The Way We Work Has Changed
Due to the current outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), more than 2/3 of Canada’s workforce have been working from home. That’s a lot of people who now have to re-evaluate their working conditions and adapt to staying home for longer than usual. This transition has been smooth for some, with others finding it more difficult to be home so often. Whether you’ve worked from home before or not, here are 10 ways you can stay healthy and hygienic while working from home.
1. Create a Routine that Works for You
If you’re not used to working from home, it can be difficult to establish a routine that works! As creatures of habit, we often perform better when there is an established routine in place. The key to a successful routine is to set yourself up for success! Create a routine that you know you will be successful at following to start. If possible, adjust your “working hours” to a time when you know you will be most productive; maybe you’re more productive at night then during regular work hours. Consistency is key. Plan what you are going to do pre and post-work; whether you decide to have your breakfast at the same time each morning or practice yoga in the evening – stick to the plan!
If your morning commute was a big part of your morning routine, fake it! If you’re used to getting up and using the time on your morning commute to get yourself work-ready, then it can be discomforting if you don’t have that now. Fake your usual morning routine by getting up and getting ready the way you normally would, and take that unused travel time to prepare yourself a coffee, go for a morning walk, or whatever you feel helps jumpstart your morning.
2. Keep Engaging with Others
It can be easy to get lost in your virtual work bubble and not have much human interaction – especially when working from home. The absence of socialization and feelings of isolation can have negative impacts on our mental health. While you may not be able to talk to people face to face, picking up the phone or organizing a virtual meeting with others promotes collaboration, and can help keep improve your mental health.
3. Make Exercise a Part of your Daily Routine
Physical exercise and your health go hand-in-hand. It’s proven that regular exercise can boost your mood and your productivity by releasing endorphins that trigger positive feelings in our brains. Working in the same place all day with little human interaction can really affect your emotions. Making exercise a part of your daily routine can help elevate your mood!
Remember, exercise doesn’t have to mean heavy weightlifting or intense cardio. Low-intensity exercises such as yoga can be just as effective.
4. Clean Your Workspace Daily
Bacteria and dust can build-up on your workstation more than you think! To give you an idea, did you know that the average desktop has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat? Some surfaces may not look “dirty” and can be forgotten when cleaning. But, just because you can’t see the bacteria, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Tidying up your work station is also important. By keeping your space tidy not only can you increase your productivity, but your mood as well. That’s why we recommend tidying up your workspace after every workday, so you don’t wake to a messy workstation the next morning.
5. Get Fresh Air
Working from home can not only feel isolating, it can literally isolate us, especially during a pandemic when going out is riskier than usual. Getting fresh air is a great way to cut through that isolation. In fact, a study by Environmental Health Perspectives found that cognitive scores were 61% higher with fresher air. It’s so important to get out and get some fresh air if possible – even if means just walking around your neighborhood a couple of times!
6. Separate Your Work and Home Life
When working from home, you may find that your work and home life sometimes overlap. Working from home can be more distracting than you think. In order to stay motivated and focused, it’s important to try and separate your work and home life. While you may be tempted to do that big pile of laundry or have a slightly longer lunch, make sure it doesn’t interrupt your regular work schedule too much.
If possible, find a comfortable work space in your home and keep it a working only environment. This way you can separate your home and work-related issues to help keep you focused and eliminate outside stressors. At the end of your workday – try and log off until the next day.
7. Practice Good Food Hygiene
Working from home means more flexibility with your time, giving you more access to food options throughout the day. Without the commute, you may have more time on your hands to cook instead of relying on the office café or pre-packed meals. However, you cannot forget to practice good hand hygiene techniques when dealing with food. Make sure you are following food safety best practices and limiting cross-contamination.
8. Take Regular Breaks
If you’re working at a screen for hours at a time, try and take short breaks throughout the day. Staring at the same screen for too long can be counterproductive.
A good technique to use is the Pomodoro Technique. This technique calls for work sessions of 25 minutes followed by a five-minute break, with a 15-minute break at least once every two hours. This may not work for everyone, but it’s been found to be an effective and sustainable way to maintain productivity throughout the day.
9. Keep Your House Clean
Although work can be draining, if possible, try and make it a daily habit to tidy your household. In addition to surface level tidying, it’s important to also regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces and items to prevent the spread of any harmful bacteria from the outside world inside your home.
10. Look after Yourself with Good Personal Hygiene
Did you know practicing proper hand hygiene can reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 by 36%? Good personal hygiene will help ward off sickness and infections, and prevent the spread of any illnesses within your home. Proper hygiene is more important now than ever, especially hand hygiene! Make sure to properly wash your hands for the recommended 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with an alcohol percentage over 60% when handwashing is unavailable.
About Citron Hygiene
Citron Hygiene has been a trusted facility hygiene service provider for over 45 years, creating healthier spaces where we live, work and play. Our passion for building healthier spaces has translated into a line of innovative and progressive hygiene services and products to help businesses keep their staff and customers safe as they learn