Working remotely allows you the freedom to work from anywhere and balance your life as you please. However, working from home doesn’t come without its challenges. Many people have been experiencing feeling isolated, lonely or disconnected from people, being unable to switch off from work, reduced boundaries between work and personal life, having difficulty staying motivated, feeling uncertain about your productivity and sometimes insomnia and sleep problems. Thankfully, remote work mental health isn’t complicated to maintain. A few small daily and weekly habits will work wonders for your productivity, focus, and contentment.
In the climate of working online, socializing online, grocery shopping online, and so on, it’s easy to neglect the lingering aspects of physical life that are still within reach. A digital detox can help you switch off from work, so you can spend quality time with family, or doing the things you want to do. Mindful activities are great alternatives to digital activities like scrolling through social media, like reading, listening to music, cooking, and meditation.
Get outside at least once a day
Fight the urge to stay sedentary and schedule active time to get your heart pumping. Try to get outside at least once a day. Go for a walk or jog, get some fresh air, and sunshine. The added movement will be beneficial for your body, but the emotional benefits may be even greater. Physical exercise, such as walking, has been found to improve sleep, increase energy level, enhance overall emotional well-being and reduce feelings of stress. Exercise can also give you a sense of accomplishment and breaks up your day between work and personal time.
Reach out to work colleagues
Remote work shouldn’t translate into isolation. Make an effort to communicate with colleagues not just for work-related reasons, but for socializing, too. Remote employees miss out on lunchroom conversations and water cooler conversations, which help coworkers bond and let off steam during the work day. While you can’t pop over to a coworker’s desk to ask a question or chat, use technology to help you feel less isolated from coworkers.
Make Evening Plans
Your remote work mental health will also benefit from structured in-person socializing. As restrictions are lifting, try and incorporate more social activities into your routine, like meeting a friend for coffee or visiting family members. Institutionalize a reason to put your laptop away at the end of every work day. Ideally, a reason that motivates you to complete your work and brings some joy into your life.
Upgrade your home office
Having a comfortable physical workspace will have an impact on your wellbeing and mental health as a remote worker. If you don’t have a dedicated workspace, make that priority number one. Bonus points if you have an office with a door you can close to mentally and physically separate work and home life. Long work hours require a supportive chair, so invest in a comfortable ergonomic chair that supports your back. If you can, upgrade to a wide desk supporting your wrists, arms and elbows.