Life is no more the way we were living it before this pandemic hit.
Many things have been a part of the new normal, and most of us have embraced them to continue living safely. It has been a while since we regularly started wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, washing our hands frequently, and above all, began work from home.
Last month, October 2020, researchers Jose Maria Barrero, Nick Bloom,b, and Steven J. Davis conducted a survey to find whether work from home will continue after covid-19. The survey evidence says that compared with just 5 percent before, 20 percent of all full workdays will now be supplied from home after the pandemic ends.
Remote working, or WFH, is not just a shift of workplace. It’s a complete shift of the worker’s state of mind, bringing many advantages as well as disadvantages with itself.
While there is no bossy manager to look over your shoulder all the time, and you are quite relaxed with the flexible work, the perils of an ergonomically flawed workspace and other health disadvantages stand tall.
In 2018, 65% of the FlexJobs survey participants revealed that they feel they are more productive at home than in a traditional office space.
However, productivity is directly dependent on one’s physical and mental health. Hence, staying fit should be your top priority if you want to achieve desirable results from remote working.
Read on to know a few tips to stay healthy and productive if you are a man working from home.
Eat on time
Flexible working hours shouldn’t translate into a messy eating schedule. Eating on time and choosing healthy food is the key to boost your productivity. It would be best if you fueled up for the full day’s work.
Getting up late and rushing to the desk to begin work is not the right way to start your day. Health and fitness experts keep emphasizing the importance of a healthy breakfast. Also, do not skip lunch at any cost.
“Stocking healthy and nutritious foods will help you stay on track with your health,” says Lisa Richard, author of The Candida Diet.
Choose freshly cooked homemade food, fruits, and fiber-rich things over-processed, ready to eat foods.
A study published by the British Journal of Health Psychology found that people who eat at least five portions of vegetables and fruits four days per week show 25% better job performance than those who do not.
It is relatively easy to fall into the trap of eating to break the monotony of continuous work. Keeping your desk free of jars filled with empty calories is one of the worst things you can do to your health.
When I switched to working from home back in March, I made the same mistake of stocking up on cookies, nuts, and chips and kept jars filled with these on my desk. There was hardly a time when I wasn’t munching on these snacks. As a result, I gained extra pounds in just a month.
If you set a proper routine of eating on time and avoid stocking up on unhealthy snacks, it will be easier to break the habit of eating unnecessarily.
Stick to a schedule
A 2019 report, State of Remote Work, revealed that 22% said remote work made it difficult to strike a healthy work/life balance.
A fixed schedule will help you achieve more productive working hours, stay organized, and keep a healthy balance between work and personal life. It would be good if you organize your work schedule so that it doesn’t interfere with the time you deserve with your loved ones. Draw a clear line between work and leisure hours. Especially, avoid working on weekends if you can.
Remember to take out time for yourself. Even if it is not much, the time you spend doing your favorite hobby will bring lots of positivity and content within you. Read a book, take care of your plants, or simply go for a walk.
Devise a workout plan
Working from home is apparently a dream come true. Neither you have to leave your couch, nor do you need to ditch your comfortable PJ shorts in order to be ready for work.
However, sitting all day is not suitable for your health. Working from home gives you the extra time you spent on commute earlier. Try using that time for exercise.
Working out is relatively easy these days. There are fitness experts on YouTube who post a lot of workout videos, which you can simply play and copy whatever steps they are doing.
Even a daily 10-minute workout may be enough for you to stay in shape and avoid several types of diseases that come with a sedentary lifestyle.
Consider adopting yoga and mindful meditation for mental well being
The sudden changes in every aspect of our lives are indeed taking a toll on our mental health. We feel stress and anxiety more than ever before. Plus, the uncertainty of the situation makes one feel hopeless.
To combat the mental stress and other physical symptoms of anxiety, try mindful meditation or yoga.
Yoga is scientifically proven to stimulate stress-releasing endorphins and serotonins. It also promotes GABA production, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for chemical messaging in the brain.
On the other hand, meditation will put your mind at peace so that you can focus more on work and achieve inner satisfaction.
Set up an ergonomic workspace
Most companies provide ergonomically sound workspaces for employees these days. This, however, isn’t a facility when you work from home. Most of us are half sitting-half lying on the couch, and our laptops are placed on our laps for long periods of time.
This may seem trivial, but the effects of working without any care about ergonomics pose severe threats to our spine, eyes, as well as other body parts.
Make sure your screen is set at an appropriate eye level. You must invest in a good quality chair that gives maximum support to your spine. Use headphones for communication purposes.
Avoid straining your eyes
Looking at the screen all day will affect your eyes sight badly. Take frequent breaks between works to give your eyes a few moments to relax. Look far from the window, as it is a great way to maintain your eye health. Schedule an optometrist appointment to get your eyes checked if you feel a problem with your vision.
Socialize for your mental health
One may end up feeling lonely while working from home. Being away from friends and family is quite depressive. However, digital meeting platforms like Google meet, or zoom are a great way to occasionally connect with family and friends. You can schedule socializing sessions with your loved ones after you are done with your work.
Limit mindless scrolling to stay productive
Avoid wasting a lot of time on social media feeds. Scrolling mindlessly is not only a time-waster but may become an addiction, which will be hard to give up.
While there are many benefits of work from home, including that you and your loved ones would stay safe, it has its cons in the form of health disadvantages. To cope with them, follow the tips mentioned above to get the most out of remote working without compromising your health.