You started working from home, how exciting! Chances are you plan on working from different places, maybe even different countries, enjoying the freedom that you now have as a remote worker.
After a few days of working from a crowded Starbucks, you find out that you love working from the comfort of your own home. Fewer distractions and the coffee is also a lot cheaper.
Don't make the same mistake I made
When I started working from home, I too had the idea to work from different places. After a couple of days, however, I quickly realized that I was way more comfortable working from my desk than anywhere else.
The downside, as I mentioned in a previous post, is that it resulted in me sitting for 6 to 10 hours straight only getting up for some food or to the bathroom.
This went well for a couple of weeks when I started noticing some small pains in my lower back. So, I did what everyone would do, get up and stretch now and then. While this relieved some of the pain, I wasn't focusing on the main issue;
I didn't walk close to 10k steps I used to take for my commute every day, instead only taking 2 to 3k a day. Working from home is comfortable, but all the steps you'll take for granted are not there anymore. And that is no bueno!
Ask yourself, are you moving enough?
For the next couple of days keep track of how much you move. Having a smartwatch could help you out with "automating" the collection of the data, don't forget to put it on first thing in the morning.
Okay great, but now what? Look at the data;
- How much steps do you take?
- How much do you sit vs. move?
- Is regular walking being registered as exercise?
- What is your heart rate like in resting and during exercise?
- Were there any peaks in your movement? Why?
As the days pass by, you'll get more insights into how much you move. If you move plenty enough, great! If you see room for improvement, here are some tips to get you moving when working from home;
- Download an app that tells you to get off your butt. Standing up every 20 minutes will help significantly in feeling less fatigued at the end of the day.
- Go for a run or long walk on set days.
- Make a habit of going for a walk after lunch. You are already away from your desk anyway. Look for these kinds of opportunities to move more.
- What are you eating? If you are eating bad, you'll feel bad.
- Buy a Fit-bit, Apple watch or other smartwatch and set move goals.
- Maybe you can start a little competition with your friends or co-workers; "who takes the most steps" or "who burns the most calories".
- Get a gym membership and block time in your calendar.
- If space allows it, build a mini home gym. It will surprise you that you don't need thousands of dollar of equipment to perform a good workout.
As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to change for the better. The most important thing to take away from this part is to monitor your movement when you work from home. Sometimes we think we live healthily, but then the data shows that it's time to move our ass. The goal should be to lose weight, but rather to stay energized and the best version of yourself.
Staying social while working from home
Besides staying in shape, think about that other big thing you don't have as much anymore; human interaction.
Think about it, are you still talking to your co-workers about anything other than work since you have started working from home? Keeping that human touch is essential. Especially if you are single and living alone, working remotely can make you feel isolated over time.
Try to connect with your co-workers on a more personal level. Asking about someone's weekend will reveal a whole lot about their passions, hobbies, things they like and things they might not like. Next Friday instead of saying "have a nice weekend" ask "any plans for the weekend?" instead. Take it from there and I think your team will benefit from knowing one another a little bit better.
Besides keeping in touch with your co-workers, reach out to friends and family. You don't need people around you 24/7, but it's essential to maintain the relationships outside of your professional life.
Some things you can do;
- Go to birthdays and housewarmings even if you don't feel like it.
- Be the one that invites people to do something fun. Some days you'll find that everyone is just waiting for something to do, but if no one takes the initiative, everyone defaults to Netflix.
- For the gamers out here; chances are you have some friends that play the same game. Settle for a time to play that game online together.
- Go out for dinner, drinks or other events.
- Offer help to friends and family. For instance, each year one of my friends Nick throws a new years eve party. Offering to help him set up the audio, cleaning and do groceries is great fun as well as being of great help to him.
- Plan dinner with your family, or give them a call. Don't take family for granted.
- Message someone you haven't talked to in a long time.
Are you having fun?
Last but not least, are you having fun? When you work from home, it's easy to work and work some more. If you are not working, you like to work on your side projects. Short term? You get things done. Long term? You'll eventually burn out creatively or worse physically.
The best way for me is to ask myself the following question now and then; "am I taking time off?". If the answer is no, I'll come up with a rule like "the coming weekend, I'll want to make a song" or "Friday evening, I am going to go out with some friends". Notice that I plan things to do; otherwise, I default to "let's work on that project a little".
Also, keep track of how often you take a long weekend off besides 2/3 weeks of summer vacation? Don't forget to plan a trip or make some rules with yourself on what to do and more importantly what not to do during your time off.
Having the complete freedom of working from anywhere you'd like is great, but being the best version of yourself while enjoying this freedom makes it so much more fun.
Take care ✌