Wow, this is now the 3rd month since I started working from home and building my business, ABlake Enterprises but I can honestly admit I don’t miss working in Corporate America at all.
I do, however, sometimes miss walking the floor talking to peers and co-workers, however, now that I don’t have to pack or purchase lunch, I do have to be careful as to not snack too often leaving crumbs in my keyboard!
Working from home can also present other challenges, especially when it comes to your health. Not only from the snacks in the kitchen but the lack of social stimulation and the temptation to work in an ergonomically unsound position can all sabotage an otherwise home worker’s best health intentions.
Set up Separate Office Space
Use a space in your home that’s designated solely for work. Do not work in your bedroom as the only activities in there should be sleep and sex. Bringing in your laptop and smartphone can interfere with your ability to relax later on. Fortunately for me, I have a separate office, but even if you live in a tiny studio apartment, set up a desk and chair to separate the professional from the personal space.
Choose a good chair
Invest in a comfortable, ergonomically sound chair that will keep you properly aligned throughout the day. Sitting has become the new smoking so make sure to get up and moving during the day no matter the type of chair you are using. Invest in a standing desk which will also give your back a break and reduce your overall long-term mortality risk.
Get up every hour and get out at least once a day.
It can be easy to get stuck in your seat, especially since you feel comfortable in your space. Set a timer or ask Alexa to remind you to get up and stretch once every hour, and make sure to get outside, even just to walk around the block and get some sunshine and fresh air.
Set a schedule and stick to it.
It can be tempting to wake up late or work at odd hours, but you will benefit your mental health and the quality of your work by setting a schedule as if you were going into the office.
Avoid working on weekends if you can, and keep an eye on how much time you’re spending on work every day. Make sure to stick to those hours, initially, I had to remind myself to stop after 6 pm, otherwise, I would be “in the office” until 8 or later which is not healthy nor does it make hubby happy.
When you create your schedule, use the flexibility to your advantage. Schedule your workouts as you do meetings, pencil them in before you begin working, during lunch or after hours. I find rising early and getting them out of the way works best for me.
Create a soothing environment.
Working from home means you have more control over your surroundings, so make your work area soothing to keep your stress level under control. If you love scented candles, place them around your room. If a beautiful view helps you stay calm, set up your desk in front of a window or within eyesight of artwork you enjoy.
Get showered and dressed as if you’re going to the office.
Instead of staying in your pajamas all day put on an outfit something you’d likely wear to the office. However, for me, I always wore dresses and skirts to the office so I had to purchase a few pairs of capris and jeans. Save a few cents by checking out your local Goodwill or Thrift Shop.
Get a virtual office or work at a local coffee shop.
It’s important to have some social connection, even in the absence of coworkers. Maintaining healthy social connections improves your overall well-being and helps you stay motivated.
As a member of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce I rent virtual office space for $50/month so when I need to meet clients I go there, or to a local coffee or pizza shop. Most restaurant owners provide free Wi-Fi services so take advantage and head over to one a few times during the week.
Keep the kitchen stocked with healthy snacks and meals.
With the kitchen only a few feet away, it’s easy to wander over there especially if it’s packed with treats, so keep temptation low by keeping fresh fruits and vegetables on hand and keep the candy and junk food out of sight.