An estimated 42 percent of the U.S. labor force worked from home full-time as of June. So much time spent answering emails from bed, squeezing in mid-day workouts, and practicing mindfulness in Zoom meetings has made us veritable pros at being productive without ever leaving our pads—so why wouldn’t we want to take those work from home tips for success into the shiny New Year?
Ahead, you’ll find the most valuable tips and tricks we used to keep our bodies healthy and our minds sharp at work in a year that was… shall we say, challenging? From posture corrections straight from chiropractors to intel for creating personal space when you’re living in a 500-square-foot apartment, we’ve got you covered for a year ahead of healthy WFH.
6 Work From Home Tips for Success to Take With You Into 2021
1. Invest in your desk setup
The average American spends over six hours sitting each day—and that means your desk setup needs to be primo. Experts will tell you to invest in an ergonomic desk chair and keyboard setup to make sure your apartment is outfitted right. And, to that end, you’ll also need to give yourself regular five point posture checks. Learn how to do that in the video below—and feel instant relief.
2. Learn how to work from bed without giving yourself a backache
Remember those days when you could only stay in bed past 8 a.m. on the weekends? Can’t say I miss them. If you partake in under-the-covers Zoom calls, Tami Bulmash, a posture expert, says you need to set yourself up so that you don’t wind up with aches and pains. “When you’re working from the bed, it doesn’t offer the same kind of support that a harder surface, like a wooden chair, would offer, so you sink into it,” she previously told Well+Good. “The further you sink into the softer surface, the less feedback you have about how you’re managing your body.”
That means you might need to invest in a more solid mattress, surround yourself with pillows, and get up to smooth out the kinks in your body every once in a while.
3. Take steps to create personal space (when you don’t have any)
If your significant other or roommates have become your co-workers in the last nine months, you know that it can be difficult to carve out your own space in your makeshift kitchen “office.” Clinical psychologist Aimee Daramus, PsyD, says you can hack this spatial conundrum by specifying that headphones mean “leave me alone,” divvying up the house for new, specific purposes from the hours of nine to five, and creating a shared Google Calendar so your roommate doesn’t, say, start vacuuming while you’re giving an important presentation.
4. Take a shower in the middle of the workday
No, really! “The relaxing, solitary, and non-judgmental shower environment may afford creative thinking by allowing the mind to wander freely, and causing people to be more open to their inner stream of consciousness and daydreams,” Ron Friedman, PhD, founder of Ignite80, said during a 2016 online summit. On those days when you just can’t seem to get in gear, go ahead and grab your most luxurious soap and return to your desk a new person.
5. Surround yourself with plants
Back in June, clinical psychologist Chloe Carmichael, PhD told us to deck out our homes with plants—and we took the advice straight to the (virtual) plant store. “I do like to have a really serene environment if I can, so I actually got some plants. You can just be surrounded by nature, which I really like,” she said. If you’re not sure of your green thumb status, here’s a plant you absolutely can’t kill.
6. Slot in mini-workouts throughout the day for an instant work refresh
We predicted that Blue Zone-style workouts would be big in 2020 without yet knowing how essential frequent workday walks, HIIT sessions, and yoga flows would be to our mental health during the pandemic. While we used to religiously hit the gym for a one-hour session at 6 p.m., we love here-and-there workouts even more. Here’s to sprinkling all sorts of different movements into every day of 2021.
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