How to stay healthy and productive while working from home

For some, working from home is the norm. However, since the coronavirus outbreak, many will now be facing a new working environment and, without boundaries, individuals may face challenges. So, what’s the best way to stay efficient and keep your spirits up?

Set a routine

Establishing a structured daily routine will ensure you stay productive while working from home. Start the day as if you would be getting ready to travel to the office, this will set the tone for the rest of the day.

Get dressed

Washing and getting dressed will not only improve your state of mind, it will psychologically prepare you to start work.

Some people find that dressing formally is helpful for their productivity as well as being useful if they need to dial into a video call.

Pick up the phone

When you’re working from home, you could spend the whole day without speaking to anyone, which can be isolating. Make some time to pick up the phone and have a real conversation, rather than relying on email.

Turn team meetings into video calls to ensure you maintain some face to face connection with colleagues.

Establish boundaries

Decide your working hours and stick to these. If you are at home with your children or someone who needs care you may need to adjust what hours will be most appropriate for your personal circumstances.

At the end of your working day, or while you're taking breaks, it’s best to switch off your computer, mute alerts including on your phone and tidy away any work-related papers.

Take regular breaks

It’s good to have a routine when you’re working from home, but work shouldn’t become monotonous and you shouldn’t stay glued to your screen all day.

It’s important to take regular screen breaks and get up from your desk and move around. Be strict on yourself and consider going outdoors at least once per day.

Accept limitations

In these uncertain times we are dealing with high levels of frustration with matters being out of our control.

If you can, it is better to accept this and focus only on what is in your control to change.

Protect your posture

Don’t neglect the importance of ergonomics when working from home. There’s not always the need for expensive ergonomic chairs but you should consider applying some of the basic principles of good sitting. 

Exercise and stretch

You should stand up or move about during calls and undertake a few simple stretches at, or away from, your desk every 30 minutes or so.

Why not try our 5 simple exercises you can do at your workspace?

Use headphones

If you are on phone calls regularly, avoid holding the phone between your neck and shoulder.

Use headphones to plug into your computer or phone when on telephone or conference calls.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the working day. Working on computers can cause dehydration to your eyes and keeping hydrated will help reduce eye strain.

For more guidance read our whitepaper 'The effects of remote working on stress, wellbeing and productivity'. Alternatively, please visit here for further information.

Download this article as a PDF.

Last updated Thursday 19 November 2020

First published on Monday 1 June 2020