As the COVID-19 pandemic forces more and more workers to stay home, many large employee populations are being asked to rapidly switch to remote work. In companies where it’s possible (like ours), it hasn’t been uncommon to see workforces go 100% remote overnight.
There are several things to adapt to amid this disorienting pandemic, and as we’ve described in the past, adapting to remote work presents a decent psychological challenge indeed. Some may underestimate the self-care and attention that is required to stay productive and mentally healthy.
If you are one of the millions who now find yourself suddenly part of the remote workforce, here are some healthy tips for remote work:
- Plan a Reasonable Schedule – Make a new work routine from top to bottom. It can be tempting to wake up and immediately start writing emails. Be sure to give yourself time in the morning to wake up, have breakfast, get mentally prepared for the day, etc., and most important, give yourself a stop time. Keeping a reasonable schedule can help with mental fitness by keeping the lines of work and home from getting blurred.
- Take Nature Breaks – Cabin fever, stir crazy, whatever you want to call it, humans weren’t meant to be cooped up all day. Remember that social distancing is only meant to keep people away from large crowds or crowded spaces. It doesn’t mean you can’t go for a short solo walk or visit the park at lunch. Aside from the benefits of physical activity, getting outside and seeing some nature can lower stress and boost productivity.
- Take Care of Your Body – With gyms closing for the duration and health on everyone’s minds, it can be even more stressful to find ways to exercise and feel fit. The CDC recommends periodic deep breathing, stretching, or meditating to calm stress, and there are free online fitness class trials that can help you stay on your workout schedule. Also make time to unwind at the end of the day and do the things you enjoy.
- Connect Regularly – When large workforces go remote at a time like this, communication becomes essential, as it becomes easier for employees to feel isolated and siloed off. Managers should have regular check-ins with remote workers, employees should be checking in on colleagues, and organizations should be providing the appropriate technology to enable those interactions as much as possible.
Every new work environment brings new challenge, and an employee’s home is no exception. It’s unfortunate that so many have been thrust into the remote life because of a pandemic, so we hope these healthy tips for remote work can help reign in some of the uncertainty of the situation. We are all in this together, so please take care of yourselves and each other.