I never worked remotely before for an extended period of time at home. I found myself basically glued to my chair, not finding the right separation between work and home. Not surprisingly, I had a headache at the end of each day. I knew I had to change what I was doing and I needed to give myself permission to take a break and step away. I have spoken to other employees who were having the same experience.
So, I decided to go online to see what some of the expert “remote workers” had to say. The tips below have really made a difference: (no more headaches!)
Diana Russo is the Vice President of Human Resources at North Shore Animal League America.
Don’t sit all day
Take regular standing breaks and stretches. Use your phone or your Fitbit to remind you to move every now and then. There are also apps like Stand Up, Break Time and Time Out that can help.
Get away from the screen
Walk your dog, grab a snack, or go for a 15 minute walk.
Try to get outside for a little while every day.
Stick to your normal schedule
Start working at a set time, take a real lunch break (away from your computer), and wrap up your day just like you were in the office.
Have a ritual for the start and finish of work. It’s very easy to blur the lines, so you need something that marks the start of work, like getting dressed or making a pot of coffee. More importantly, make sure you have an end of the day ritual, so you can switch off thinking about work and start resting.
Working from home means there’s no popping into your colleague’s office to chat or running into someone on your way to the bathroom and discussing weekend plans. These types of interactions are very energizing and very important to our well-being. You can still have those interactions from home, you just have to be more proactive about it. Set up regular check-ins with your team or manager that allows you to not only provide progress updates, but also sort through any problems, brainstorm ideas, or just to see how they are doing. Instead of sending an email, pick up the phone.