in hand, which directly translates to tangible business success."