5 top tips for setting up a healthy home officeFeb 08, 2022
Nearly three years on from when WFH became a part of our vocab, and it looks like remote, or at least hybrid and flexible working is here to stay. There’s no excuse anymore for a dodgy WFH set-up - your home office should motivate you and keep you working at your best. Many WFHers suffer without their office routines, like lunches provided at work, or keeping active running around going to meetings. Luckily, keeping healthy while WFH is all about setting up a few simple habits - here are my 5 top tips for a home office that supports your wellbeing:
1. Nourishing snack attack
Let’s be honest - those in-between meal times are everyone’s weakness - and while you might be relieved not to be tempted by the office cookie jar, not having healthy snacks on hand at home can leave you rummaging through the pantry in desperation. The trick here is to plan, plan, plan ahead and make it super easy for yourself to choose the healthy snack - think carrot sticks already cut up and ready to be dipped in hummus, because we all know you won’t cut them up once you’re already hungry, or boiled eggs, peeled and ready to eat. Other good options are unsalted nuts or chopped up fruit.
2. Commute to the home office
While ditching the commute is a big bonus of WFH, there’s a movement of workers creating a “faux commute” in the interests of building more movement into their day and creating a mental separation between home life and work life. This habit is great for your physical health, while the time to think is great for your mental health. Try going for a big block walk, or a cycle, before work starts and to close out the day - it’s a great mood booster.
3. Be drink-smart
With fewer distractions in your home office, you might find yourself wandering to the kitchen more often to make a cup of tea or coffee, or grab a cold drink. Over the day, it’s easy for these drinks to add up, especially the caffeinated and sugar-laden varieties. Make a conscious effort to stock up on herbal teas, or water flavourings like lemon and mint, to make sure your drinks break is interesting and isn’t doing your waistline too much damage.
4. Lunch staples
Chances are by now the novelty of cooking a fresh lunch at home has worn off. In the early days, you may have been whipping up fresh salads, pastas and stir fries - but right now, you need reliable staples you can fall back on in a flash. Choose 3 quick lunch meals you know you can knock up in 5 minutes flat, and make sure you’ve always got the staples to make them in the pantry, fridge or freezer. Think keeping bread in the freezer for a cheese and salad sandwich, microwave brown rice in the pantry to make a poke bowl in a flash, or eggs in the fridge for a speedy omelette. Removing the element of choice will make things quicker as well.
5. Choose your work spot wisely
Picking the right spot for your home office can make or break your WFH success. If possible, choosing a spot with plenty of natural light and fresh air is best. If you don’t have a spot with lots of natural light, adding a mirror to the room will allow the light to bounce around the room. Sprucing up your space with greenery or even a vase of flowers will also make you feel connected to nature and the outside world. Research from Exeter University found that indoor plants can improve productivity and staff wellbeing by 47 per cent.
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