Article by Michelle Abrahall 30.03.16
Working from home is the dream for many people – the flexibility, the convenience and of course being able to wear what you want. But as anyone who works from home (be it working for themselves or remote working) knows, it’s not all pajamas and lie-ins. Not having the stability and structure of an office environment can present a lot of challenges, and if you’re not careful you can slip into bad habits. Here’s how to avoid them and be a healthy homeworker:
Be like a rolling stone
‘A rolling stone gathers no moss’ as the saying goes, and it’s a positive thing! Many homeworkers unintentionally sit immobile for long periods staring at a computer screen. Without the routine and distractions of office life, it’s easy to become sedentary. Take regular breaks, stretch your legs, put the kettle on, whatever you need to do to avoid gathering dust (if not moss!)
Seek out human interaction
Working alone can be great for productivity – I find I get twice as much done in an hour now than I used to in my office job. But long periods of solitude are not great for your mental health, so take steps to avoid them. Arrange to meet a client face to face (always great for relationship building) or perhaps there’s a connection you’ve made on social media that would make for a good coffee date? Even going online and chatting to other freelancers and remote workers can make you feel part of a community, and there are loads of great groups and resources out there.
Avoid the pajama trap
Yes, it’s a wonderful novelty to not have to adhere to a dress code, but beware of spending days in slobby leisure wear. There is a proven link between patients in hospital who stay in their pajamas for long periods and the length of time they take to recover. This is also even more reason to arrange meetings during the week, for which you need to dress well.
Vitamin D for the win
As all Brits know, vitamin D in the form of sunshine can be a rare commodity for most of the year. And if you work from home and the weather’s crap, you might go days without venturing outside. I realise it’s a lot more appealing to go for a walk on a balmy summer’s afternoon than it is in the winter drizzle, but don’t let that put you off. Experts agree that even on cloudy days, you will still benefit from going outside in the fresh air, and if there’s an area of greenery near you, even better.
These points are all common sense, but even seasoned homeworkers will find they need to be reminded of them from time to time. Try to make them all part of your daily routine and before you know it they will become second nature.