Working Remotely: How to Stay Healthy and Productive

By Dan Powell

As Director of National Marketing, my job requires me to work remotely 99 percent of the time. For my team members, clients and friends that are now adjusting to a work from home lifestyle, I would like to share best practices I have implemented over the years. Here are some tips to be as productive as possible (and maintain your sanity) while working from home.

Invest in Your Social and Emotional Health

This item is the most important. When working remotely, take the following steps to keep up your mental health and stay connected with your colleagues. Don’t be afraid of picking up the phone. Hearing another person’s voice is critical to keeping up your emotional health. Encourage video conferencing whenever possible. This is a chance to see facial expressions (smiles) and body language. Try to keep some of the conversation focused on personal items. 

At the end of the workday, reach out to a friend, family member or coworker, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Schedule Facetime, Zoom, Google Hangout, etc. Have a virtual/remote happy hour to stay connected. Most importantly, make sure to help your co-workers and to ask for help yourself. Check in on those who you think might need some interaction. If you need to hear a voice or see someone’s face, tell a friend or coworker that you need a 15-minute call or video conference. Don’t wait for people to reach out to you.

Establish a Routine and Work Space

Treat each morning the same, just like you are going to a workplace. Set your alarm for the same time as usual. With no commute, use the extra time to connect with your family, exercise or get a head start on work.Get your coffee and eat breakfast! Exercise by working out, running, doing yoga, etc. Shower and dress just like you’re going into the office (look/feel your best).

Approach each day like you are actually in the office. Set up a work space as close as possible to your office work space. If possible, designate an area for office space. Minimize distractions. No TV, and “close the kitchen.” Try and mimic your average office work day as much as possible. 

Sound dampening panels originally meant for an at home studio help with sound quality on video calls with clients and team members.

Take Care of your Physical Health

Working at home doesn’t need to be a low-energy experience. Stand up for a few minutes every hour and walk around. Be sure to step outside and breathe fresh air at least once a day, even if it’s just for five minutes.

The more disciplined you are with your diet and nutrition, the more productive you will be. Eat plenty of protein and healthy snacks. Limit all-day snacking by laying out only what you would eat in the office. Don’t forget to hydrate. Take time to eat lunch. Step away from your screen for 20+ minutes to eat, if possible.

Be Kind to Yourself and Others

Understand that individuals work differently. It is okay to try different options as you develop your work from home groove. Your work from home life may not look the same as your in-person office experience, but that does not mean that your work and/or quality of life should suffer. Embrace this time and find a routine and set up that works for you, not against you.