Working a job tailored to suit your lifestyle has to be everyone’s dream. For some, it is going all the way to an office and for others, working from the convenience of their home is the dream.
When Alexis Ohanian said “Remote work is the future of work”, he was very correct. The world is ever-evolving and in turn, so are the rules that guide our 9 to 5.
But what exactly does working remotely imply and how exactly does it work? You might have heard your friend Jessica say “I work remotely now” or notice your pal Tom now has more time to hang out with the guys because he says he works remotely.
Remote work is a working style that allows professional work to take place outside of a traditional office environment. Essentially, this only means it allows workers the pleasure of working at any desk they deem fit rather than the designated office space.
Remote work has been on the rise for decades, but thanks to technology which continues to break down barriers such as communication, it is finally becoming mainstream. Of course, not everyone in the workforce will have the privilege to work remotely.
Some jobs require the use of site-specific machinery to function. A Dentist, for example, will find it very difficult to integrate into remote work but a Graphic designer, whose jobs are done using a computer, will not.
Working remotely does not necessarily mean working from home. Remote workers find it easy to work anywhere on the go. Whether it is at a coffee shop or at a co-working space which is a midway point between a traditional and non-traditional working space.
Most remote workers even go as far as taking advantage of their flexible routine and hitting the road to a whole different state in a bid to find inspiration and enjoy new networking opportunities.
Perks of Working Remotely
While remote working provides a flexible schedule that helps workers juggle work, hobbies, and socialising perfectly, it is not the only known advantage.
First, it nurtures less stressed-out workers. What happens when you take away the four-walled barrier called an office, the need for long hours commute, and the lunch rush?
Workers will find it easy to focus on their personal life. A better work-life balance is the key to maintaining stress. It gives them the ability to set their schedule as they deem fit, taking away the tension of having to get all work done before leaving the office.
Secondly, along with a schedule that works for them, workers have the freedom to set up their workspaces in a way to maximise productivity and filter out distractions. It does not matter if they are small rituals like lighting scented candles or playing music to help concentration which obviously cannot take place in the office.
Remote workers take their work anywhere they go and get inspired by whatever new surroundings they find themselves in. This breathes a renewed sense of passion into how they carry out their jobs.
This renewed passion motivates them to put extra effort into their work.
Working remotely is not only an advantage to the individual but also the company they work for. Fewer employees in the traditional office space help the company save a lot on office expenses and helps in the efficient use of office workspace.
Employing remote workers helps companies access talents that are outside of their respective cities and countries. Distance is not a barrier as most meetings take place over the internet. This helps breed a wider outreach of networking in a whole new territory.
All these advantages are not negligible but how come no one is talking about the downside?
Take away the need to wake up early to commute to an office and you will realise that for many, remote jobs are traps for sedentary lifestyles.
Since workers start working in makeshift offices that range from resting against a pile of pillows in bed to using dining chairs, it is therefore not surprising that most employees end up with back and joint pains.
While working from the comfort of your own home and space has its various benefits, it also makes it quite easy to slip into a very inactive lifestyle. Admit it, when your only commute is from the bedroom to the living room or the nearest coffee shop, you are not doing much in the sense of keeping fit.
Unlike working in a traditional office or work environment, there are fewer reasons and chances to socialize. Although some remote workers make a commute down to the office at least once a week for follow up meetings, most meetings take place using online applications like Skype and Zoom.
As a result, most remote workers end up feeling isolated. This could take a huge toll on the individual’s mental health and in turn their physical health and productivity.
Add the easy access to snacks to this and you find out this is a recipe for disaster.
How Do I Keep Fit as a Remote Worker?
Instead of reclining on the nearest sofa with a laptop, here are five things you can do to stay fit and healthy as a remote worker.
1. Establish a Morning Exercise Routine
Rather than easing into work with nothing more than a cup of coffee early in the morning, loosen up with a little bit of exercise. You don’t necessarily have to sign up for a gym membership plan to keep fit, although that works too.
Exercises can take place in the comfort of your own space. Adopt the use of online exercise plans to make this easier and fun.
Schedule yoga for a specific time frame or purchase a bunch of home exercise equipment.
Better yet, use the time that would have been used to make commutes to the office to go on morning jogs or cycle around the neighborhood.
While physical exercises are good for your health, meditation should not be taken lightly. Preparing the mind to take on the day is essential for productive work.
Morning exercises before starting out at your work will prepare you for the day and give your productivity a huge boost.
2. Incorporate Movement into Your Work Activities
Get a proper workspace. A good example is getting an adjustable sit/stand desk. This helps in switching between working while standing and sitting, as opposed to just sitting through the day.
Allow a desk space set up that favours a proper sitting posture while working.
Make it a habit to adjust the desk to a standing height a few times a day for several minutes to ease muscles and get your blood flowing into your legs again. While this will not help burn calories, it is a great help in relieving stress in the joints.
Practice walking around the house while receiving calls. Take walking breaks in between work. Another way to make this work is by measuring your daily steps. Using an activity tracker to count the number of steps taken daily will help be a self-check guide.
These are some essential workout tips that you can apply especially if you are unable to go out as was the case when the pandemic was raging.
Using a jump rope in between meetings while working is another way to get your heart pumping.
No matter what approach is taken, make sure the end result is the same: encouraging you to move around more.
3. Make Time Out To Get Out Of The House
Whether it is taking a break from work to walk the dog and play a little bit of frisbee or take a walk to the nearest café to get a bite, always make it a point to get outside. This cannot be stressed enough.
Escape the house to breathe in the fresh air. Change your work area by going to the café, library or park.
This will help relieve stress, put work in perspective, act as a means of inspiration, and overall increase mental and physical output.
4. Make It a Point To Socialise
Working alone in the comfort of your own home can make you lose track of your social life. Thanks to the flexibility that comes with remote work, creating time to meet up with friends and family is easy.
Getting a coworking membership is also an extremely good idea. Not only does it help in socialising and reducing loneliness, but it also helps to be in the same environment as other creatives and entrepreneurs. It provides a source of motivation and a chance to network.
5. Take Water Breaks
While coffee is good to give your system that much-needed kick to go through the day, water is critical for healthy body performance. It helps in regulating bowel movements, digestion, eliminating toxins, and regulating body temperature.
Staying hydrated increases energy relieves fatigue and is essential for a healthy lifestyle. To make this work, make it a point to take a water break every half hour. Setting a timer to this cause will make it easier to adopt as a habit.
Working remotely has a lot of potential given you use it to your advantage.
When given the chance to live on your own terms like this, you have the world at your fingertips – literally. There are vast options of things to do while working from home.
Adopting one, or more health tips and sticking by them will go a long way in helping you accomplish a lot.