Never before have the terms ‘hybrid working’ and ‘work from home’ been more prevalent than they are today. With the pandemic dramatically changing the landscape of how we work, we have become accustomed to a new era of remote working, and hey, we certainly aren’t complaining. We can duck down to our favourite cafe for a coffee, go for a quick swim on our lunch break, or catch up on a few errands. But with this new flexibility also comes the struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Many people have found they are starting work earlier and finishing later, whilst others are finding it hard to separate their home and social life from their work life. Whatever it be, it isn’t always as carefree as it may seem.
With 74% of Australians having jobs that require them to work from a computer, we are spending prolonged periods of time behind a desk. Luckily, there are a few simple ways we can keep our spirits high and maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst working remotely.
1/ Wear blue light glasses when using screens
With the average Australian spending 7.5 hours behind a screen every day, our exposure to harmful blue light wavelengths is at an all-time high. This prolonged exposure can cause an array of issues, from blurred vision, dry, itchy eyes, insomnia, headaches, along with concentration issues and disruptions to our natural circadian rhythm. It's quite the list - we know!
Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom. Although we can’t cut out 100% of blue light from our lives, as we will still get natural blue light from the sun, we can greatly reduce the amount our eyes are exposed to when using screens. Baxter Blue has created a range of high-quality blue light glasses that filter out nearly 80% of the high energy blue light, keeping our eyes protected and our minds focused to tackle the workload.
There will always be ups and downs when adjusting to remote working, and if you find yourself not exercising enough, not meeting your sleep targets, having trouble socialising, or falling prey to a ‘snackcident’, the most important thing is not to beat
yourself up! You did the best you can for today, get back up and try again tomorrow. Hopefully, our tips make it a little easier.
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2/ Incorporate stretching or small workouts throughout your day
With the majority of jobs requiring workers to sit at a desk on their computers for at least 8 hours a day, It should come as no surprise that body pain and discomfort along with other cardiovascular issues have become one of the most common issues with remote workers.
We know that work can get busy, and it can be hard to squeeze in a full workout, but you can add a few simple stretches into your daily routine to help combat the aches and pains brought on from minimal movement. These stretches can even make your body more limber and less prone to strains. Here are some of our favourites!
3/ Retain a social connection
Whilst remote working offers many freedoms, many workers are concerned about their lack of social connection and interactions with others. This social disconnect is leading to serious issues such as loneliness, depression and other mental and physical concerns.
It is important to put your mental health first and try to make time to socialise with friends and family. Catch up for lunch on your work break, log off your emails and jump on zoom for a virtual coffee date, plan a zoom game night or group chat to catch up on all the latest goss. It is important to maintain and prioritise these connections whilst working remotely. Not only can they change your mental state, but they actually make you feel revitalised and focused for longer periods of time.
4/ Create an ergonomic workspace
Although most of us probably work from a desk or dining room table when we’re at home, it’s important to make sure we support our bodies whilst we’re working. Our posture can have a significant effect on our productivity and focus, as well as reduce back pain and body aches.
Ergonomic accessories can greatly enhance your work from home setup and increase your productivity. If possible, you can opt for a standing desk or ergonomic chair, which are designed to support your body's natural curvature. If you can’t invest in a standing desk, don’t fear! A cardboard box or stack of books also do the trick. Just make sure your laptop is stable.
Many people may not be aware that your environment greatly impacts your mood, even down to the colours of your office. Research shows that certain colours can stimulate you to feel more energetic and productive. If you can’t change the colour of your walls, you can simply add greenery into your space to create a positive shift in your mindset and ultimately enhance your work and overall digital experience.
5/ Get a good night’s sleep
When you’re working from home it can be easy to stay up later and sleep in longer, with the majority of people who work from home finding it hard to get the recommended hours of sleep each night.
Adults aged 18-64 should be getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night, so if are reading this blog and know you aren’t getting anywhere near that number, it’s time to make a change.
The best way to set structure around your sleep is to create a sleep schedule. Find the ideal bedtime that works for your work routine and stick to it. Believe me, it’ll do wonders for your circadian rhythm.
Just as you should set up an ergonomic work zone at home, you should also do the same for your sleep. We like to call this your ‘sleep zone’. As comfy as it may seem, try your best to avoid mixing your work zone with your sleep zone to help your brain associate certain areas with certain activities.
Try your best to turn off your screens a few hours before your bedtime, as the blue light from your devices disrupts your melatonin level and will stop your brain from winding down. If you can’t stop scrolling, or simply must finish binge-watching your show, don’t stress, there are other solutions. Baxter Blue glasses filter out nearly 80% of the high energy blue light and our sleep glasses (melatonin magic makers!) specifically target the blue light in the 450-500nm range responsible for suppressing melatonin that helps you sleep.
6/ Eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink plenty of water
It’s both a curse and a blessing, but working remotely has allowed us to spend a lot more time in our kitchens than we’d like. Don’t get me wrong, you can save a lot of money by eating last nights leftovers or making yourself a sandwich at home, but it also allows for those sneaky ‘snackcidents’.
Although it’s always good to treat yourself every now and again, it’s important to make sure we consume a wide variety of nutritious food and keep a cap on food that is saturated in fats, sugar and salts.
It’s also important to remember to drink adequate amounts of fluid throughout the day. A fun tip to remember to drink water is to gamify your water consumption: Simply use a glass bottle of water and mark times on the bottle in increments of 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, etc. Then make sure you hit the line at the time. And voila – you’ve turned drinking water into a fun game!