EVOlve Working From Home & Staying Active
To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, many of us just finished the first week of working from home for the first time. You may also be experiencing working remotely for a longer period of time than before or are navigating your usual remote work with additional people and stressors at home.
How will the upcoming weeks look, and how do we continue to keep an eye on our activity and manage stress with these changes? In the coming weeks, the EVŌ team is sharing our personal experience and helpful ideas on how we create a personal work space while also keeping an eye on being well and active.
Create a Routine
Make sure you find what triggers you into work mode. I find that I can’t just roll out of bed and do it; I have to almost pretend that I’m getting ready for work. I used to do the bus stop drop-off for my kids, take a walk, then get ready for work as a trigger to start the day. The only change now is no school drop off, but we are now walking as a family after we wake up. I kept everything else the same so I can transition into work mode from mom and wife mode.
Maintain a scheduled lunch hour and use some of that time to get some fresh air. A few EVŌ team members put a lunch appointment on their calendar to protect that time for themselves. Do something physical during this time. Take a walk or a light jog.
Protect Your Work Space
Find a place where you are most productive and aren’t distracted by the every day home tasks that can add to stress. If I’m not working in the area I designate as my office, I find I’m distracted by the every day tasks (dishes, laundry, yard mowing, home maintenance, etc.). Those items will be there when you’re done with your work day, and delegate those tasks to others in your home. You’re all a team!
Do a quick test with your camera and check out the background closely. Hint: Take a screenshot and blow it up – you never know how large the monitor/screen is on the receiving end of your video call or whether there is something in the background you’d rather not broadcast to co-workers or clients.
Your animals don’t know you’re on a call and will use that time to do the really annoying stuff: yelling at birds or the delivery person outside, eating loudly, panting, coughing, etc. I have a dog that finds every call as an opportunity to cough. You might have to have your furry friends sit in another room (or 2 rooms away) with the door closed during calls.
A Full House
Many of us are now navigating having kids home while working. Make clear to the people in your life – partners, parents, friends, roommates, children – that just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you aren’t actually working. Have a “sign” letting those in your house know you are on a call or need quiet. In my house when the office door is closed, I’m either concentrating or on a call.
Watch the Snack Attack
If your home is like mine, the kids are home and there are snacks around for them. You might get bored or stressed, and those snacks are too readily available – and absolutely delicious. Working remotely for 4 years, I’ve had the “oh no, my dress pants don’t fit” moment when I had to travel for work and actually look nice.
Now I meal plan to prevent that. We do weekly meal planning for dinners, but now I wake up each day and predetermine what I’m having for lunch and don’t stray from that giving into an impulse. I also keep all of the kid snacks on one shelf in the pantry and just keep repeating to myself, “don’t touch anything on that shelf.”
A Little Less Conversation, A Lot More Meetings
Your meeting load may be much bigger working from home. Without impromptu status updates at your desk from managers and co-workers, expect that Skype, Slack, HipChat, and Zoom calls may be longer and more frequent. Keep water at your desk to maintain hydration for the times when you do get on a long call.
Take this time to stand during a meeting and look into using a wireless headset so you can stand and walk around your work space during meetings. Those small steps add up!
Mid-Day Stretch – Let EVŌ Be Your Guide
Make yourself get up and walk around every hour. Look at the features on your phone and fitness tracker to add alerts and reminders to stand and walk a little. EVŌ will check your current steps against your goal and send reminders to remain active. We are also providing wellness articles to help you continue on your journey all within EVŌ.
Don’t ignore your body or the EVŌ reminders. Take that time to grab another drink of water so you stay hydrated, take a furry friend out for a walk, or watch your kids play outside for a few mins.
You may also find that your home work space doesn’t have that great desk chair you enjoy in the office. Make time to stretch – Your back will thank you for it.
Know When Your Day is Done
Know when your day is over. You will find it’s too easy to work longer than when you’re in an office. Protect your time, because burning out is not an option. Set a reminder for when your work day will end. When I am about 15 minutes away from the end of my day, I will write my To Do list for the following day. This allows me to walk away fulfilled and clear headed knowing that what has to be done tomorrow is on a list and accounted for. It’s a great stress reliever to be able to take a deep breath knowing you got this. Plus – The people who love you want you at the dinner table (and find 15 mins for that after dinner walk)!
Let us know how you stay active during your work day! Email the EVŌ team at [email protected].
Be Well and EVŌ On!
Sr. Director of Product Development