There’s a stigma associated with remote work. Many believe that working from home results in a loss of productivity, but you can still be efficient while enjoying the flexibility remote work offers. You just need to create a workspace that's conducive to a positive workflow and a happy home. Here are a few ways to practice wellness as a remote worker.
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Set Clear Boundaries
Burnout is common for remote workers when work-life boundaries are not clearly set. It's easy to let work duties interfere with your normal at-home activities, but if your work bleeds too much into your personal life, you’ll add on extra stress and overwork yourself. If possible, confine work to a designated room in your house, and unplug completely when you’re off the clock.
Make Up for Lost Efficiency
Your team won't be as easily accessible when you work from home, so you may feel at a disadvantage. However, you can increase efficiency by bringing the team together through online systems that help with planning and scheduling, video conferencing, or storing and organizing important digital files that other staff need access to. You can use free cloud-based services or pay for scheduling apps to keep everyone on track. For maximum efficiency, make sure the services you choose are integrative with the rest of your digital operations, and upgrade your computer and internet speed so that you can do work quickly and reliably.
It's somewhat counterintuitive, but taking breaks can actually boost performance. Breaks throughout the day help mitigate stress and allow you to more easily recover from long stretches of work. On your breaks, you can relax and read a book, engage in a hobby you love, or get your body moving with some stretches. Try to avoid using screens during breaks, though. Research shows that staring at computer screens too long can cause eye strain, potentially leading to headaches or difficulty focusing, and you’ll want to return to work feeling refreshed.
Leave the House
Simply leaving the house on breaks might reinvigorate you. Finding a neutral "third space" where you can decompress away from work can help you make the necessary mental shift from your work life to your personal life.
Having plants in your office can actually make you more productive. The presence of plants affects your perceived air quality, making you feel healthier, and boosts concentration, keeping you more involved in your work. Some people avoid plants because they're afraid of the maintenance required, but you can start with plants that don't need a lot of attention. The easiest indoor plants to take care of include the lady palm, the devil’s ivy, and the spider plant.
Usually, people go home from work eager to relieve the stress of the day, but when you work remotely, that's a little more difficult. There are quite a few simple techniques you can try throughout the day for quick stress relief, like doing some yoga stretches, journaling, listening to music, or meditating. Invest in some comfortable clothing like a new T-shirt, stretchable sports bra, or pair of leggings. When you have a little more time than usual, treat yourself to a facial or a massage. Regular massage therapy can actually promote relaxation and proper energy flow long-term, so consider budgeting for a massage once a month.
Maintaining wellness while working remotely is highly individualized. It may take some experimentation to find what suits you, but as long as you set clear boundaries, take breaks, and maintain your stress levels, you'll be able to find the right balance.