FIVE HEALTHY HABITS FOR WORKING FROM HOME
By: Nikky Brown
We should all aim to have healthy work habits. While many of us are now working full time from home due to the pandemic, it may be a bit harder to do. I have been working from home for almost a year now and I thought it was going to be a piece of cake. To my surprise, you actually have to be extremely disciplined, dedicated and motivated to ensure that you are as productive as you would be (if not more) if you were in the office. There are many things we can do to create healthy work habits and to be and remain productive while working from home. Here are five things that you can start doing right now: Create a routine: Getting into a routine is so important when working from home. Sticking to that routine is crucial. In the beginning I thought I could just roll out of bed, get ready in a few minutes for my first zoom meeting and be okay for the rest of the day. But by doing that, I actually felt tired and a little lethargic even though I had gotten a full nights rest and it was only the start of the day. I implemented a morning routine and quickly realized how much of a difference that made. My morning routine never really varies now because when I stick to it my energy is up and I am more focused and ready to tackle the day. Take a mental break: It is very important to take a few mental breaks throughout the day. We are not robots. No one should be working 8 to 9 hours with only a lunch break. Taking mental breaks allows you to: give your eyes a rest from the computer, give your mind a break from working and the opportunity to recharge and help you to feel less fatigued. Have a designated area to work: I thought it was ok for me to work in different areas in my apartment throughout the day. I quickly realized that was not a great idea. If I was working in the kitchen or living room, my family would often come and chat with me. Even though they were not trying to be disruptive, I found myself being distracted easily and not as focused as I wanted to be. I eventually purchased a work desk and set up a designated work area in my apartment to work. Upon doing that, it actually felt like I was really in the office and I also found that my family tended to bother me way less when they see that I am at my workspace. Decorating your workspace with files and work supplies as you would in the office helps to give it that in office feel. Work only on work during work hours: It is so tempting to do other things while you are at home but your work hours should strictly be for work and work only. We should not be away from our computers for a long period of time, with lunch being an exception. Now is not the time to catch up on that Netflix series. It is normal to want to take a quick break to grab a snack, stretch your legs, walk around for a bit, but running to the supermarket because you realize you are out of pesto sauce and plan to make pasta for dinner is not a good idea. Stay connected: Remember, you are still at work. It is important to stay connected with your co-workers and what is happening in the company. Try to engage with others as much as possible by zoom or group chat. Having daily zoom calls is a great way to stay connected and engaged with your team. Don’t completely isolate yourself and be responsive and available to help when needed.