For the majority of office workers around the nation, day-to-day routines have significantly changed as of late. Daily, rush hour commutes have been exchanged for a walk through the hall to whichever room the makeshift home office has been set up in and tight work clothes have magically transformed into snug hoodies (of course we all have our go to zoom blouse at hand to change into for those unscheduled, virtual meetings).
While escaping the dreaded commute has given us the gift of more free time to spend doing the things we love or picking up new hobbies or just simply spending time with family- it has come with a few drawbacks. The pressure of combining work activities with home environments can impact us both mentally, physically and professionally. Increased distractions can have detrimental effects on productivity, less time doing physical activity throughout the day and inadequate, temporary desk spaces are leaving us with more muscle pain than ever and spending our days cooped up in the same room has proven to be a catalyst for major breakouts.
Here are some easy and realistic steps you can take to help increase your overall health whilst working from home:
Creating a very clear division between your working environment and your personal space is key.
The best way to increase productivity is to ensure that the space that you are completing your work can be in no way associated with somewhere that you relax. This means that working from the bedroom should be off bounds (if you do have to work from your bedroom then opt for a space in the room you rarely use- definitely do not set up for the day whilst in bed).
Other tips here include:
- Despite the urge- do not reach for that TV remote. You wouldn’t watch ‘Come Dine with Me’ in the office, so why do it just because you are home? Try to enforce the same level of professionalism as you would in your office environment.
- While it is tempting to work from your pyjamas, it’s a known fact that showering and putting on a fresh set of clothes will help switch on your brain and set you up for the day. You might not need to don that business suit every morning- but soft trousers and a t-shirt might make you feel ready to take the day by storm.
- Go to a different room to eat your lunch- this will create a bit more of a refreshing, break-time atmosphere and allow your brain to zap straight back into work mode easily when you return to your desk.
- Set your office space as out of bounds from anyone else in the house- if they want to speak to you they should knock and wait outside.
Being cooped up in the house all day makes it harder to get those vital 10,000 steps. Maybe you have found yourself going to the gym less since it’s no longer easy to nip in on your way home from work; or maybe you’ve been savouring that morning lie in now that you no longer have a peak time train to rush for.
- Try waking up at the time you normally would if you were going to the office. You can use that extra hour to go for a run, do some yoga or maybe a home workout. It’s a great way to wake up your mind and body and start your day the right way.
- Don’t let your diet slip into unhealthy patterns just because you don’t need to do the weekly meal prep each Sunday anymore. It might be easy to reach for those instant noodles sometimes but a healthy balanced diet is key for keeping your mind active. Make sure to plan your meals weekly and eat food rich in nutrients and plenty fruity snacks to keep you going throughout the day. Running on coffee alone never got anyone anywhere.
- Try to get up and walk around for at least 5 minutes each hour. Sitting down all day can cause our muscles to ache and our posture to fall flat- the leading cause of back pain and the dreaded ‘tech-neck’. Try to treat yourself to a massage at least once a month to help ease the tension in your back caused by sitting at a desk most days- your body and mind will thank you for it.
- If you feel like your back has been aching, take ten minutes to do some stretches. Youtube is full of handy guides on how to stretch out your body and improve your posture. Another good tip is to pop a pillow on your chair for extra back support.
- Be sure to spend time outside each day- an afternoon or evening walk is so beneficial for clearing your mind and your skin.
- It’s important to incorporate a skincare regime into your day. Just ten minutes each morning and night of giving your skin some care and attention will help prevent those breakouts and keep skin bright and healthy even while sitting behind a computer.
- If you do find your skin feeling a bit dull and lifeless or have been suffering from the dreaded maskne then feel free to pop into your local salon where we can custom blend our super luxurious facials to target your specific problems and get you feeling tip top again in no time.
Most importantly, be sure to look after your own health during this time. Get eight hours of sleep per night, talk to friends and family regularly and remind yourself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and life as we know it will resume as normal before we know it.
Got any of your own tips and tricks for getting through the day whilst working from home? Why not share them in the comments section to help others.