• Alex Cosham

How to stay healthy while working from home

Whether you’re new to home working or becoming a seasoned pro, it’s always nice to make sure we’re doing things the best way for ourselves and our families. With garden rooms like ours fast becoming a means to add functional space specifically for home working, we wanted to explore some of the advice out there to stay healthy while working from home…

Routine supreme

If there’s one piece of advice consistent across every ‘healthy work from home’ list, it’s having a routine. They might not all look the same or sound the same, but they all provide welcome structure for home working. By setting a routine, it can help protect your time and define the boundaries of work and home life. Let your household know your routine too, this way they can (hopefully) support you in maintaining your routine and help avoid any awkward zoom interruptions.

Your sturdy routine might also help manage the temptation to binge another boxset until 2AM…even if the next episode does look incredible!

No Pyjamas

You heard us, no pyjamas. They may be comfy. In fact, they might be calling out to you right now. Don’t listen to them. Pyjamas are not work attire, whether at home of in the office. They are also a quick-fire way to sap motivation and make it more difficult to get into the headspace to promote healthy work habits. Make getting washed, changed and ready for the day part of your routine.

You don’t need to go full power suit, but at least leave the fleece onesie in the bedroom.

Take your stations

Create a dedicated workspace with everything you need at the start of the day. Choose a location that’s free from distractions and allows you to keep focused. Make sure you’re comfortable, but try to avoid the sofa. In fact if you can invest in just one thing to make working from home healthier, it should be a proper desk and chair. Fellow Norfolk based business Flomotion offer excellent advice and products to make working from home work better for your body. From sit-stand desks, to seating to screen mounts, it’s worth investing in a home working setup that supports both your physical and mental health.

See the NHS guidance on setting up your workstation here.

Check out Flomotion's working from home range

Break it up

Working from home can quickly mean that ‘work’ invades a lot of our time at home. Take back time with breaks that allow you to recharge. Do a bit of light exercise, stretch and breathe. Working from home does not mean you should be on call all day, so allow yourself to take time where you need it, especially if you’re working from home under difficult circumstances.

Planning regular breaks will actually help you be more productive. It also means lunchtime is your time, so close your laptop, log out of work and dive into something delicious and nutritious.

Be wise, socialise

Working from home can often feel anything but social. In fact we could go days, even weeks without seeing anyone. As pretty social creatures, it’s important we ditch email and instant messengers in favour of a video call or conversation from time to time. Whilst working from home is likely to keep growing, so too will the need to stay connected and recover the social aspects of work that are lost. Be honest about how you feel, support your colleagues and friends and accept support that’s offered too.

Chances are many of your colleagues and friends can relate to what you might be feeling, and what is it they say about a problem shared being a problem halved?

If you or your colleagues are feeling isolated, explore the mental health at work guidance for some handy advice here

Make it personal

So, you’ve read another ‘how to stay healthy while working from home’ article. You might have picked up some wondrous advice (you’re welcome). Maybe you’re thinking about that work friend you should call or that schedule you’ve been meaning to write? However you use the information flooding the internet, just remember that it’s personal. We can all pick and choose advice and top tips, but at the end of the day it’s up to us how we work from home. Sure having a routine, exercising, eating healthy and socialising is all the ideal plan, but if we have a day of working from home in our PJs whilst devouring cold pizza from the night before…that’s okay too. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others. With many of us currently working from home because we have to, not just because we can, it’s worth remembering we don’t have to be perfect at it all the time.

Long term working from home

Whilst some of us are learning to work from home temporarily until we can return to the office, many are embracing this new way of working for the long term. If you’re considering a long term work from home setup, it will be important to consider how you improve the experience for you and your household. This might mean converting an existing space permanently, or perhaps considering a way to add a new space to your home. We recently compared the cost of a garden room to both commuting and other home extensions, highlighting how cost-effective a garden room could be for many considering a future of working from home.

Whilst a decent investment, a garden office is likely to be not only an investment in your own health, but a much more sought after feature for professionals adjusting to the new world of work. If it’s one you’re considering, please feel free to ask our advice and share your ideas.

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