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Tips For A Healthy Work From Home During Covid-19 Lockdown

On 24 March 2020, the Prime Minister ordered all 1.3 billion people in the country to stay inside their homes for three weeks, to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which has taken the lives of 24,096 people since its advent in December 2019 in Wuhan.

Almost a week prior to that, the majority of offices in the country had advised their employees to opt for compulsory work from home to avoid the spread of the virus. With offices, schools, shops, malls and theatres completely shut down, you are naturally required to make adjustments and changes to your life, in accordance with the coming weeks (and hopefully not months).

Transitioning to a new way of working, that too abruptly can seem difficult. But, here we provide you with some effective tips that would help make your work from home not only a productive one but also a healthy and fun one too.

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1. Start Early

The first and most important step for your covid-19 lockdown WFH routine is creating a routine where you wake up early and get things done accordingly. Studies point out that when you are going to the office, your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk but that is not the case when you are working from home [1].

The slow transition from your pillow to your computer can feel tiresome and like the domino effect, your whole day will fall apart and what's worst, you may have to stay up all night to finish your pending work. So, wake up, brush your teeth, have your breakfast and get motivated to start the office hours at home.

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2. Create A Morning Schedule - And Stick To It

We human being are creatures of habit. It might be tempting to roll directly out of bed and take the laptop and roll back but for you to get any work done, as you would in the office, it is important to establish a schedule [2].

For starters, set an alarm with consistent timings (for waking up and sleeping), eat breakfast, take a shower and change into fresh clothes. Determine regular working hours and accordingly determine the lunch break and tea breaks.

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3. Set Daily/Weekly Goals

Write out a daily and weekly to-do list involving your work. This will help give you an idea of what has to be done and finished, and also gives you clarity knowing what's ahead and help you prepare better and finish work easily.

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4. Create A Comfortable Yet Dedicated Work Space

It is not a good idea to stay in your bed and work, studies say so [3]. Just because you're not working at an office doesn't mean you cannot have an office space in your home. Do not choose a place that you normally would use for your leisure, such as a couch or a comfortable bean bag. And instead, create an organised space that will help improve your attention, energy, and even your sense of confidence.

Some of the important things to note while creating your workspace are - a comfortable chair that has the right back support. Always make sure to adjust the chair to support your back using small pillows or cushions to avoid severe back pain after working for a long period of time [4]. Studies point out that keeping your workspace clean and tidy can help motivate your work morales [5].

Remember - comfortable, but not ‘too comfortable'.

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5. Take (Routine) Breaks

Although you are in the comfort of your own home, it is important that you take breaks in between work. Give yourself a break of 15 minutes, where you walk around the house, pet your furry babies or even water the plants. Do not tire yourself out without taking your eyes away from the screens, as it can lead to constant headaches or throbbing pain in the head; as well as vision-related problems [6].

Studies support the assertion that taking breaks can significantly improve productivity levels and a person's ability to focus [7]. Make sure you don't exceed the break time.

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6. Eat A Healthy Lunch

It is important to have a healthy and nutrition-packed lunch that is not a pack of chips and a glass of soda. While working from home, it is natural for us to turn to junk foods and snacks, but studies point out that eating a healthy lunch is a form of self-care, because that gives you the nourishment you need to have consistent energy to work for 9 hours [8].

Make sure to stay hydrated as well. Keep a bottle of water filled up, next to your workspace.

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7. Squeeze In Some Workout

As you will be working from your desk the whole day, your body gets very little activity, especially considering that your daily commute to work is also not an option these days. Therefore, it is important that you add some simple and effective workouts for your body to get a chance to burn the unnecessary fat [9]. Choose a time that is convenient for you and stick with it.

Some of the easy exercises you can do are as follows:

  • Standing exercise: You can stand and stretch your arms and fingers in between your work. Standing for a few minutes will help in loosening your muscles and burns more calories than sitting.
  • Walk and talk: While talking to your teammates through the phone, skin sitting at the table, and walk around the room.
  • Stretch, turn and bend: Aim for 10 minutes by stretching, turning and bending yourself. Getting your body moving more often will help in stretching out your entire body and prevent muscles cramping.
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8. Talk With Your Colleagues

During a time like this, maintaining social relationships can help boost your mental health [9]. While you cannot go meet them in person, you can always text, call or video call them. Loneliness, disconnection and isolation are some of the common problems reported in people working from home [10] and in the wake of the abrupt lockdown due to the coronavirus infection, nurturing relationships is important to one's mental health.

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9. Balance Your Work & Personal Life

When working from home, it is important that you keep our personal and professional life away from each other. Let your stress and ideas about work remain enclosed within working hours and vice-versa. Do not exceed your work hours and know when to log out [11][12].

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On A Final Word…

Plan out what you'll be working on ahead of time. Although it may not be possible for every type of occupation, try if you can. In addition to this, make sure you follow a healthy diet and get yourself some sunlight - through the windows or the doors of course.

Be aware and do not panic. Stay home. Stay safe.

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