For years, working from home was a perk in high demand with employees. Now it’s the norm for about 42% of employees. People enjoy the freedom of working from a remote office. But spending eight or more hours with limited contact with people can affect mental health. Here are four tips to be healthy when working from home.
1. Create a work routine
In the morning, it may be tempting to put off getting started on work projects. There are plenty of hours during the day to get everything done. But then your boss assigns a special project due later in the day. And several co-workers call with customer problems. Then things get stacked up. Several hours later, you finally get to work on your task list.
Business experts offer this health tip: Set a time for the start and end of each work day to avoid stress and burn out. It’s much easier to handle the stress of unexpected interruptions if you have a work routine. Make sure to include time for a few breaks, so you can stretch, get coffee and snacks, and eat lunch.
2. Expect some distractions
After working for years in a regular office, it may take time to get used to being on your own. You’ll have to adjust to changes in your schedule, team relationships, communications, meeting styles and customer connections. One important tip is to find a quiet place to work.
There will be many distractions during the work day. You’ll hear neighbors mowing their lawns, delivery people ringing the doorbell, or workers remodeling the house next door. You may decide to turn the TV on low to block out these distractions. But then your eyes naturally are drawn to the TV screen, and you may end up watching TV more than working. If you need some background noise, music may be a better choice.
All these distractions can be frustrating. A good tip to remember is to be patient as you adjust to the new normal of remote work. And remember to rest your eyes. It’s about maintaining both your emotional and physical health. Stick to your work routine as well, so you don’t need to make up time and work late.
3. Make time for self-care
When working in a company office, you saw people every day. There was a steady stream of co-workers walking by your desk and stopping by to chat. But at home, you work in isolation, with a few calls during the day. It’s easy to get depressed or lonely. A good tip to remember is to make time for fun events. Schedule time to take a walk, go for a bike ride or workout. Call a friend or family member to say hello. Or, adopt a relaxing hobby, like gardening, journaling, reading or cooking. These activities can help clear your mind and improve your attitude. Plus, you may meet new people, which can brighten your day. You’ll be happier and healthier.
4. Stay connected with others
When working from home, stay healthy by keeping connected with co-workers and friends. Here are some helpful tips. Set time each week for phone calls and video chats with team members. Catch up on the latest news, share worries and fears, or discuss frustrations with the new normal. Also, schedule social events each month. Connect with family and friends in person for dinner or by hosting a virtual cocktail hour. Make sure to keep everyone’s health and social distancing needs in mind. Your friends and family will help you cope with life’s changes, and regular contact with them will keep you happier.
Business customers also are struggling to adjust to the new normal. Learn how to provide better customer experiences to maintain long-term relationships.
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