At Addapp, we know what it’s like to work from home. Out of nine employees, all of us have worked from home at some point.
The number of people working from home, also known as “telecommuting,” is growing, too: more than 30 million work from a home office at least once a week in the U.S. alone, and the Telework Research Network expects that number to increase by 63% by 2018.
One of our users gave some great tips and tricks for staying active with a desk job, and since working from home has its own set of unique challenges, we wanted to add to that conversation. Here is a roundup of our favorite tips and tricks for working from home:
Put on your office outfit
After getting up in the morning, it can be tempting to stay in a comfy pair of PJs or yoga pants. But whenever I work from home, I like to make the effort to put on an outfit that I would wear to the office. While we aren’t a buttoned-up kind of company—heck, our Community Manager wore a dinosaur onesie at work once—but even putting on a pair of nice jeans and my Addapp shirt or a skirt and blouse helps me to create a framework for being productive and getting stuff done.
Research supports the notion that clothing choices can be associated with perception. Dr. Karen Pine, professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire told Forbes, “When we put on an item of clothing it is common for the wearer to adopt the characteristics associated with that garment. A lot of clothing has symbolic meaning for us, whether it’s ‘professional work attire’ or ‘relaxing weekend wear’, so when we put it on we prime the brain to behave in ways consistent with that meaning.”
Pencil activity in
Block out time in your schedule throughout the day to get up and move. Whether that means putting a load of laundry in the washing machine, doing a series of push-ups, sit-ups, and squats, or taking your dog for a walk, you can be productive and active in a variety of ways. If you sit at your desk for an hour or more, enzyme production for burning fat declines by up to 90 percent. Doesn’t that make you want to get up and have a dance party? Added bonus for working from home: You can do whatever crazy dance moves you’d like since no one is watching. Personally, I like to get up and do some stretches, followed by some jumping jacks and burpees.
Walk it out
If you have a phone call scheduled with a colleague, see if you can walk and talk. Even better? Ask them to go for a walk, too, so you both get some exercise and fresh air together!
Use meal prep as a secret weapon
Being holed up in your house or apartment can lead to some interesting food decisions: When I work from home, I sometimes find myself either eating everything in sight (but at least I’m getting up frequently to stretch my legs and head to the kitchen!), losing track of time with a lot of work on my plate—and no food on it since it can feel like a lot of effort to even leave my work to make a sandwich.
Enter: meal prep. And it’s life-changing. All you need to do is spend a few hours over the weekend preparing batches of food and portion them into containers for the week ahead. Grab, eat, and back to work! My favorite things to meal prep are soups/stews, hearty salads and anything made in a slowcooker. Here’s a great meal prep primer.
Snack-wise, I keep healthy options nearby, like fruit, nuts and protein bars. And ok, I do enjoy a handful of chocolate chips every now and then!
Connect with others
Switch up your routine by walking or biking to a coffee shop or co-working space. If you know friends or colleagues in the same area who work from home, you can make a day of it together! Working from home can feel lonely and isolating, so finding ways to connect with others is important. If that isn’t possible during the workday, look for running clubs, networking events, happy hours, and other group activities in your area.
Watch your sleep
Since you don’t have to commute to or from work, you have more time in the day to do other things. One of the easiest ways to fill that time is with sleep—if needed. On days that I work from home, I used to sleep in, but I realized I was getting too much sleep and not enough exercise. So whenever I work from home now, I just stick to my usual routine: Wake up at 6 a.m., make coffee and go for a run. Then I really feel ready to tackle the workday!