Working from home has become much more common, and it could very well turn out to be a new, permanent norm for many businesses. But helping employees adjust to this change can be challenging. If your employees find themselves struggling to develop a solid telecommuting routine, consider these strategies for keeping their physical and mental health in balance. Here are some suggestions you can make:
- Use previous commute time to get in some physical activity — anything from a brisk walk to a full exercise routine.
- Schedule occasional movement breaks that they can sync up with their co-workers for the purpose of accountability.
- Stand up and move as often as possible — at least once an hour, if possible.
- Get short bursts of activity — even just 10 minutes of movement can contribute to better health.
- Take time throughout the day to focus on breathing — one good practice, for instance, is inhaling to a count of 4 and exhaling to a count of 4, then gradually extending the counts to 5, 6 or even 7 or 8.
- Stretch as frequently as possible — Excessive time spent working on a computer, tablet or phone can cause tightness in many parts of the body, particularly the neck, shoulders and back. A good rule of thumb is to think of how these body parts typically move during work hours, then stretch in the opposite direction — for instance, stretching the front of the shoulders by clasping the hands behind the back and squeezing the shoulder blades together.
You can also provide employees with technology designed to enhance their well-being, such as:
- Fitness tracking devices. Today’s wearables track everything from daily steps and distance traveled to time, sleep quality and stress levels.
- Wireless headsets. Using a headset for phone calls can help prevent hand strain and “phone neck.”
- Standing desks. If you offer employees standing desks, be sure to provide them with information on how to properly position the desk, monitor and keyboard, and remind them to take regular sitting breaks to give their lower bodies some rest.
Remote work can be a unique and challenging experience — but with some discipline and a little assistance from you, your employees can stay healthy in both body and mind.
Learn more on how to inspire well-being in the workplace.