Big tech companies are paving the way for working from home (wfh) till 2021 or even indefinitely (I see you, Zillow). It is no surprise to see other companies following suit and exploring such options. If you want to look at the silver lining aspect to COVID and quarantine, think about all the companies out there that were so set in its traditional ‘must-be-in-office’ ways to be productive. Times are a-changing and companies are realizing that people can be productive working from home, if not more than they were in the office. GASP!
You save so much time not having to get ready or commute by being home. But at what price does it take for maintaining or even establishing self care? I have found myself opening the fridge way more than I should have throughout the day (I’ve since scaled back). Then there are those who are accidentally working through lunch or realizing they’ve gone an entire day without talking to other humans. I want to focus on how you can ensure good self-care while wfh so that you’re thriving all around.
One // Commit to a morning schedule.
I’m sure people are loving the fact that they can roll out of bed, throw on their “zoom shirt” ten minutes before their 9am standup and essentially report to work remotely. Yes that sounds lovely but try to start the day with a morning self-care practice. Carve out some morning time to sneak a workout in or make yourself a nice breakfast. It also sets the stage to actually get ready for the day as if you were heading in to the office so that you’re in the right mindset, otherwise it can feel like another lazy Sunday.
Two // Invest in good wfh equipment.
Don’t sabotage your posture or neck or even productivity just because you may not have the same fancy equipment as you do back in the office. See if your company can lend those to you or check to see if you can get reimbursed for office essentials. I’m talking laptop stands, ergonomic chairs, standing desks, dual monitor, etc.
Three // Get your booty up and step outside.
No excuses, especially on a nice day. If you have a dog like me, you have no other choice but to go for a walk. Time block and set recurring reminders on your calendar if you need to. I like to catch up on my favorite podcasts during my walks or eat my lunch up on the deck. Sitting all day is not good for you and leads to poor circulation.
Four // Cut down on your screen time.
This one’s a hard one for me but I try to limit it by not looking at my phone first thing in the morning and getting sucked into social media or articles. I also try to be mindful of turning off all devices an hour or two before bed.
Five // Make a hard transition from work to leisure time.
That means shutting down your laptop and being present for yourself, your partner, or your family. Realize when you should stop working and try not to check your emails into the night unless you’re expected to. Switch off, unplug and recharge yourself so you can start fresh tomorrow.
Six // Allow yourself some distractions.
Let’s be real here, you’re going to get distracted just as you would in the office. Check in with your family, schedule a lunch with your new wfh coworker (aka partner, roommate, pet), do some online shopping, or even take a breather to clean one room out of the house before transitioning to your next task. But watch out for “avoiding” behaviors. This is where you intentionally distract yourself to avoid an important work task, otherwise you will find yourself scrambling to meet your deadline.
Seven // Create a work from home space that vibes with you.
I’ve been way more into home decor and rearranging my space since working from home. It just makes me feel better and I want to enjoy my surroundings. Buy yourself a new air-purifying house plant or new wall art. Even set up a wall for pasting sticky notes or brainstorming ideas using a wall pop, like this one.
Eight // Don’t forget to breathe.
What? Isn’t breathing second nature. Sure it is, but most people are shallow lung breathers and forget to take that deep belly breathe, aka equal breaths. I’m a huge fan of Wim Hof’s guided breathing method. Do it before you have to join a meeting or if you’re feeling anxious.