While each are certainly unique creatures, there’s one thing you’ll find in common amongst the world’s best company wellness programs: they tend to stem from big corporations with even bigger budgets. This is all well and good. But not if you own your own business or otherwise work from home. It’s not exactly like you can install your own Google-style giant trampolines for midday recovery and playtime. Consider implementing a wellness program of your own by transforming it into a home workplace wellness program.
There’s much that small business owners and remote workers can glean from corporate wellness programs. Goldtouch can help you find ways to transform into home workplace wellness programs. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few ways at how to do just that — and yes, we intend to go beyond simply suggesting purchasing a small trampoline rather than one of Google’s wall-to-wall beasts, though that’s certainly not a bad idea.
How to Bring Corporate Wellness Into Your Home Office – Home Workplace Wellness
1. Set Your Own Timers
When you work from home, it’s easy to blur all of the lines. Sure, you’re sitting in your comfy chair, but are you really working? The opposite is true, too: it’s far too easy to continue doing just one more task when your laptop is your office. Sleep/making dinner/taking a breather can wait!
Except that, well, it really can’t. Working too hard for too long will only decrease your ability to concentrate. This will lower your productivity and efficiency at completing each task on your plate. And let’s be honest. How much of your most creative and innovative work do you really get done at hour 10 of a long day?
Do yourself a favor: stop being your own cruel taskmaster, and take breaks. Set a kitchen timer to go off every 45 minutes, and the listen to it when it does. Stretch, walk around the house, or step out into the backyard and breathe the fresh air. Work will still be there for you when you head back inside.
2. Bring the Fitness To You
It’s pretty standard for most corporate wellness programs to provide a gym or fitness instructors on site. Maybe they offer gym memberships through a gym. This latter option may still be available to you if your company’s arrangement is with a gym chain. Maybe there’s a branch near you. So be sure to ask your managers if this is the case.
Even without this particular set of benefits, there are many other ways you can bring the fitness to you. A simple yoga or aerobics DVD can be an easy way to squeeze in a workout. As can subscribing to fitness channels on YouTube. Fitness apps are also a great solution, as they’re engaging. They allow you to keep track of all your fitness data, and they also connect you with other users, for extra motivation.
If you need more of a human touch, enlist any other stay-at-home workers in your neighborhood to go or regular lunch walks. Or, sync your apps with your office-bound colleagues. This will keep you accountable and also help you feel like you are a part of the office community.
3. Stand Up
We’ve written often about the many benefits of standing desks and even treadmill desks. These get your blood pumping and engage your muscles in new ways throughout the day. Making your own standing desk will greatly reduce the cost of purchase. It will also ensure that you’ve got the right solution for your space. After all, most of us don’t exactly have room for a bulky treadmill desk in our home offices.
Make sure the equipment you use throughout your workspace is just as customized to your body as your standing desk. For that, an ergonomic keyboard, an ergonomic mouse, and a monitor arm are key. With these, you can find the customization your body deserves.
If you work at a larger company that uses a platform like Humantech’s Ergopoint, have your risk analyst or HR manager use the system to order you the equipment you need, based on a comprehensive at-home evaluation. Just because you’re remote, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t benefit from an in-depth analysis, too!
4. Plan a Healthy Lunch
You’d think that working at home would make healthy easy a breeze, and it certainly can — if you’re a bit strategic. That means locking away all the junk food away from your wandering eye. It also means planning your lunches ahead of time just like you would if you were headed into a physical office. That way you don’t have to make a rushed decision when you’re hungry and have a million things on your mind. And while you may not be able to start your own farm to table agricultural program like some unique companies, that local food co-op membership could be a great way to keep your plate fresh, seasonal, and nutritious.
5. Try Something New
In ergonomics, injuries most often trace back to repetitive stress — that is, motions and actions that we repeat constantly for long hours, and often not using the best posture or approach. Of course, fixing behaviors and workplace setup is key, but so, too, is remembering to change things up on a regular basis to engage the muscles and the mind in new ways. The same goes in terms of staying mentally healthy as well.
As we discovered in our 30-Day Ergonomic Challenge, constantly trying out new approaches, techniques, habits, and hobbies is key. These will keep you stimulated, refreshed, challenged, and creative. And by committing to one new thing at a time and only for a short while, trying new things essentially becomes risk-free. If you don’t like it after the set period, drop it. If you do, well, you just might have found an amazing new side of work and life at large. Trying something new will boost your home workplace wellness for sure!
6. Talk It Out
No matter how introverted you may be, one of the biggest challenges of working at home is the lack of social interaction. Sure, there are your colleagues to talk to over webcam, but that’s just not the same as in-person interaction. And when your colleagues are the heart of your concerns, you’re certainly going to need an outlet. Whether it’s regular lunches with other work from home employees, networking with professionals in your industry, or happy hours with friends. Make social interaction a priority for yourself, so you always have a chance to release your stress. For many remote workers, it’s best to be organized about this and schedule things ahead of time, or else you’ll fall into that, “meh, maybe I’ll cancel and watch TV” pajama rut.It’s a great way to help improve your home workplace wellness.
7. Get Out of the House
For much the same reason, it’s important to get out of the house regularly as well, even during the weekday. Try working from the coffee shop, for instance, just to hear what other people are up to, even if you’re not interacting with them. When you do work from home, set clear boundaries between your work and your office space. Having a clear workspace will cue your brain to get into action mode when it’s time to be productive, while having a clear home space will help you relax at the end of the day, so it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to nap in the office. This becomes all the more important when work is feeling stressful, so set this habit as early as possible and don’t waver, because it’s crucial to home workplace wellness.
8. Treat Yourself
Corporate wellness programs often have nice perks, like regular massages. Who says you can’t, too? Sure, a weekly massage might be out of the budget, but how about once a month? Alternatively, talk with your boss about taking off early on Friday afternoons to do something like go to an art gallery. Or, simply head to a coffee shop with a book, buy a muffin, and read the afternoon away. These kinds of things may feel like they’re getting in the way of your productivity. However, they’re actually an investment in that very thing. Taking time for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation will keep your mind sharp and creative when you head back home — ermh, to you office.
Just because you don’t have a big corporate wellness budget at your disposal, doesn’t mean you can’t implement the same kind of programs in your home office. Simply transform them into home workplace wellness programs. With a little creative thinking, you’ll be nurturing your mind, body, and career in no time!