Vale Health Clinic

Staying Supple & Active Working From Home

Working from home has long been considered a dream scenario for many who are stuck in the monotony of a job that they need to pay their bills. It not only holds the potential for higher pay but also greater time freedom and control over your life. With the spread of the coronavirus pandemic over the past month or so, there is a new urgency to the idea of working from home.

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordering the closure of non-essential businesses throughout the UK, working from home has gone from an ideal to be sought after to a necessity for many. With a sudden increase in the number of people working from home, it can be handy to have some tips for staying supple while doing so.

You’ll note our word choice of staying “supple” rather than simply “fit.” While many think of physical flexibility when this word comes to mind, supple implies flexibility in more than just the physical sense. The Cambridge Dictionary also contains the meaning of “able to change quickly and successfully to suit different situations.” So, this dual meaning of the word is what we’ll be addressing when pointing out the following tips and strategies for staying supple while working from home.

Habits Needed to Work From Home

There is definitely some helpful advice to follow when looking for ways to be more adaptable to a work-from-home lifestyle. One benefit of working outside the home is that it creates a clearer break between home and work. You are mentally shifted into a work mindset by being quite literally physically immersed in your job environment. When working from home, you have to develop the discipline to create these work life versus home life boundaries by other means. The following tips should help with this.

  • Have a Dedicated Work Space in Your HomeNot everyone has an ideal floor plan for working from home. This is especially true if switching to home-based employment or self-employment was not exactly a planned goal but rather an immediate economic necessity. A separate room for your home office would, of course, be ideal. Failing that option, at least set aside a portion of your bedroom or other room where you can get some privacy away from most of the family where you can put your work desk and chair. It’s important, psychologically, that you only sit in this space when you’re working, so you won’t mentally confuse it with recreation or any other activity.
  • Schedule Set Working Hours and Stick to ThemHome is full of distractions. That’s a big reason why many people actually prefer working in an office setting. You’re not being constantly interrupted by domestic matters or tempted by the ever-present television. One important part of the self-discipline to working at home is setting hours during which you are working and then sticking to them. This doesn’t mean doing the laundry or cleaning the bathroom or other housework but doing the work that keeps the bills paid and the lights on.
  • Get Equipped to Work From HomeIf the only internet-capable device you’ve got at this point is a phone, you’ll need to invest in a computer. You get a little more for your money with desktop computers, but if you’re going to need the portability, a laptop will be ideal. You’re also going to need a desk and chair. Make sure it’s a comfortable chair! You want to be productive, so hating every time you have to sit down to get to work is not a good idea. Depending on what type of work you do, you may also need a webcam for virtual meetings through services such as Skype. Many laptops will have a webcam built right in. A printer would also be a good idea if not a downright necessity for what you’ll be doing.
  • Have a Talk With Family About Your Work ScheduleDepending on your level of self-discipline, you may find it’s hard enough for you to stick to a work schedule at home without family making things even worse. Be sure to let your family members know that when you’re working, they’re not to interrupt you unless it’s a real emergency. You’re going to be having enough temptations in avoiding the siren song of television, YouTube cat videos and the time-sucking “productivity absorber” that is social media. You’re really not going to need random distractions from the kids, wife or husband on top of all of this.
  • Dress for WorkMany of the habits listed here are centred around doing what you can to draw boundaries between work time and personal time. Having set times a day that you devote to working and having a specific work area in your home both contribute to this. Let’s consider one other dimension to this work versus home life dynamic. When people go to work in the morning, are they dressed in pyjamas or sweat pants? If you answered yes to this question, then you must have had a very unusual job before home employment.

    There’s the saying that you need to “look the part to get the part” as far as how you dress before a job interview. There’s also an interesting psychological phenomena that it helps you to dress a certain way in order to feel a certain way. You don’t have to put on a suit and tie before making your commute from your bedroom to the home office or from your bed to the corner of your bedroom serving as a home office. That being said, putting some clothes on that would at least be considered “business casual” will help you get into a work mindset.

Physical Fitness

When you think about it, there’s no intrinsic reason that you should need to worry about having a less active lifestyle by working at home rather than working at a regular job. After all, you’re trading sitting at a desk in an office somewhere for sitting at a desk in your home. What you do in between this to stay in shape is up for grabs in either scenario. This is, of course, assuming that you worked a job where you were sitting at a desk. If you weren’t, then suddenly finding yourself working from home can require you to make some changes in your routine to stay active. That being said, these are not regular times for people working at home or at a usual job at an office, store or warehouse when it comes to staying physically fit.

Accommodate Exercise Routines to a Home Life

In these days of coronavirus worries, working from home is not nearly as big an obstacle to staying in shape as the fact that gyms are closed. In the past, it may have simply been considered a time saver and cheaper as well to exercise at home or near home by going out for a run rather than going to the gym. Now that it’s a necessity for so many, regular gym users have to change their habits and choose exercises that can be done at home.

Of course, you’re not literally stuck indoors when considering your exercise options in most parts of the western world. While police have begun fining people for violating social distancing guidelines in some countries, this only applies to gatherings of more than two people. So, this doesn’t stop you from going out for a jog on your own or with a friend or spouse. You should also clear out a corner of a room in your home to serve as an exercise area. With an exercise pad and a minimal amount of equipment, there are many exercises that are suited to the indoors including:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Push Ups
  • Dumbbell Lifts and Curls
  • Jumping Rope
  • Sit-ups or Crunches

Eating Right

In most areas, restaurants are either closed or restricted to take-out or delivery to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Supermarkets and convenience stores are seen as essential businesses pretty much everywhere because people still have to eat. This may cause a reduction in people eating out, which could be seen as a double-edged sword. The negative economic effect of jobs lost at certain companies hurt the economy overall, but feeling discouraged from eating out means more people will opt to make meals at home, which tend to be healthier than fast-food.

The Time Is Now

If you’ve ever thought about working from home before, now is the time to try to make it a reality. For many, it might not even be an option at the moment as business meetings are held virtually over the internet to curb the spread of the current pandemic. Working from home also has much to recommend it as a lifestyle of choice. For those with sufficient self-discipline to maintain a work versus personal life balance, it offers convenience, time freedom and potentially greater financial rewards than a traditional office or brick-and-mortar job.

The most important skill you need is the flexibility to adapt to new circumstances. When challenges come up during home employment or especially when working your own home business, you have to change and overcome them. This, combined with eating right and staying physically active, can keep you supple enough to work from home for now and for as long as you wish into the future.


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