HEALTH

How to Keep Healthy Whilst Home Working

In the not so distant past, home working might make you think of people being paid to stuff envelopes or performing assembly work. Nowadays though remote working is about performing legitimate jobs at home rather than the office.

The pandemic of 2020 forced millions of people to rethink how they worked. Last year as the lockdowns came into effect there were more Google searches for remote working than ever before. Businesses needed to keep functioning and employees wanted to work so it made sense to transfer the workspace to the home.

One aspect of home working that you may not have considered when you chose to start is your health. Working has many benefits but it also requires some changes and discipline to keep yourself healthy as well as being productive. 

Get a routine

It is essential you make a proper routine. Working from home can seem great as you can now sleep in and work during the middle of the night if you prefer. However, working nights is unhealthy and also unnatural.

Our bodies and brains have evolved to be active in the daytime and to rest at night. Some research has shown a heightened risk of disease for night workers. This can include heart disease, diabetes, and possibly cancer. It can also lead to obesity and even depression. Working nights means having to carry out duties without natural light, disrupting sleep patterns, and eating at irregular times. It is better to try and keep to a natural routine when home working. 

Get the right equipment

You might think it is ok to work from bed or on the sofa but after some time you will be building up problems from poor posture, not to mention that you will look pretty unprofessional on video conferencing calls. You will want to find ways to be a productive home worker and how you sit during your day will make a difference.

Consider the following items:

  • Adjustable seating
  • Purpose-built desk
  • Wireless equipment instead of wired
  • Ergonomic keyboard
  • Large monitor
  • Laptop stand
  • Dedicated workspace

Having a workspace that is just for you away from your partner or family will help to keep your work and home life separate. An adjustable desk is a very good investment and allows you to change the height to fit your needs. You can see more information from HADO if you are interested in these desks. Keeping yourself wire-free means less clutter and a better workspace too.

If you are working with a laptop then a stand can help you adjust it to the right height for your eye line. Your posture should be with a straight back and arms bent at 90 degrees and the screen level with your eyes. If you find yourself looking down then you will end up with a sore neck and possibly back pain.

Hydrate and eat

Drinking water is very important for staying alert and productive and of course for your health. When it comes to meal breaks, take them away from the desk. Keep having a regular three meals a day and try to spend at least one of them with someone. If you live alone then if social distancing allows try and meet a friend for lunch. Switch off from work and take a break. 

Sleep properly

When there is a deadline looming it is easy to get stressed out and to start working extra hours. This is ok for the short-term but it shouldn’t become the norm. Make sure you still keep to your normal sleep patterns.

When you are awake it may be tempting to start work in your pajamas but it is better to shower and get dressed as normal. Once your work and home life merge into each other you will be heading for bad habits. There are many mental health benefits to working from home but you need to keep your routines as normal as possible. 

General things to consider when working from home:

  • Snacking – keep some healthy snacks available to stop yourself from indulging in sugary treats.
  • Lighting – make sure there is some natural light where you work.
  • Move around – do not sit at the desk all day, get up and allow your blood to circulate.
  • Exercise – even better, do some exercise. If you had a fitness routine before remote working then continue it.
  • Get fresh air – open a window, go into the backyard, walk around the block. Don’t stay in your home for the whole week without seeing the outside. 

Summary

It would appear that home working is an area that will increase. Future trends in remote working may include there being less need for commercial office space. It is a popular way to work for many and one study showed that workers would be willing to take a pay cut for the chance to continue remote working.

Working on-site means that there are health and safety checks and HR will also be involved in your well-being. Working from home can mean you need to take a more active role in your work environment. Remote working can only be sustainable if your health is not compromised. Routines, sleep, eating properly, and the right office equipment can all help.

TBN Editor

Time Business News Editor Team