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Five Healthy Practices for Working from Home

It’s safe to say that, for the majority of the world, 2020 has been a year fraught with change and challenges. Life as we knew it was suddenly disrupted in the face of a global pandemic and, as we enter 2021, it looks like we are going to have to adapt to even more change.

But as with everything, when life shifts, we adapt. 

Prior to COVID, only around 4% of the employee workforce worked at home half-time or more. But now, experts are estimating that 25-30% of the workforce will be working at home on a multiple-days-a-week basis by the end of 2021.

While remote work means less commuting and other workplace-related problems, it also brings with it a new set of challenges: challenges to both our physical and mental wellness. 

Here at Bee Healthy Clinics, we want to help you with some tips and advice that will keep you healthier and happier. Here are five healthy practices for working from home.

Tip #1: Set up a dedicated workspace

Working on the couch while watching television and interacting with your family (all at the same time) may sound like “the dream” for some, but it’s not helpful for one’s productivity.

Set up an office or a place in the house where you can retreat when it’s time to work. This will help keep distractions minimal and allow for a safe space (just for you) where you can focus, stay intentional, and get your work done. 

This way, at the end of your workday, you’ll feel more accomplished and will find it easier to unplug and relax.

Tip #2: Take needed breaks

It’s well documented that regular breaks in the workday are needed to keep employees more productive and in a better overall state of mind. This applies whether you are working in an office or from home.

Be mindful of your own well-being. 

Get up and move around. Maybe grab a cup of coffee or go for a short walk. Just get your thoughts off of work every so often so your mind stays fresh and sharp.

Also, avoid skipping meals and be sure to drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day so you stay hydrated.

Tip #3: Avoid strain and pain

Generally speaking, remote workers are performing their daily tasks in front of a computer. Sounds easy enough, but online workers face unique physical challenges due to the nature of their job. These include:

  • Increased eye strain
  • Neck and shoulder pain/strain from sitting too long
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Difficulty sleeping from excessive blue light exposure

In order to avoid or at the very least minimize your risks of these medical conditions, consider the following:

  • Work from a chair that promotes proper posture.
  • Take frequent walking and stretch breaks.
  • Utilize a standing desk.
  • Alternate between activities or tasks to reduce the strain on your hands and wrists.
  • Stop any computer work 2-3 hours before bedtime and enable your device’s blue light filtering under settings. 

Tip #4: Stay active

Let’s be honest, it’s easier to stick with a gym routine if it’s part of your daily schedule. However, with remote work often comes extreme flexibility and less rigid hours so the tendency can be to let your fitness plan slide as you continue to work from home in your PJ’s.

Stick to your fitness routine and work around that, rather than the other way around. And if going to the gym isn’t a possibility, incorporate walks into your daily routine and schedule breaks. Try to get 10,000 steps in per day and you will go far towards keeping your activity level up where it needs to be.

Tip #5: Stay connected 

One of the unfortunate casualties of COVID is what solitary work practices does to one’s overall mental well-being. Sitting at home for hours on end without any human exposure wears on the mind and can lead to cognitive decline, depression and anxiety.

If your office supports communication tools such as Slack or Zoom, set your status to “Available” and check in on chat. Also, try to schedule regular meetings or virtual coffee breaks and happy hours through phone or video conferencing. Touching base regularly will help you and others feel less isolated and more socially connected. 

Remote work can be an amazing practice that allows for increased productivity, flexibility, and autonomy. However, you need to take care of yourself and make sure that this unique work style does not negatively impact your overall health and well-being.

Follow some of these simple suggestions so you can take full advantage of all the benefits of remote work without the possible drawbacks. Now go get to work and don’t forget: should you need support along your weight loss journey, reach out to your nearest Bee Healthy Clinic.

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