As the whole city began to shut down in the face of this pandemic, most of us quickly realized that working from home was going to be our new normal. If you’re lucky enough to be healthy and in a line of work that allows you to WFH, here are some tips to make the most of it and avoid feeling like walking on walls after the third day inside.
Maintain a schedule.
Just because we theoretically have a lot more time to catch up on our favorite shows doesn’t mean we have to go to sleep at 1 a.m. and wake up at 9. Rather, it’s recommended you try to follow the same schedule you keep when you go to the office. Your coworkers will likely be looking for you and counting on your presence, even if it's only online, and it's not a good look to show up to that afternoon Skype meeting with a groggy morning voice. Tip: Try to schedule meetings early in the morning (or whenever you normally would in your office) to help transition into your new routine, especially because our internal clock will trigger us to wake up when we have a commitment.
Designate a workspace.
Though a totally separate home office space would be ideal for detaching ourselves from the rest of the household, sometimes the best we can do is moving to the kitchen table. Wherever you're able to work, keeping an organized and clean space to perform your duties will help you stay focused on the tasks at hand and avoid unnecessary distractions. Tip: If you find yourself tempted by all the in-house activities and chores that have populated your to-do list for months, move away from the source and make a point to schedule those tasks during evening hours or on the weekend. We probably all have a closet that needs organizing, but now is not the time to miss an important work call in favor of folding t-shirts.
Don't forget about ergonomics.
Nowadays, companies are rightly concerned about eliminating risk factors from offices that can lead to musculoskeletal injuries of employees. But what happens when we WFH? It's now up to us to remove those risk factors and avoid sources of pain for our wrists, backs, shoulders, or necks. Tip: Try to find a desk and a chair in your house that are ergonomically friendly (that don't cause pain). If you can't, set an alarm to remind you to take 5-minute stand-up breaks or short, quick walks every 30–45 minutes.
Plenty of fitness clubs have begun offering online classes—often free for members and non-members alike—and now is definitely the time to join that yoga session you'd been wanting to experiment with during lunch. The added benefits of not having to commute—or even socialize—should be enough reason to do it. Tip: Check what your favorite local gym or fitness studio is doing during this time, as many have moved to virtual workouts. There are plenty of free classes already on YouTube, too. Tara Stiles is one of our favorites for yoga sessions of different durations.
Eat as healthy as possible.
Sometimes a quick snack is the easiest solution on a busy day, but after a while of those snacks turning into meals, our bodies—and minds—begin to feel the effects. Now more than ever, we need to stay healthy and strong. Tip: Several restaurants in town are open for delivery or curbside pickup, and Instacart has rolled out the "leave at my door" option for grocery shopping delivery. Try to keep your alcohol intake at bay—better yet, save it for socializing with friends online over Zoom while planning your next adventure once we're all out of isolation.