Staying Healthy When Working Remotely

Working remotely makes for a very different work day then spending the day in an office. Both working from home or traveling a great deal can impact your daily routine, overall health and productivity. We are happy to share some tips on staying healthy while working remotely. 

1. Routines Are Important For Remote Workers

The whole point of working remotely is that you don’t have to commit to the 9-to-5 office routine, right? Right. But you also need some sort of structure to stay organized and separate your work hours from your chill time. 

Maybe you work better at night? If you don’t have to attend meetings during daytime work hours then there’s nothing wrong with working from, say, 7pm to 3am and sleeping ‘til noon. Maybe you want to keep working from 9am to 6pm because you like it or your company demands it. That’s fine, too.

You need to keep in mind the hours you should be working and the hours you are free to do whatever you want. Of course, some flexibility is involved, especially when you need to cooperate with clients and remote teams on other continents. You’re working with a time that’s seven hours ahead of your local time, so that particular week you’ll be working a little later than usual.

You have to adjust, but at the same time make sure you draw a clear line between work and play time.

2. Make Time For Yourself

 

With taking your routine seriously in hand, you need to make sure it includes time away from work. A time only for you to enjoy it how you want. Want to go for a walk on the beach everyday on sunrise? Great. Want to spend it playing Candy Crush? That’s also fine (as long as you keep your posture in mind). Scheduled time away from work is of extreme importance when working remotely. It will keep you sane. It is very easy to get lost in your work.  

3. Exercise Regularly

 

It is no secret that people who exercise regularly feel better and have more energy, and are thus more productive. In fact, remote workers tend to be more productive than their office counterparts to begin with. If you invest a little time and effort in fitness, you should be able to boost your productivity further. This means you can widen the gap between yourself and your office-bound competition, and on top of that you can be healthier as well.

Usually, it is easier to get yourself to the gym when you work in an office. Perhaps because it is close to work, or because you go there with a friend after you’re done for the day. People find it hard to get up early when they don’t have to, especially to work out. Laziness is not the only culprit here. Maybe you don’t like to work out alone, but most of your friends are at work when you want to go to the gym or shoot some hoops. Maybe you’re skinny and don’t think you have to do anything to improve your health. However, you can be thin and still be out of shape.

4. Eating Right Is No Joke

 

You can’t have Doritos and Coke for breakfast and expect to have energy for a full day of work. You need food that makes your body function better. A healthy diet contains everything; from carbs to give energy before going to the gym, to protein to consume after, and a whole lot of vegetables to keep healthy.  Need some tips: check out our posts on healthy eating tips for the workplace. 

5. Using Technology To Make Your Healthy Lifestyle Fun

Over the past few years, a number of startups and big tech firms have launched various fitness-oriented gadgets and wearables. Some are good and some are gimmicks, but depending on how you use tech, they can be helpful and make your fitness routines more enjoyable and efficient.

You don’t have to invest in new gadgets to use technology to your advantage: Any smartphone will do the trick, provided you find the right apps and use cases. A smartphone can help you in a number of ways:

  • Content consumption, music and audio books
  • Activity tracker apps
  • Food apps
  • Weight loss apps
  • Motivational/habit apps
  • Mindfulness apps

Granted, these aren’t for everyone, and some people may even find them distracting. However, it all depends on you and your routine. For example, someone likes to jog to a playlist, while someone else enjoys an audiobook while taking their dog for a walk in the park.

Smartphones can be used as accurate pedometers, calorie counters and more. You can track your progress and make sure you are exercising enough each week. Whether you’re hiking or biking, these apps will give you a bit more insight into your routine, and may motivate you to do more from week to week.

However, don’t expect miracles. Researchers have found that many health apps aren’t as useful as their publishers would have us believe. Therefore it is a good idea to check a lot of reviews before you commit to one of them. Even so, there is no harm in tracking the time you spent exercising and walking. To do that, you probably won’t even have to look for specialized apps, as you could simply choose Google Fit or Apple HealthKit to cover your basic fitness needs.

There are a lot of food and weight loss apps out there, and many of them will easily let you track your food intake, calories burned, while at the same time allowing you to weigh in and measure your waistline and keep track of progress. In many fitness apps, you can set clear goals and challenge your body to a duel of sorts, making the whole process a bit more interesting and efficient.

If, however, you don’t mind trying new gadgets, you can purchase some wearables, namely smart wristbands and smartwatches. These aren’t very mature products and there are teething problems with many of them (battery life, for example), but they can be useful.

Wearables can do the following:

  • Keep track of your heart rate
  • Deliver more accurate data in many cases (pedometer)
  • Act as a sedentary reminder
  • Allow you to check notifications and control audio playback without stopping to take out your phone

This is entirely subjective, hence there are likely some people out there who would find such devices annoying, or even uncomfortable. Still, these gadgets have the potential to make exercise more attractive from a tech enthusiast’s perspective.

Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to come up with a routine that suits their personal preferences and physical condition. If you fail to do so, and if you try something that isn’t a good fit, you will increase the chances of reverting to your old, unhealthy habits.

In any case, once you find the right balance, you should have no trouble boosting your productivity and improving your health in the long run. Trying out a sport or healthy hobby, or buying and preparing healthy food, usually doesn’t cost much and doesn’t take up a lot of your time, so it’s a very small price to pay for the extra productivity and sense of well-being.

This article originally appeared in Toptal by Author: Victor Abadio and has been shared with their permission.