Last spring, many office employees were suddenly instructed to work from home, but expected to be back within a month or two. Since working from home has become more long-term, organizational leaders are reevaluating where their employees will work in the future. As of August 2020, approximately 42 percent of the working population in the United States is working from home full time. In a recent study, approximately 82 percent of employees prefer to work from home a few days per week when offices eventually reopen. Unfortunately, with many sudden changes come bad habits. Here are three simple ways to improve your work-home lifestyle.
Take frequent standing breaks
Research shows that employees who work from home are more sedentary than those who work in an office. This is partially a result of being alone and connected virtually online all day long. Not having to walk to a meeting or a colleague’s desk to ask a question is lost activity. To add some movement back into your day, take at least a 10-minute standing break each hour. Use a sit-stand desk, stand up while talking on the phone, or fill up your water glass (you’ll have to walk to the sink). Don’t have a standing desk at home? Use a raised, flat surface like an ironing board or a kitchen counter for short periods of time.
Create a routine and follow It
Everyone’s work-from-home schedule is a bit different, and that’s okay! Some employees work from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., while others may work 6:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find out what works best for you and stick to that schedule, allocating time to eat, exercise, and sleep. Design your day for an optimal work-life balance. And when your workday is over, close your laptop until tomorrow.
Set up a proper workstation
You’ll be more comfortable and productive if you take the time to properly set up a home office. Optimize your workstation with office accessories, such as a chair, an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor.