4 Strategies to (healthfully) Work from Home

By | November 8, 2012

Since moving to San Francisco, I’ve transitioned from being a traditional office workerbee to being a remote-work-from-home-er. Yes, the flexibility is awesome. But it has made me have to deliberately shift the way I do some pretty basic daily things (Like eat. And move. Yes, that basic.), and I thought sharing my stay-healthy-while-working-from-home techniques might be beneficial to others as well.

Strategy #1: Schedule movement breaks

My commute, which used to involve a substantial walk, plus some stairs, now consists of a shuffle into the second bedroom/home office. I wear a FitBit, and the stats it reported during my first week on the WFH job were abysmal. I was logging about half of my normal daily steps. Not cool. Now, I schedule calendar reminders for mandatory walks around my block, and squeeze in lunchtime TRX classes when my schedule allows. It keeps me from going stir crazy, and reminds me to get moving (often).

Self-restraint looks better than caution tape would, right?

Strategy #2: Back away from the kitchen

I used to pack my breakfast (overnight oats), lunch (salad, always a salad), and snacks (fruit or some kind of protein-ish bar) and bring them to work each day. It not only saved a lot of money, but it also eliminated the temptation to scarf down more than I wanted to. Now, the kitchen is always in sight, and I literally have to say (usually aloud and in a very authoritative voice), “Mariell, back away from the freaking kitchen.” Now I do my best to ignore its existence entirely and stick to a regular meal schedule. No mindless snacking = muffin top management.

Strategy #3: Get dressed up

It’s tempting to stay in your PJs all day, but so much better for your life (and productivity) to put on “real” clothes to signal that it’s work time. It doesn’t matter if your real clothes are made of moisture wick Luon. (Actually, it’s a plus in my book.) As long as you didn’t sleep in them the night before, it counts as getting dressed as far as I’m concerned.

Strategy #4: Make after work plans

Though I’m communicating with my coworkers all day, a purely virtual social existence will drive you a little crazy after a while. So when my workday is done (at 3pm, since I work EST hours) I need to A) get out, B) workout, and 3) see friends. It’s just necessary so I don’t turn into anti-social martian. The only downfall of this strategy is that it has largely kept me from devoting as much time as I’d like to blogging. I love healthypantz dearly, but nobody likes a cranky blogger. I’ll get better at the balancing act soon, though. Promise.

I know many of you also work from home full-time. Any tips and tricks to share that you’ve learned along the way? My sanity thanks you in advance.