We are witnessing one of the most terrible pandemics in decades. It has affected the lives of millions of people around the world. It is likely that your daily habits also changed as a result of this sanitary crisis. Many people were forced to work from home to avoid contagions at their workplaces. That’s why the home office became quite popular in the last months.
Unfortunately, working from home was something new to many people. Therefore, it was not uncommon that some people started to develop bad habits. Moreover, not everyone installed a home office properly. One of the most common recommendations to work from home is using a standing desk. This type of desk allows you to shift between sitting and standing positions during your working hours. If you don’t have a standing desk but would like to buy one, click here.
Now, the restrictions to keep social distancing are being lifted in some countries. As the vaccination campaigns advance, some people are returning to their workplaces. But others have to continue working from home. The most common concern of both groups is how to remain healthy at the workplace (with an office or at home).
Most people are well informed about how to prevent being infected with the infamous coronavirus. Therefore, in this article, we won’t repeat this information. Instead, we will focus on recommendations to maintain a healthy lifestyle while working in an office and at home. The following are the recommendations that we will discuss in detail:
- Set up a comfortable workspace;
- Avoid bad working postures;
- Create a routine;
- Take regular breaks;
- Stay in touch with people you care for;
- Don’t let work take over your life.
Let’s discuss each of these points individually. They apply to both working in an office and at home. Put all these recommendations in practice and you’ll notice a change immediately.
Set Up a Comfortable Workspace
It goes without saying, but you need a dedicated workspace. At your usual workplace, you already have an allocated workspace. At home, you have to create one. In both cases, your workspace must be a quiet place where you can work without distractions. Ideally, you need a separate room for your office. If it is not possible at home, then you have to use your creativity. What about a corner in the living room, for example? It should be a place with a lot of natural light. Hence, choose a place near a window. If it is not possible, install the necessary artificial lamps to have a bright place.
Pay attention to the furniture. The most important piece of furniture is your desk. There’s a good amount of evidence that attests to the health benefits of using a standing desk. Sitting the entire working day is a formula for developing life-threatening diseases. Sitting for long hours may contribute to the development of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and other ailments.
An electric standing desk allows you to stand for some hours. You just need to push a button and a motor will move the desktop upward to your preferred height. When you get tired of working on your feet, you push a button to go back to the sitting position. As said, medical research has already demonstrated the many benefits of these simple shifts of working positions.
Avoid Bad Working Postures
The second most important piece of furniture in your workspace is the office chair. Don’t make the mistake of taking any chair from home for your home office. Invest in a good and comfortable office chair. It must support your back and, if possible, also your neck. Equally important, keep your spine vertical. You may be tempted (especially at home) to adopt more “comfortable” postures. Even worse, you may want to work on your couch or lying on the bed. Avoid those bad working postures. They usually are the source of back and neck pain and strain.
Create a Routine
It may sound a bit odd. Isn’t a routine bad for our health? Let’s elaborate. What is meant here is to create fixed working hours. Start working at the same hour every day. Fix the number of hours that you will work per day. Don’t overwork unless it is necessary. Creating this routine will also be an indicator for your colleagues. They’ll know that when you are working, you have no time for other things. However, when your working hours are over, you should forget completely about work.
Take Regular Breaks
Don’t forget to include regular breaks in your working routine. Every hour, for example, you can take five or ten minutes to walk around and stretch. If you are working from home, you can use a short break to put the laundry in the washing machine, for example. Also, schedule one hour to eat lunch. Never eat at your desk. You have to separate your eating time from your work. However, you can drink water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated.
Stay in Touch with People You Care for
For many people, one of the most challenging aspects of working from home is the lack of social interaction. At your regular office, you can briefly chat with your coworkers during breaks. It is not possible if you work from home, at least not in person. But you can use teleconferencing to talk to them now and then. Organize virtual meetings outside working hours to socialize.
Don’t Let Work Take over Your Life
There is much more to life than work all the time. While work is important, you must pay attention to your whole self. Otherwise, immersing yourself in work only will lead to tiredness and anxiety. As a result, you will be less productive. Relax. Do other activities during the day. Do some exercise or devote some time to your hobby. For example, if you work from home, take some time after work to take care of your garden. If you are working at your regular office, go to the gym after work, for example.