I've been working remotely on and off for about 6 years. I've learned a bunch of lessons along the way that might be helpful for those who already are or considering remote work. I know the following tips would have come in handy for me when I first started out. I quickly learned if you don’t set yourself healthy habits, remote work can become lonely, and you can end up feeling like a sloth. And your employer and clients aren’t paying for sad, lonely sloths.
🏃🏽♂️ Schedule exercise into your daily routine.
This is by far the most important thing to take away from this post. I can’t stress this enough… It’s often the first thing to go out the window when we’re working generally, but in my opinion even more so with remote work.
Schedule exercise into your daily routine otherwise you won’t do it.
Regular exercise is even more important for remote workers because we miss out on the incidental exercise that comes along with commuting and walking around an office. You would be surprised how sedentary you become if you don’t make an intentional effort to get up and move.
I walk Paddy (the giant dog you met in my last post) every day and try to fit in a 20-30 minute run or gym session every second day. I also make sure my weekends include at least 60-90 minutes of exercise. Trust me - I’m a better worker, husband and friend for it too.
👋🏽 Reach out to others for connection.
Working remotely can get lonely and somewhat isolating. I remember noticing this when I moved from a busy office to my home-office. Human connection is so important for our wellbeing and for productive work. Make a point of reaching out to colleagues for a virtual coffee or schedule times with friends and family for catch-ups during the week.
I like to have a morning coffee with someone on the team once a week. This is usually on a Monday morning as it’s a nice way to ramp up for the week and it allows me to get to know them on a more personal level.
Pets are also great companions for remote work. I often take Paddy 🐶 outside to play for 10 minutes to break up the day.
I really like food. And when I first started working remotely I ate too much. The pantry was 10 steps away and I found myself reaching for snacks all day. The excess food combined with a reduction in exercise led to weight gain and feeling like a sloth.
A big advantage of being at home is that you have access to fresh food. It’s worth investing in good, healthy food for lunches and snacks such as fruits and vegetables. If I need to snack my go-to is a 🥕carrot or an 🍎 apple.
Keep a water bottle handy so that you stay hydrated. It also has the added benefit of keeping your stomach feeling full. For Christmas last year I was given a 1L Camelback waterbottle and it has been a game-changer (sponsor me Camelback). I’m not only hydrated all the time, but I also get a lot more incidental exercise going back and forth from the 🚽bathroom.
🏞 Get out of the office/workspace
On weekends make a point to stay out of your office or workspace unless you really need to. At the end of the day Friday, shut down your laptop/computer/screens and close the door. This helps you to be present with loved ones and create separation between work and home that is often blurred when you spend 9 am - 5 pm at home.
Thanks for making it this far, If you have any good suggestions, I’d love to hear them. You can reach out to me on twitter @alexvanderzon.