Remote work is beneficial in more ways than one. On the downside, it may cause a number of issues, notably of physical, mental and social nature. To prevent the first two, make sure to eat a nutritious diet and work out on a regular basis. As for the latter, the two main potential issues are loneliness and difficulties finding a work-life balance.
Finally, your motivation can also be affected, especially if you have children. Frequent disruptions can be cumbersome in multiple ways and take a toll on your overall wellbeing. As a result, people unaccustomed to working remotely can suffer occasional or regular burnouts, which should be prevented at any cost.
Here are some tips on staying healthy and even “more green” while working remotely.
1. Don’t Stay Still
People working remotely often spend hours on end in front of their screens. If you’re just getting accustomed to the routine, you can simply draft a daily schedule, listing both the tasks and the scheduled breaks.
Don’t skip breaks, as sitting for extended periods can cause a number of issues, including night cramps and back pain.
2. Stay Healthy With More Sustainable Snacks and Meals
As mentioned above, a healthy diet is mandatory (and not only for remote workers, but for everyone). Make sure to take regular lunch breaks and enjoy healthy snacks. The latter is especially difficult to forget, as it always seems easier to grab something in a plastic wrapper than eat some fruit, for example.
Let’s be honest: putting a bowl with fresh fruit on the desk can hardly be a difficult task.
For the majority of nutritionists, a healthy diet comprises fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy products (this one may be disputable for some individuals, so take your health conditions into consideration), and whole grains. Basically, think in terms of beans, nuts, fish and lean meat. Downsize the food rich in sugar and salt and, of course, processed foods.
Keep in mind that many of these healthy snacks are also more sustainable than something processed and out of a plastic wrapper. So, you’re technically also doing your part to “go green” at your office space.
And finally, keep up with your regular doctor’s visit to maintain your health, and be sure to look into other forms of insurance as well.
3. Stay as Organized as Possible
For inexperienced remote workers, the issue of feeling like every day is a holiday is a common occurrence. The basic premise behind this erroneous logic is that since there is some extra time (otherwise spent on commuting and getting ready for office work), some lazing off can be tolerated.
This kind of practice unavoidably leads to disruptions and poor concentration. In the end, it takes more time to get back to work than if you’d scheduled a regular break.
Not to mention that stress can lead to real physical illness, which is why staying organized is paramount. Be sure to have Standard Operating Procedures for all of your regular tasks and projects, to keep stress and anxiety at bay.
Additionally, use a digital tool to keep you on track. There are a myriad of options to choose from. Plus, that means you can ditch those pesky little post-it notes that are no good for trees!
4. Never Stop Learning
Join a community or sign up for a few newsletters that offer new, up-to-date tips. There are, as it were, fresh ideas every day for remote workers, so it’s important to keep up with the latest ones.
If you have a lot of knowledge yourself, consider helping others, and start your own online course or blog. This serves a two-fold purpose: it makes for a relaxing hobby, and it generates professional satisfaction.
And on top of it, you can save on your carbon footprint by never leaving the house to attend classes. How cool is that?
5. Maintain a Work-Life Balance
Maintaining a work-life balance is one of the biggest challenges for every remote worker especially if you haven’t set up a dedicated work spot at home. The first step to avoid this conundrum is, hence, to set up a separate workspace divided from the rest of your home (doors, walls, curtains, etc.).
Start with three daily breaks in the beginning and customize your schedule as you learn more about what suits you best. E.g., schedule two 15-minute breaks (one in the morning and another in the afternoon) and a lunch break. That is, provided that you work a 9-to-5 shift. If you’re a gig worker, shift the schedule around so that it includes three breaks.
6. Take a Workation
A change can really help your mental health, help you rejuvenate and get inspired. Not only will all of these things help your workflow, but you will also get to spend your free time more qualitatively.
One of the main benefits of remote work is, in fact, the opportunity to work from whenever you wish, be it your kitchen, a pub, a park or a tropical island. Take your chances trying something new while you can and treat yourself to a workation.
To stay healthy and happy while working remotely, you’ll need to practice discipline until you’ve gotten used to the routine that suits your daily schedule best. Eat healthy meals, snack on fruit, exercise every day for at least 15 minutes, and take regular breaks.
Once you’ve learned to avoid distractions and eliminate the bad habit to revisit your social media profiles all the time, think about changing the setting, go to your favorite café and, ultimately, schedule a workation.
Whatever works for you in terms of scheduling is the best recipe, as long as you’re observing these tips.