As schools sent students home for virtual learning, and social distancing guidelines have been put in place, many businesses also sent their employees to work from home, even if just temporarily. According to a study completed in December 2020 by the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans working from home has increased by about 51%1 since the start of the pandemic. For those whose dynamic has changed from working at the office everyday to working from home, it can be a huge adjustment. Read on for some tips on how you can make working from home a little easier.
Keep a Routine
Working from home can really throw your schedule out of whack. You may find your sleep schedule is off kilter and your pajamas are now your regular work attire (though who’s really complaining about that one?). You may even notice that it seems like your days and weeks are running together as any semblance of a routine is thrown out the window. Keeping a routine will not only help keep yourself on track, but it also has shown to be good for your health.2 Having a good routine can lead to reduced stress levels, improved sleep, and overall improved health from better eating habits and exercise schedules. Here are a few easy tips you can use for keeping a routine:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Get ready for the day as you normally would if you were going to the office.
- Keep a schedule for when you eat your meals, and if you can, meal prep for the week to make it easier.
- Schedule some set times for exercise each week, even if just for a walk around the block.
Get Out of the House
Being at home all the time can start to make you feel cooped up, like you’re going stir crazy. Be sure to make it a point to get out of the house occasionally. You can even include this as part of your routine to make it easier. You could go for a walk around the neighborhood or check out a hiking trail. If you have kids you could get them and yourself out of the house by making a visit to your local park, and it could be fun to feel like a kid again and swing on the swing set. Whatever you decide to do, a change of scenery can go a long way and fresh air can do wonders for clearing your head. And just like having a routine, getting outside for some fresh air can be good for your health3 too. It will help ensure you’re getting a break from sitting for long periods of time, and even light activity such as taking a walk can help decrease the health risks for a number of illnesses. This can also elevate your mood, as getting outside for some activity has been shown to increase the “feel good” chemicals in your brain. You may also notice that you’re more productive after some time outside as the break from work will give your mind a break too which might allow you to have a different perspective on things when you get back.
Working from home your social circle is likely a lot smaller than it once was, especially now that social distancing guidelines are in place as well. This can be incredibly lonely for a lot of people, and you guessed it: social interaction is good for your health, both psychologically and physically.4 Be sure to reach out to your friends and loved ones to stay connected during these times. You can give them a call, video chat with them, or even play online games with one another to help feel a little closer. Feel free to check out the Cash Central blog for some more tips on how you can better stay connected during COVID-19.
Working from home has many positives, but also presents its own challenges. It’s been a big change for a lot of people, but hopefully these tips help make it a little easier for you. As always, be sure to follow local health department rules and CDC guidelines.
1Horowitz, Juliana, Minkin, Rachel, and Parker, Kim. (2020, Dec 9). Retrieved from: https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/12/09/how-the-coronavirus-outbreak-has-and-hasnt-changed-the-way-americans-work/
2Northwestern Medicine. (2022, Dec). Retrieved from: https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/health-benefits-of-having-a-routine
3DaCosta, Marlene. (2020, Jul 16). Retrieved from: https://homebase.org/health-benefits-of-fresh-air-and-sunshine-2/
4South University. (2018, May 1). Retrieved from: https://www.southuniversity.edu/news-and-blogs/2018/05/why-being-social-is-good-for-you