Home Office & Health: 7 Tips on How to Stay Mentally & Physically Fit at Home Office
Moving to remote working is a real test for many of us, so follow these tips and keep your body and mind healthy when working outside of the office!
The Corona crisis has caught us cold and completely disrupted the everyday life and professional life of pretty much every employee. Those who used to sit and work together with their colleagues in an office must now complete their tasks from the Home Office and communicate with their colleagues by telephone or video conference. Sounds simple and even quite relaxed – but for many it is the purest horror, as they can’t cope with working from home for the first time. And that is perfectly understandable. Just for comparison:
Those who work in an office usually have a fixed schedule every day. And that starts right in the morning right after the alarm bell. Now, however, you have to completely reschedule your daily routine in the Home Office and maybe even cope with the fact that you are not at home alone. This is certainly not a sugar slick. That’s why it’s extremely important that you take care of yourself to stay mentally and physically healthy. Moving from the office to the home office is a real challenge and therefore not so easy to cope with.
Home Office vs. Work in the Office
Many people think there are no differences between working in the office and working in the home office. Or worse, some even think that Home Office workers in jogging pants are sitting on the sofa doing their work (if at all) while the TV is running on the side. I think it should be clear to everyone that this is absolutely impossible. According to the survey conducted by the AOK Scientific Institute (WIdO), employees who work from home are even more productive. And also happier.
Unfortunately, however, the psyche of most suffers from working in the Home Office. According to the survey, 73.4 percent of respondents who often work in the Home Office felt exhausted. No wonder, because after all it is like this:
If you work in the office, you have fixed working hours. In addition, you can have a chat with your colleagues and quickly ask for help if you have a problem. In the Home Office, of course, things look very different. Here, the line between job and private life is becoming more blurred. Breaks are ignored and often more and longer work is done. In addition, the quality of the relationship with the colleagues in the Home Office is somewhat worse and is no longer moving in the Home Office. So it’s not all gold that shines.
But even if working in the home office has some drawbacks, many can’t even imagine going back to the office. However, those should be careful and take care of their health. Both psychologically and physically. We would like to give you some tips below, which help to make the working hours in the home office as healthy as possible and to ensure a balance. An don’t forget, if you are looking for an exciting and different way to bond with your virtual colleagues, check out some of our team building activities!
Tips for healthy and efficient working in the Home Office
Tip 1 – Healthy sitting position relieves the back:
If you are sitting all day, it is best to sit on an ergonomically shaped office chair or on a gymnastics ball. This prevents not only back pain, but also swollen legs.
If you want to do something good for your back, then invest in a height-adjustable desk. The fact is that sitting for too long can lead to back pain and, in the worst case, even long-term damage. Doctors, therefore, recommend a balanced burden, which should consist of about 60 percent sedentary activity, 30 percent standing activity and a 10 percent share of work while walking.
Tip 2 – Separation of private and professional life:
Your home office should best be set up in a separate room that can be closed with a door to eliminate interference factors. Annoying noises from neighbours, dog barking and also the road traffic can possibly be contained a little. In addition, if the door is closed, everyone who lives within the household knows that you need your rest and are currently working.
The spatial separation of work and the private also helps you to stay focused during working hours and to be able to switch off after work. Because it has been proven that many who work in the Home Office cannot switch off properly after work. The line between work and private life is blurred in the Home Office. Accordingly, many also lack a sufficient recovery period. That’s why you start work at your usual time, take enough breaks, finish your workday on time and close the door to your home office after work. It will not reopen until the new working day begins.
Tip 3 – Be kind to your eyes:
If you need to work from home all day, please do it sensibly and not from a tablet or laptop. They are simply not suitable for permanent work due to the small and low-contrast screen. Dry eyes, headaches and discomfort would result. So invest quietly in a screen with a diagonal of at least 22 inches. This will keep your eyes fresh and also provide a more comfortable sitting position due to the screen size.
Tip 4 – Observe breaks:
Those who work in the office always take short breaks in between. For example, when picking up coffee, having a short conversation with colleagues or doing copying. In the Home Office, of course, these short breaks are automatically eliminated. Most even eat in front of their screen and thus make no breaks at all. However, if you want to work efficiently, you sometimes need a little time out for your eyes and head. So note that you:
- Eat in peace without looking at the screen or working documents
- look out of the window every now and then to relieve the eyes
- grab enough fresh air (and if you are only standing at the window)
If you have a pet, you can also take a two-minute break and pet the animal. Studies show that animals have a calming effect on us humans and are sometimes even better for us than medicine. Even the presence and petting of animals is good for us humans. A study by the State University of New York in Buffalo a few years ago proved this.
The study shows that people with a pet are more relaxed about stress and are generally more relaxed. That’s why many companies have a so-called office dog. Thanks to your pet, you can even increase productivity in the home office.
Tip 5 – Movement and relaxation are important:
As you already know, sitting long harms your back. However, too little physical activity also damages the blood circulation and oxygen supply to the body. So if you’re already working on the computer all day long, do small exercises in between to prevent physical ailments such as back problems.
In addition, if you are already at home all day, then go for a walk after work. Recharge your batteries and enjoy the sun’s rays on your skin. Of course, you can also cycle or jog. This is of course even better for your health.
Tip 6 – Eat healthily:
If you work from home, the temptation is to go to the kitchen more often to have a snack. However, you should leave this at all, otherwise it will quickly become noticeable on the scale. Eat in moderation and eat light food. Many experts recommend that we eat at least three portions of vegetables and two portions of fruit a day. So take advantage of working from home and cut up an apple or some vegetables in between.
Of course, don’t forget to drink in the Home Office. 1.5 litres of water or other calorie-free drinks such as unsweetened tea are optimal.
Tip 7 – Self-discipline is the key in the Home Office:
What is very, very important in the Home Office is that take your work seriously! Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you’re your own boss. This can quickly backfire and cause stressful situations. So behave best at home as well as in the office. This means:
- Dress in the Home Office the way you do for your work.
- Rely on regular working hours (better for the separation of private life and work).
- Schedule your tasks for the day or week.
- Take enough breaks.
- Exchange regularly with your colleagues and supervisors.
And last but not least: after successful work, praise yourself! Everyone needs a pat on the back from time to time.