The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way people live and work. Due to the lockdown, most businesses asked their employees to work from home for health and safety reasons. Working at home is definitely a convenient option and makes sense in these unprecedented times. However, it comes with its own set of challenges. Working from home can take its toll on your physical and mental health. They could include
To maintain your health and stay fit, you will need to fit in a few rules and follow them.
Let us examine them in detail.
Working from home doesn’t mean following an erratic schedule and eating whatever you want It is important to maintain a proper diet and eat healthily. Make sure to include leafy greens, legumes, eggs, beans and fruits in your diet. Don’t be lazy when it comes to drinking water. Fill up a few bottles in the morning and make sure you finish them by the end of the workday. Staying hydrated will help you stay fresh. Keep a few healthy snacks ready to avoid munching on chips.
Covid-19 has played havoc with our daily routine but we cannot let it dictate terms where our health is concerned. It is okay if you cannot go to the gym. You can still use the treadmill or stationary bike that is at home for your daily dose of exercise. You can practise some yoga or even attend online Zumba classes. Pick up something you like and make it a habit. It will keep your body fit and your mind relaxed. If possible, take out 30 minutes every day to go for a walk in the neighbourhood. Try and set apart 15 minutes each morning for meditation. It will relax your mind and do you a world of good. Remember to wear your mask and maintain your distance.
Working at home doesn’t mean that you work all around the house in whatever posture you feel comfortable. You will be better off setting up a designated workplace or home office space. Find a table and a chair that is ergonomically sound. While working long hours, it is important to maintain the correct posture. Else you will suffer from neck and back pain. The perfect office chair should have armrests and a height that allows your feet to rest flat on the floor. Ideally, it should be one that supports the curvature of your lower back. Your computer monitor should at arm’s length with the top of the monitor at r below eye level to avoid straining your eyes.
Working from home does not mean spending 24/7 at work. It can be killing if you overwork and you are bound to burn out. Just because the elimination of the daily commute leaves you with spare time, it doesn’t mean that you should spend all your free hours working. Focus on your home and family as well. This period has been hard on families and it is important to spare some time for them. Working from home and shutting yourself from the family is not a very healthy thing to do. Find time to do fun things with your family. Cook their favourite meal. Play a game with your kids. Catch a show on Netflix. Relax and have fun after office hours. You owe it to yourself.
Figure out a schedule that suits you and stick to it. Do not have an erratic lifestyle just because you are working from home. Use the time saved on the daily travel to your advantage. Do not compromise on your sleep hours. Getting 6-7 hours of good quality sleep will leave you feeling refreshed. Do not work late into the night or on weekends. Do not bring your work problems home. Leave them at the worktable and move on when the day is over. Working from home over a long period of time requires you to plan differently and stick to that plan without compromising your family life. Else you could end up ruining both your physical and mental health.
Things would be different if you were at your office. You would be on the move all day going from one meeting to another, having food at the cafeteria, travelling to client offices etc. Working from home has reduced these movements drastically. Suddenly you are confined to a chair and you are moving from one zoom meeting to another without budging from your place. This can have a terrible impact on your health. Make it a habit to get up and move at least for 5 minutes every half an hour. Walk up and down the hallway. Go to the kitchen and take a peek at what’s cooking. Have a word with your kid. Give yourself a break from time to time. At least three breaks of 15 minutes during working hours are an absolute must to avoid burnout.Don’t be glued to your chair. It does you no good at all.
At the workplace, you are used to having friends and colleagues with whom you can share ideas and discuss issues. The transition from the workplace to work from home has left a big vacuum in this area. Meetings are held via Zoom or Meet so work does not suffer. However, the one-on-one interaction is missing. It is difficult to replace that completely with technology. People could easily be affected by this lack of human interaction and it could affect them in more ways than one. Stay in touch with friends and family. Talk to your work colleagues. If you want to share your feelings about life or work or anything which is bothering you, please do so without delay. Do not let the stress build. It never does anybody any good.
It is important to bear in mind these health tips to have a comfortable work from home experience. Work cannot and should not be at the expense of your health. It does not help to burn yourself out. Working from home is a necessity during these uncertain times but unless you manage a reasonable balance, you can easily be fatigued and stressed due to the overwork. You owe it to yourself and your family to maintain good health. A healthy worker will be a happy and productive one too. Work Hard. Stay Safe. Stay Fit. Stay Healthy.
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