Healthy Habits to Develop When You Work Remotely

Working in an office is the norm for most people. There is no mystery to it unless it’s your first job. The routine is rather simple. You wake up early, get ready for work, commute to work, join meetings, talk to your colleagues, take a few breaks, send emails, meet with clients, and eventually go back home. Your routine can change depending on your position and responsibilities, but in general, it looks a lot like that.

When you start working from home, you realize the routine you had at the office is not transferable. At home, things are different, and while remote work does have lots of benefits, it also has challenges. It’s just another thing that might take a little time to become the norm.

There is no generic formula that works for everyone when it comes to working remotely. You have to find what works for you. However, there are some best practices you can follow to ensure you develop a healthy work-from-home routine, other than the basics, like defining a schedule and planning your day.

Good Meeting Etiquette

Body language is an essential element during meetings in person. You can read the room and see if you need to change the tone to keep people engaged or if you need to stop and address questions before moving on to the next topic. Virtual meetings are a little trickier because it’s not easy to tell when others have lost interest, especially if it’s just voice conference calls.

Video conferencing is the best way to ensure your meetings are productive, but it also helps people feel more connected. Share your meeting agenda before the call to help you stay on track with everything that needs discussing during the scheduled time. At the end of the meeting, be sure to send out notes with action items and follow-ups, so that everyone is on the same page.

Build Accountability

Holding yourself accountable is critical for a successful working from home routine. Otherwise, it can be effortless to fill your day with home chores and other non-work-related tasks, leaving you with a lot of work pending at the end of the day.

Keep your daily to-do list handy. Many remote work tools can help you manage your projects and tasks and boost your productivity. You can keep all jobs —yours and your team’s— in a shared dashboard or folder to help you build accountability. Have a daily status call to ensure things stay on track.

Hold Postmortem Meetings on Big Projects

There are always many things to learn from every finished project. What can you do better the next time? What should you avoid? Meeting with your team to discuss their learnings and yours will help keep everyone engaged, improve communication, and document those practices that are working and those that aren’t so that you can have a better plan for future projects.

Take Breaks

There may be days when you can’t seem to catch a break, but working non-stop as a regular practice is not healthy. Be sure to take breaks throughout the day. You might think they will slow you down, but in fact, they will help you be more productive. Breaking away from work every hour for a few minutes is an excellent way for your brain to reset and continue to work at its full capacity.

Schedule time to spend with your family or just with yourself. Treat that time the same way you would treat a meeting with a client. Work should take part in your day, not your entire day, especially when you’re at home.

Keep Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy eating habits are critical when working remotely. The right foods will fuel your body to help you get through the workday, improve your ability to focus, and help you feel happy and healthy.

Stretch

The importance of stretching is something that is usually overlooked by remote workers. Sitting in the same position throughout the day can impact your posture and even affect your ability to focus. Take advantage of your breaks to move your body, do some light stretches, or a little desk yoga. Staying active is recommended for your physical and mental health in general terms, but primarily when you work from home.