How to Stay Healthy While Telecommuting

There’s not much good news when it comes to our sedentary working lifestyles, whether we’re in an office or telecommuting. Sitting and working all day can throw a wrench into your body’s regular calorie-burning routine, cause your muscles to ache and strain your eyesight as you squint at computer screens.

Unfortunately, working from home doesn’t make it much easier to stay fit and healthy. Telecommuting comes with freedom and flexibility, but you should learn how to manage your lifestyle to avoid traps that make it hard to maintain your well-being.

Here are four of the most common mistakes that home-office workers make — and how to turn them into healthy positives when you move your office into your home

1. Lunch is Always On You

Maybe you live in a city or on a bustling street where you can run out for food each day. If not, a telecommuting job will require you to prep lunch on your own every day.

This is great news if you’re trying to cut down on spending, especially considering a recent report that said buying lunch twice a week throughout your working career could cost you $88,000 in retirement savings.

When you work in an office, you typically prep your lunch the night or week before. When you work from home, this routine might fall by the wayside. You won’t have to run out the door and into the office each day, so eating isn’t something you think about ahead of time.

However, it’s still a good idea to prep your lunches in advance so cooking doesn’t interrupt your workday — that way, you can stick to your healthy regimen even though you’re beginning an entirely new routine. If you do decide to eat out every now and then, keep it occasional to cut costs.

2. You Must Switch Productivity On

An office setting probably helped you get into the working mindset. You could turn off the non-work stressors, sit down at your desk and focus on work. You would actively participate in meetings, chat with co-workers and ask questions.

Working from home means you have to steel up your most productive practices to avoid the stress that comes with distractions, procrastination and looming deadlines. There are plenty of methods for increasing your at-home productivity, including following a to-do list and tackling your biggest projects first thing so you can’t put them off.

3. You Can’t Dive Right In

There was something special about your workplace commute. It gave you time to clear your mind, wake up and prepare yourself for the day ahead. Whatever your routine, it gave you a bit of time and separation between home and work.

When you begin to telecommute, you lose that time to wake up and mentally prepare for work. At home, you should still work a “commute” into your day. Whether you take a walk to get your heart pumping or sip a comforting cup of coffee, relax and partake in a regular commuting activity. Your mind will thank you.

The end-of-the-day “commute” is just as important. Again, take a few minutes to relax and come down from your workday before diving into domestic life. This is another time to slip in some reading or an exercise routine, for example, to decompress after a stressful workday.

4. You’ll Need to Get On Your Feet

Just as you did at the office, you’ll have to force yourself out of your chair and into some regular movement to keep the blood flowing.

Check out some deskercise ideas for stretches and toning moves you can try from the comfort of your desk chair. You can also take your calls on-the-go, walking around your house as you chat with colleagues and clients.

If your workday gets away from you and you realize after you clock out that you haven’t moved much, exercise in a more focused way. Get into an at-home workout routine, join a gym or pick up an exercise-based hobby, like hiking or running.

Keep It Healthy At Home

With these four facts in mind, you’ll find that a work-from-home position can be just as productive and rewarding as an office-based job.

How will you make sure you achieve all you can from telecommuting? Let us know in the comments section below after you subscribe to the newsletter, which will keep you up-to-date with work-related tips, tricks and advice!

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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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