When your workplace has all the comforts of home (because it is your home) it’s all too easy to let the lines between home and office blur, but this is a major mistake. Taking steps to transition to and from work mode is important for your productivity and mental health.
Stay healthy and sane when working from home by following these self-care tips from experienced home office workers.
#1 Establish a Daily Routine
Many successful athletes perform a specific ritual before training or competing. For example, before evening games, baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs would field exactly 150 ground balls in the infield followed by batting practice at precisely 5:17 pm.
Routines like this enable athletes to transition from everyday life into performance mode — and their strategy works for desk jockeys too. Put yourself “in the zone” by creating a morning ritual such as:
- Changing out of your pajamas into business casual attire
- Pouring your favorite beverage into a commuter mug
- Telling family members or roommates you’re "going to work"
- Playing music as you settle into your workspace
It’s equally important to follow a wind-down routine. Set an alarm for clock-out time, close your laptop, put on some comfortable shoes and pour a glass of something a little more fun.
#2 Healthy Snacks and Hydration
Can’t resist the siren song of cookies, candy or salty snacks? Leave them on the shelf at the store.
If the people you live with can’t live without junk food, keep healthy alternatives close by. When hunger strikes, it will be easier to choose the smart snack over the unhealthy one.
Fuel up with a healthy, filling lunch so you'll be less likely to graze throughout the day, and drink plenty of water. Sometimes snack cravings are your body telling you it’s dehydrated. The next time you feel the urge to munch, drink a glass of water instead.
During our stay-at-home adventure of COVID-19, we knew the healthy snack thing had become a problem when our daughter added the following to our grocery list: Oreos (2 boxes so we don't run out).
#3 Take Breaks
Your work day should include a few 10-30 minute breaks in addition to a longer lunch break. Give your eyes a rest, get some fresh air, stretch and clear your head.
Periodic breaks improve physical and mental health, so don’t feel guilty. Consider how much time you used to spend commuting. By working from home, you can reclaim that unproductive time and try meditation, take your dog for a walk, read with your kids for 30 minutes, or power nap.
While working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I worked best when I forced myself to get up and move around once an hour — I'd use the time to walk around the block while making a phone call or check on the progress of my daughter's schoolwork.
#4 Get Enough Sleep
Practice good sleep hygiene by getting up and going to bed at the same time every day. A consistent sleep schedule can help you fall asleep faster and have more energy during the day. Even if you don’t have an appointment until mid-morning, you still need to rise and shine at the normal time.
#5 Find a “Wing Man”
Partner up with someone who can help you stick to your self-care regimen. Your wing (wo)man could be someone you live with, or another person working remotely.
Check in on each other once or twice a day. Schedule a morning video chat to make sure you both got out of your pajamas, or set aside time every day for an afternoon walk. Celebrate wins (four days in a row without caving in to the cookie jar!) and support each other in times of struggle. Socialization is another self-care essential.
During COVID-19, we've encouraged our teams to get together for Zoom social hours. We usually ended up talking about work to some degree or another, but Tiger King and failures in home-schooling were also hot topics.
#6 Set Boundaries
Establishing a designated workspace helps you (and anyone you live with) know you’re in work mode. Learn how to choose the best place in your home to get work done.
If you’re a parent working from home, setting boundaries is essential to staying productive. Read this guide to working from home for parents.
Truck Driver Health and WellnessFor fleet managers, driver health and wellness is an increasing area of focus. Celadon Trucking has a “Highway to Health” program, and Schneider has a full-time Health and Wellness Manager.
When drivers are healthy, they are less likely to burnout and quit. Also, studies have found a relationship between a high BMI (body mass index) and a higher number of incidents.
Driver wellness is part of our PRO-TREAD online driver training curriculum. The 33-minute lesson covers:
- The driver’s responsibility to maintain a healthy lifestyle
- The benefits of exercise and a healthy diet
- How to manage alcohol consumption and abuse
- The negative impacts of stress and how to manage it
- Sleep apnea and how it impacts safety
Connect with a training consultant online or by phone (360-576-5976 option 4) to learn more about ITI's online training options. Choose a pre-built training plan, or create custom lessons for your fleet.