How To Master Self Care: Remote Employee Edition

High angle view of young man using his laptop in bright living room

 

Working from home was not always as common as it is today. The past year brought about quite a few changes to the world as we knew it, but one thing, in particular, is likely to be here to stay: remote work. Countless studies have been done on the topic of remote work covering topics such as how remote work impacts employee happiness, how it affects employee retention, and what the future workforce will look like. 

While the idea of working remotely sounds ideal, the reality is that it can take a toll on employees who forget to prioritize self-care. Having the proper tools and techniques to create a healthy work-life balance can drastically improve the remote workflow. Here are a few tips to consider if you are, or will be, working remotely in the future as a cybersecurity professional:

Maximize your comfort

When creating your work environment at home, choosing a good quality desk chair can make a big impact on not only your physical comfort but overall productivity. Ergonomic desk chairs are known to reduce the aches and pains that come with being seated for long periods of time. Additionally, a supportive chair can help prevent bad posture and neck pain that results from spending hours leaning over a desk. To maximize your comfort one step further, add an adjustable footrest under your desk to elevate your feet and promote circulation. The more comfortable you are while you’re working remotely, the less you’ll have to stand up to stretch out throughout the day, and your productivity will likely benefit as well. 

Protect your eyes

From a young age, many people are taught to wear sunglasses while outdoors to protect their eyes. Just as too much sun exposure to your eyes can cause damage, too much exposure to blue light can do the same. Blue light exposure from laptops and phone screens while working remotely is inevitable. A comfortable pair of blue light glasses worn throughout the day can make a lasting impact on your vision both short and long term. Short term, you won’t have to worry about the bothersome headache or eye strain at the end of a long day. Long term, you’re preventing damage to your retina and potential loss of vision. In other words, it’s a win-win!

Create a work-life balance

When you’re working remotely, it can be difficult to manage a healthy work-life balance. It’s all too easy to keep responding to emails for an extra hour after the workday is complete or work late because your kids need you during the day. Work often takes precedence over personal life, and the desire to succeed professionally can alter overall wellbeing. All of this is normal and very common, but setting little boundaries for yourself is never a bad idea. Many laptops and phones have access to apps that set email boundaries, letting you take control of when you can send and receive emails. Enabling features that prevent you from over-checking your email can boost productivity and reduce stress. Don’t be afraid to unplug for the day and enjoy your personal life; work will always be there tomorrow!

Take care of your mental health

Remote work, especially throughout the past year, has shown to have a massive impact on mental health. A recent study shows that 33% of remote employees are worried about their mental health. Many employers are taking this issue into consideration and making changes to their company, such as more PTO or flexible schedules, encouraging your days off to truly be off. However, there are also steps you can take to impact your daily routine. When the to-do list becomes overwhelming, or you feel buried in work-related stress, take a few minutes to unwind and meditate. It’s as simple as downloading a meditation app on your phone to remind yourself to intentionally pause and take time for yourself and your mental headspace. 

These tips are beneficial to all aspects of life: physical, mental, and emotional. Even incorporating one or two of these self-care tactics can make a difference in your day-to-day life. If someday remote work becomes more prevalent than it is today, you will be more than prepared to tackle it head-on. 

 

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