While it’s typically the job of Office Managers and HR professionals to set the tone for a safe and healthy work environment, now that the vast majority of office workers are working from home, it’s up to every individual to create their own WFH haven. Here are my quick tips on how to foster a healthy work environment at home:
- Get your exercise: People are moving less since no one is commuting or encouraged to really be outside of their homes. Also, the majority of people typically need a bit more motivation to work out which is why going to a physical space can be the only way people will work out. Dig deep and find that motivation to get up and move your body, even if it’s only for 30 minutes (or 10)! Getting the blood flowing will give you more energy throughout your day, it will give you a sense of accomplishment, and it will help keep you healthy during this pandemic. I’m a NASM Certified Personal Trainer (for fun) and have been an at-home exerciser for years (I prefer it), these are the apps I use to get variety and results: Obé, Tone It Up, and SWEAT. Most are running free trials!
- Spruce up your workspace (and I don’t mean your bed): Working in bed can be really comfy but it may make it harder for you to sleep at night as you may associate it with work. Keep your work and sleep spaces separate and you will sleep better and in turn feel better. You don’t need a ton of space, just make it feel good for you. You can add a plant to reduce stress, get a comfy chair (or add pillows to the one you have), or buy organizational containers to keep everything in place. Take a little time to set up your dream workstation (it can even be at the kitchen table if need be).
- Keep healthy snacks on hand: Many companies aim to keep their employees healthy by providing healthy snacks at the office – keep up with that trend at home and buy healthy snacks that will give you the good energy you need to stay motivated to work, but also to keep your immune system up. Snacks I recommend include apples with peanut butter, carrots and hummus, string cheese, turkey or beef jerky, popcorn, and fruit smoothies + nut butter (buy frozen strawberries, mangos, and pineapples – put in a blender with a banana and ice). Aim for a combination of healthy fat, carbohydrates, and protein to feel satisfied.
- Create boundaries for yourself: Every company has its own culture as to when the work day starts and ends in the office and without a physical place to go to, it’s tough to create boundaries between work and personal/family time. Set a schedule for yourself that aligns with company expectations and what works best for you. Pick an approximate start and end time to your day so you have a bit of structure – it will help your mental health to know there can still be a balance.
- Get out of your pajamas: I’m sure there will be at least a handful of days you stay in pj’s all day, but you should put real (yet comfortable) clothes on. This aligns with my other tips of setting boundaries between work and personal life: when the clothes come on, it’s time to work and will give you a start and end time versus it feeling just like an endless workday every day and night.
The Point: We no longer have a physical place to go to work or workout nor do we have Office Managers and HR professionals keeping us in check by creating a healthy environment for us – it’s up to us to create it for ourselves. Take some time to create your ideal space and a routine that will keep your immune system up while also keeping you feeling mentally motivated and well.
We want to hear from you: What are your tips to stay healthy and sane during this crisis? Please share!