healthy working environment

Wellness and Working From Home: 5 Tips to Live By

Wellness Tips

More of us than ever now work from home in some capacity, but it’s a relatively new thing and we’re all learning as we go. One particular thing to be aware of as a home based worker is how it can impact your health—while research shows that those of us working from home tend to be happier and have less sick days, there can be drawbacks in other areas. Here are five rules to live by. 

Keep your environment clean and organised

Keeping your home clean and organised can be fairly easy when your job is at a standard workplace—as when you’re not at home for much of the day, you can clean it and it will stay that way. When you work from home, you’re using this space much more and it can get messy. and cluttered much more easily. Staying organised keeps you in control, ensures you stay productive and on top of things. The last thing you want is to be running around like a headless chicken because you can't find what you’re looking for.

Our homes might feel like the safest places in the world, but there are lots of ways they can be bad for health—and it’s especially worth bearing in mind when your home is also your workplace as you’re there for most of the day. Keep it clean and tidy to avoid contamination, open windows to remove build ups of toxins and pollutants. Things like cooking, heating, candles, cleaning products and more can all release fumes that are bad for health which can accumulate over time. Open windows, use an extractor fan, and wash things like soft furnishings to get rid of nasties. Steamaster products can kill bacteria on things like carpets and rugs which are known to be hotspots for dirt and germs. It makes sense for all of us to keep our homes clean and tidy, but especially so when your home is also your work. 

Take regular breaks

Many people working from home work for themselves. It could be running a home business, blogging, or freelancing. While being your own boss is great, the downside is that you aren’t guaranteed a wage—your earnings can fluctuate and you need to do more than just sit at your desk to get paid. For this reason, it’s easy for home-based workers to become workaholics; you end up putting in the extra hours because you want (or need) to be earning that extra cash. The problem comes when hours and hours pass by and you’ve not moved from your desk. This can be bad for your eyesight, your posture, and your overall physique, taking regular breaks is important. 

Get some exercise

Combine taking breaks with activity—how about going to the gym or walking your dog midday? That way you get to burn some calories and clear your mind of work while strengthening your body and giving your brain a boost. At the very least, take breaks from your computer to move around and stretch but get your heart rate up if you can. Home-based work tends to be sedentary, so regular exercise can help to balance things out a little. 

Eat well

When you work away from the home, it becomes habit to put together a packed lunch. This saves you time and money compared with having to leave the premises every day, and research has actually shown that eating the same lunch each day at work can reduce stress. However, when you’re working from home, there's a lot less structure.

It’s easy to find yourself picking out of the fridge, making endless cups of tea with biscuits just because you can, and generally not sticking to a good routine. If you find it easier, meal prep during the weekend and keep things like pasta salad, rice, and other make ahead lunches in Tupperware in the fridge. Fill your home with healthy snacks like fruit and yogurt and stop buying naughty treats if you find you can’t stop eating them!

Find the work/ life balance

Finding the balance between work and life can be hard when your home is also your work. For this reason, it’s important to set boundaries. Decide which times of the day you’ll be working and stick to them. Having flexibility is a bonus and you always have the option to move your days around as needed—but for the most part, staying in a routine will help you to be as productive as possible.

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How To Stay Healthy At Your Computer Desk

In business, we spend so much of our time sitting in offices staring at screens. With so much of our day spent working on computers, there are risks to our health. Several factors can contribute to this. Firstly, sitting all day, every day can mean that you are not moving about enough. This can lead to developing heart problems, as well as a risk of obesity and diabetes. Secondly, having poor posture while using a computer can lead to back and neck problems, as well as repetitive strain injuries. Thirdly, your eyesight can be affected by the use of a computer screen, and this in turn can cause headaches and migraines. Lastly, your mental health can suffer as a result of spending too much time on a computer. 

Employers and employees alike should work to diminish the risks involved in working on computers. Often issues may develop gradually over a few years, so a proactive approach is required. Waiting until you see the effects of this on yourself will mean that you have left it too long. 

Get Active

If you spend the majority of your working day sitting down, you need to think of ways to add exercise into your daily routine. If you can walk to work, do so. If you drive, try to park as far away as possible so that you need to walk to and from the car. 

Go out on your lunch break and take a stroll. Time away from the computer will be healthy for you, and you will get fresh air and exercise.  If you can walk around your office during the day, do so. Any time spent moving about is going to benefit your health. 

Posture

When you are using a computer, you need to keep your back and neck straight. Often, when you sit, there may be a tendency to slouch and let your head stoop and drag your shoulders down. Try to stretch your neck regularly, and readjust your posture if you slip. Have a look for the best standing desk. Working standing up can help to improve your posture, stretch your muscles, as well as to make your more mentally alert. 

EyeSight 

Your eyes are important. You may not notice slight changes in your eyes. However, your eyesight can deteriorate gradually over time. Get your eyes tested regularly, and if you need to wear glasses when working on a computer, you should do so. Your company may have a scheme to help with the cost of eye tests, and if they do, you should use this. 

Mental Health

Often, working at a computer can get mundane and tedious. Find ways to break up your day and look for opportunities to engage with other people, either through face-to-face meetings or on the phone. If you notice that you are feeling bored, stressed, or restless, take some time to refocus—a great way of doing this is with some mindful breathing exercises at your desk. 

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Looking After Your Employee's Health Is A Daily Battle

No self-respecting business owner should ever pay less than the most possible attention to the wellbeing of their employees. Of course, as a business leader with many responsibilities to take care of, this can bring up strange images of walking around the office checking anyone isn’t too stressed out, worried, or has any personal difficulty in their lives. This would not be feasible, and likely not effective.

The best thing any business owner can do is understand that this is a daily battle, often helped with the systems put in place to prevent and cure issues when or if they occur. For example, a human resources department, well invested in, can help air the grievances of your staff, and allow them to manage their personal difficulties alongside their work. This truly matters, and in some respects is perhaps one of the most important elements of your departmental management.

If you’re even reading this article, it shows that you care about your employees, or perhaps the future people you may hire. So let us help you to that end:

Consider Office Safety

It’s very easy to view the smaller health risks and consider them over-the-top and worrying. For example, a rucksack in the walkway might signify a trip hazard, and should be removed as soon as possible. That’s normal. Many of these issues will occur like this, and so long as you and your team keep an eye on them, they can often become resolved very quickly.

Long-term rules, such as no open-top beverages near the computing equipment, can be a worthwhile policy to keep. But office safety hardly stops there. It might be that an uneven or cracked floor could lead to some nasty falls and injuries, meaning that using excellent flooring companies to gain a solid, even, level flooring is an essential investment from time to time.

Perhaps a door handle is known for coming off in the hands of your employees, and must be held in just the right way to gain access. Yet the trouble is, this is a fire door, which needs to be moved through quickly in the case of an emergency. Looking around and implementing changes like these can help you avoid any long-term statistical increase in injuries, which are just as essential to root out quickly.

Mental Health Awareness

The physical health of your staff is important, but mental health issues are often much harder to see or identify. This is why a mental health awareness day, or perhaps routine training can help your team identify issues if they occur, or at least have a safe and confidential outlet to talk about their troubles. This might also give you pause when needing to force overtime to complete an order, or coming down too harshly on someone who tried their best yet failed. Your team member aren’t wrapped in cotton wool, of course, but it’s important to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding mental health, and all feel that they can approach you about this if needed.

A Favorable Working Environment

A solid lunch break, a relaxing and ventilated office environment, anti-bacterial hand gel stations, and a separate room to relax and eat can all lead to a favorable working environment, both in hygiene and working comfort. This can prevent your staff from burning out.

With these tips, you are certain to care for your employee’s health correctly.

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