Office culture as we know it is quickly shifting. In recent news, large tech companies such as Twitter and Facebook have announced WFH options for employees through the end of the year as well as permanent options for some employees. As we adjust to this new way of working, there may be some inevitable struggles that come with it. Below are a few tips for creating more balance, while working from home. Perhaps they are reminders that may seem obvious, however, given the modern society we live in and the current stressors we’re experiencing, it’s easy to brush aside some of our basic human needs such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods and exercising. 

Wake Up Early

As Ben Franklin famously stated, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” 

Create structure, routine, and focus

Develop a routine and structure around your day. When juggling multiple responsibilities, plan a to-do list and stick with it. Stay motivated by checking off items on your list. At the end of the day, review how much you accomplished. This will also help you to plan for the days ahead.  

Movement & Fresh Air

Incorporate movement and exercise throughout your day. Whether it is a morning work, walking meeting, or lunchtime run. Whatever it is, it will benefit your entire wellbeing. Being in a sedative, stationary place for too long will create stagnation, leading to loss of creativity and fatigue. Movement generates creativity, mental clarity, and productivity.

Balance your work and life

Have a designated place to work out of each day. Keep your work area clean of clutter and ideally away from distractions. If you have limited space and are using your kitchen table, for example, clear the table of your work at the end of the day. However, you can, try to create a literal separation between your work and home life so that the two do not overlap.  

Healthy Eating

Choose healthy foods that will boost your memory, concentration, and alertness. Plan meals ahead of time so that you are not scrambling to make something last minute. Eat away from your work area if you can. Food is the fuel needed to help us get through each day, so why not make it good healthy fuel.

Be Aware of Your Screen Time

As meetings have all gone virtual, and the amount of time spent connecting socially online has increased, symptoms such as sore eyes, headache, muscle tension in the shoulders, neck, and back pain are not uncommon. Take a moment to close your eyes and give them a rest when you need to. Get up for a stretch or walk. Invest in a pair of blue light filtering glasses. 

Get Quality Sleep

Are you waking up rested? Do you need coffee in the morning? Are you sleeping through the night? Our bodies are meant to have a natural cortisol awakening response surge in the morning, within the first 30 minutes. If that is not happening for you, it could mean that something is out of whack. Good quality sleep is vital for mental clarity and sustainable energy, which is needed throughout the day. 

Our brains are beautiful instruments, which need to be nourished. Our devices are tools that allow us to be productive each day. However, aside from this focus on output, there should be an equal focus on input as well. How we take care of our minds and bodies. How we build our immunity and resiliency, and how we balance the stressors in our lives, are fundamental to how we take care of ourselves on the most basic level.

~ Kate Gustafson