The Way We Work Has Changed
Due to the current outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the number of Americans working from home has more than doubled. That’s a lot of people who now have to re-evaluate their working conditions and create an environment that keeps them healthy and productive. Whether you’ve worked from home before or not, here are 10 ways you can stay healthy, hygienic, and engaged even when working remotely.
1. Create a Routine that Works for You
If you’re not used to working from home, it can be difficult to establish a new routine! We are creatures of habit and often perform better when we create a routine. The key to a successful routine is to set yourself up for success! Create a routine that you know you can manage and stick to long-term. Set your “working hours” to a time when you know you will be most productive; some people work better in the morning, some in the evening. 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!
Another tip is to fake your morning commute. 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 a morning commute by getting up and ready and then having a walk round the block or garden before you set yourself down at your workstation for the day.
2. Keep Engaging with Others
It can be easy to get lost in your work bubble and not talk to many other people during the course of the day – especially when working from home. Human beings love social interaction and therefore the absence of it can have a negative impact on our mental health. While you may not be able to talk to people face to face, picking up the phone or organizing a video chat with others can help keep your mental health in check and keep you connected.
3. Make Exercise a Part of your Daily Routine
Physical exercise and well-being go hand in hand. It’s proven that regular exercise can boost your mood and your productivity through the release of endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body and brain. Working in the same place all day with little human interaction can really affect your mood, so making exercise a part of your daily routine can work to counteract that.
You don’t have to be doing vigorous, high intensity exercise either. Low intensity exercises such as walking or yoga can have real benefits on the mind and physical health.
4. Clean Your Workspace Daily
When sitting at the same desk all day every day, bacteria and dust can build up on surfaces more than you may realize. To give you an idea, did you know that the average desktop has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat? Bacteria on surfaces that don’t “look dirty” can be easily forgotten but cleaning your workspace at home is essential.
Tidying up your workspace can give you a great deal of satisfaction and leave you feeling more in control of what you can achieve during the course of the day. By keeping your space tidy not only are you benefitting your productivity, but your mental well-being.
After a day’s worth of work, we recommend you neatly tidy away your things and keep your space organized in order to come back to your working area the next day ready to hit the ground running.
5. Get Fresh Air
When working from home it can be easy to lock yourself in for hours upon hours without even stepping outside. 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, to maintain your focus and productivity – 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 cross paths pretty often. At home, there can be more distractions than anticipated. In order to stay motivated and focused, it’s vital to keep your work and home life separate. While you may be tempted to do that big pile of laundry or have a slightly longer lunch, make sure it doesn’t interrupt the way in which you work. Find a routine that works for you.
If possible, make a dedicated home working space and make it a working only environment. This way you can separate and your home and work-related emotions and problems, encouraging good overall mental health. And, when the day is done – log off until the next day.
7. Practice Good Food Hygiene
Working from home means more flexibility with your time, giving you a greater selection of food choices 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 and clean your eating area properly.
8. Take Regular Breaks
If you’re working at a screen for hours at a time, it’s important to take regular breaks during the course of the day. It can become counterproductive staring at a screen all day as your mind can become numb, giving you little inspiration or ‘brain juice’ to do your work properly.
The Pomodoro 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 way of working and can actually increase productivity and allow your mind to feel refreshed when re-visiting your work.
9. Keep Your House Clean
Even though you may feel tied down with work all day leaving you little motivation to clean in the evening time, it’s vital you make a daily habit of cleaning your household effectively. Set a schedule of different areas to clean each day so that you feel able work efficiently without unnecessary distractions.
Regularly tidying your home is important, however, there’s a difference between surface-level cleaning and properly disinfecting to rid of harmful bacteria lurking around your home. During this particularly vulnerable time, it’s essential to keep your living, and working space clean and hygienic.
10. Look after Yourself with Good Personal Hygiene
Did you know practicing proper handwashing can reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 36%? Good personal hygiene will help ward off sickness and infections to keep your household safe from any illness. Proper hygiene is more important now than ever-especially hand hygiene! Making sure to properly wash your hands for the recommended 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with an alcohol percentage over 60% when handwashing is unavailable, is the most effective way to keep you and your loved ones healthy.
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 to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on how Citron Hygiene can help your business elevate its hygiene, visit: https://www.citronhygiene.com/en/.