Teleworking has become commonplace for many Canadians with the advent of the pandemic in 2020.   It can sometimes be challenging to draw the line between our personal and professional life. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy and in good spirits when working from home.

Separate your personal and professional life

Firstly, set aside specific times and a dedicated space for work. Also, you need to delimit the beginning and end of your workday.  In the morning, get ready as if you were going to the office and then go out for a 5-minute walk. At the end of the day, do the same. Above all, avoid switching directly from one screen to another.  The simple fact of stepping out and coming home creates a break in your mind. It may not seem like much, but it can make a big difference.

Take real breaks

If you spend all day in front of a screen, you become less productive because you lose track of what you are doing when you lose focus. You need to take real breaks, especially at lunch. Try cooking and, above all, don't stay at your desk. During the day, your attention will regularly wane. When this happens, take 5 minutes to get up and do something else, for example, some stretching or relaxation exercises. When you return to your desk, you will feel more refreshed and available to begin work again as you will have a clearer mind.

Keep in touch to keep your spirits up

Working from home, especially if you are alone, can be isolating. If you can, try to meet on platforms like Zoom, Team or Skype. Even at a distance, this allows you to maintain contact by talking to a real person. We are social creatures, so human interaction is necessary.

Maintain good posture

Poor posture at work can lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal disorders account for a large number of occupational diseases. Sitting all day can contribute to the development of these disorders. To reduce this risk, you can take the following measures: 

  • Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor with your thighs horizontal.
  • The edge of the keyboard should be 10-15 cm from the edge of the table.
  • It is best to have a separate mouse and keyboard and keep the mouse as close to the keyboard as possible.
  • Get up and walk around at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
  • Stretch from time to time.
  • If you have space, use an "exercise ball" to sit on for 30 minutes to an hour a day.
  • To avoid eye strain, take breaks. From time to time, look away for at least 2 seconds.
  • The screen should be at eye level to avoid eye strain. Add a tilted stand if necessary.
  • Your eyes should be between 50 cm and 70 cm from the screen.

Improve the ergonomics of your workstation

The design of your workstation is very important for maintaining your productivity and motivation. Here are some easy tips for working comfortably. 

  • Even in a small space, you need to choose a separate place to work. It's best not to use the dining room table.
  • Sit in a quiet, bright place, preferably near a window.
  • Choose a chair adapted to the workspace.
  • Use functional storage units to make it easier to organize yourself.
  • You can also personalize your office with objects and photos to make it more welcoming. But be careful not to overload it.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle

It's not always easy to maintain your usual rhythm and healthy lifestyle when you spend most of your time at home. Here are some tips to keep in mind to stay fit:

  • Try to maintain your regular working hours as much as possible, not to interfere with your evenings and family time.
  • Avoid snacking and try to eat at the same times.
  • Avoid heavy, ready-made meals or fast unbalanced meals. Try to have pre-made home-cooked meals at the ready.
  • Get out in the fresh air, walk regularly once a day, even for just 30 minutes.