COVID-19 has forced many businesses to transition from an environment where we spend our workdays in an office surrounded by colleagues and attending meetings to working from home. This shift can be challenging for many, but it is important to set boundaries and stay healthy. As we adjust to this new “normal,” we need to continue to maintain our health and well-being.
How can employees make the most of their workdays, while also staying healthy, efficient and effective? Here are some tips:
1. Create your workspace
At the office you have a designated office or cubicle so try to have the same at home. Find a space that is functional and comfortable. A private space is best because it will allow you to close the door and be free from any distractions.
2. Maintain a routine
Get up at the same time every day and create a routine that gets you ready for your day. While it is very enticing to stay in your pajamas, it can blur the lines between work and relaxation. Since you do not have a commute into the office use that time to create a healthy morning routine that might include some exercise, stretching and a healthy breakfast to set up your day for success.
3. Importance of ergonomics
Ergonomics is important when you are setting up your home office. Proper ergonomics will allow you to improve your efficiency and productivity by helping you to be more comfortable. It will also help prevent any necessary stress and injury. Read here for tips to set up your home work space.
4. Set clear boundaries
Working from home does offer some benefits but it can also have a drawback because your work follows you everywhere. It is crucial to set boundaries for your health and well-being as well as for your relationships. Do your best to stick to a schedule, like core business hours or your normal scheduled hours when you were coming into the office. This way you will be available when your leaders or colleagues need to reach you, and most importantly customers, especially if you are in a customer-facing position.
5. Make time for social interaction
Take a break during the day to have lunch and connect with a family member if you have others living with you or phone a family member, friend or co-worker if you live alone. Just like when you were in the office and you would take lunch with a co-worker in the break room, you can do that virtually. Schedule lunch with a co-worker and catch up just like you would have done in the office.
6. Take mindful breaks
Take breaks to help you refresh the oxygen and energy your brain needs. Every 90 to 120 minutes take a stretch, some deep breathing exercises, consider a five-minute walk or grab a healthy snack. These breaks will help you regain your concentration. It is important to pay attention to the signals that your body sends you. If your energy level is waning or you’re starting to feel brain fog, it is your body telling you to take a break and recharge so you can continue with the rest of your day.
7. Prep healthy snacks
Working from home makes it easy to graze every time you walk into the kitchen and fill up on snacks. Make sure to build in regular mealtimes into your day and keep a few healthy snacks on hand for mid-morning and mid-afternoon pangs of hunger. Healthy snacks will help you maintain your energy and help reduce your carbohydrate cravings.
8. Create smooth transitions
As important as it is to create morning routines to start your day, it is important to create routines to close out your day. This will help transition your thoughts from work to other things in your life.
Create a list of things that you need to work on the next day so that you get your thoughts down on paper and they won’t continue to weigh on your mind. Write down a record of your accomplishments which will help you end the day on a positive note. A little movement can also help you transition from a task-focused mind-set and calm your mind as you prepare for your evening.
9. Remain positive
While working in the office provides more opportunities for face-to-face collaboration, remote work allows us the opportunity do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and focus on the health of ourselves, our family and our co-workers.
A healthy employee is a productive one. Follow these tips to maintain your health and lower stress during this time.
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To learn more about our insurance products and find resources to better manage your risks, explore our website or contact your independent insurance agent.