There is something satisfying about working from the comfort of your own home. There’s no commute, VIP access to your very own bathroom and the perks of (sometimes) working in sweatpants.
Yet, despite the numerous advantages of having a permanent home office, it’s sometimes hard to stay happy and healthy while working from your house. (Too) easy access to the fridge, minimal socialization and reports scattered across your living room floor can all have detrimental effects on your overall wellbeing.
Of course, with a few simple changes to your daily routine, working from home and staying healthy can go together symbiotically.
1. Treadmill desks
These desks may be expensive, but might be considered an investment in one’s health. According to a study conducted by Avner Ben-Ner, a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, the treadmill desk has been found to increase a worker’s productivity.
2. Standing desks
While we’re on the topic of desks, it would be blasphemous not to mention the standing desk as a viable alternative to regular desks. It may not seem comfortable to work while standing, but research has found that people who use the standing desk reduce their risk of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and cancer. If that doesn’t convince you, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens and Leonardo Da Vinci used this type of desk while they created some masterpieces.
3. Healthy snacks
The hardest thing to do when working from home is to avoid eating junk food when stressed. In order to combat this problem, purge your kitchen of any and all unhealthy foods. Restock your fridge with healthy, delicious snacks. Fruits that are high in water content, vegetables that are easy to cut and eat, and protein-packed trail mix are all suitable snack alternatives. While it may seem difficult to make this lifestyle change at first, over time you will become accustomed to snacking on strawberries and grapes rather than chocolate chip cookies.
4. Drink water
In addition to clearing your kitchen of junk food, stay hydrated all day. Drinking about eight cups of water per day should keep your body hydrated. Besides keeping your body healthy, drinking lots of water can help reduce your desire to snack.
5. Get dressed
Getting dressed in the morning can help promote productivity and overall mental health. Dressing as though you were headed to an office can motivate you to work harder than you would if you stayed in your pajamas all day. While this doesn’t have to be an everyday requirement for your home office, you may see an increase in your attention and dedication to your work.
6. Create a routine
Schedules are an important part of creating and maintaining a healthy work routine. Scheduling your work days and hours on a regular, consistent basis can help you organize your thoughts and keep you from over-working. It’s easy to want to sleep in every day until noon and then work sporadically throughout the day, but this inconsistent schedule makes it hard for your body to adjust to a normal working structure. Routines help build efficiency and momentum, improving your overall mood throughout the week.
7. Walking break
Taking a walking break every hour can help you refocus on work, especially when you find yourself having a mental block. A walking break can happen in your house for a few minutes or a 10-minute stroll around the block. Going outside has its own positive affects on your body, like an increase in brain function and creativity. A responsible amount of vitamin D from sunshine can also help promote a healthy immune system and bone growth.
8. Work out
Exercise is an important part of staying healthy while working from home. In fact, some would argue it’s even easier to work out if you work from home, because you can easily take breaks. If you feel yourself becoming unfocused while working, quickly do a three-minute ab workout or a few squats. Dressing in active clothing once or twice a week might help to stay active throughout the day. It makes it easier to run a mile before lunch or do yoga on a 15-minute break.
9. Home office
One of the most important things for remote worker wellness is to maintain a dedicated work space in your home. Having a true home office, corner or even just a desk can help separate work from your personal life. Keeping work in one area allows you to psychologically associate that specific room with work only, leaving the rest of your house open to comfort and relaxation. This also makes it easier to disconnect from work once your day is done, fostering a healthy work-life balance.
10. New locations
Working from home may seem like a wonderful idea at first, but sometimes may feel more like a prison. Rather than hate your safe haven, take your work to a new location. If working from a shared workspace in the city is too expensive (or too far), try working from a local cafe or even a public library. In some major cities there is WiFi in the parks.\