A Remote Worker's Guide to Staying Healthy

a person sitting at a desk with a laptop and a cat.

Before the arrival of Coronavirus, there were already 7 million people working remotely in the U.S. in 2020. The number of people working remotely has grown by 44 percent over the last five years.

And with the pandemic and the struggle to keep the infection under control, efforts are being made to reinforce social distance. Therefore, many organizations have adopted working from home to keep their businesses running while taking care of public health

In these circumstances, working from home is an entirely new experience to some, so staying healthy and efficient in a new environment is even more of a challenge to these individuals.

Whether new or familiar with this kind of work setting, staying healthy and productive while working remotely can be difficult.

Here are five ways to stay healthy and happy while working from home.

1. Have Regular Meals and Healthy Snacks

When working remotely, it is so easy to get up and start working in your pajamas, skip breakfast, have way too many coffees, and eat whatever is the easiest and at hand. And too often, that easy option includes snacks and junk food. 

While getting a burger or a pizza here and there won’t kill you, in the long run, this kind of lifestyle can take a toll on your physical health as well as your productivity. 

Build-in time to prepare and have regular meals, and keep healthy snacks like nuts, fresh fruits, cheese, or yogurt at hand to alleviate the cravings.

Meal prepping on weekends when you have more free time is a great way to eat healthier and save time and money!

2. Weave Exercise Into Your Schedule

Remote work often includes online work, which also means sitting for hours every day. Don’t allow your health to suffer due to your work responsibilities. Instead, set fitness goals and schedule exercise throughout your week. 

Make sure to stick to your goals. Don’t wait to have some free time on your hands or for inspiration to strike, as you may never make a single squat or walk that way. 

Be proactive about your workouts, and intentionally make time for them.

Gyms have been closed in certain countries to contain the spread of the virus, so taking control of your fitness can be a challenge. If you are looking for motivation to work out from home, there are some great ways you can help yourself keep up with your exercise regimen.

You can find an exercise buddy that will keep you accountable, and with today’s technology, you can even do a virtual workout together. 

3. Set Boundaries and Stick to Them

Separating your work and personal life can be a struggle when there is no commute or the actual leaving of the office. Working into the night, past the time you told yourself you would finish up is not uncommon. 

For your health and well-being, it is crucial to set clear boundaries and unplug at the end of the day. Create a work schedule that suits you and stick to it. When it’s the end of the working hours, sign out of your work email, and stop working for the day. 

Don’t forget to communicate your working hours to your colleagues, so they know when you are available. 

Setting a clear schedule will help you be more productive and less likely to wander off to prepare lunch since you know you are on the clock. When you feel like you are at work, you will get more tasks done in the same timeframe, leaving you with more time and energy for socializing, entertainment, and other leisure activities. 

4. Take Restorative Breaks

Working from home comes with some perks like having the freedom to incorporate movement throughout your workday and take a break whenever you feel sluggish. 

Taking regular breaks will maximize your productivity, but it will also boost your well-being and help you avoid feeling drained at the end of the workday. 

Take restorative breaks every 90 to 120 minutes to regain concentration and reenergize. A five-minute walk, a stretch, mindful breathing for a few seconds, or few minutes can leave you feeling refreshed and able to take on tasks for the day.

Short and effective mindful breaks can also help you alleviate stress, refocus, and gain clarity. 

5. Manage Your Time Effectively

Time tracking software can help you determine where all of your hours are going and help you better use your work hours. Try TimeCamp or Toggl to keep track of time spent on various tasks.

These tools can give you helpful insight into your time usage patterns and help you build a schedule that works for you. 

The freedom to set your hours is great, and integrating healthy habits into your daily routines is vital for achieving a work-life balance and optimal health. It will be challenging for a while until you get used to sticking to the new schedule. 

Be sure that it is well worth the effort, as you will feel refreshed, more focused and productive, and healthier in the long run.

Written by Alexander Hunkin

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