One of the many challenges to working remotely is staying healthy.
With the global trend towards remote and freelance work showing no signs of slowing down, more and more remote workers are finding that this lifestyle comes with as many risks and challenges as it does benefits.
This operate-from-anywhere workforce is particularly prone to health and psychological issues, so it’s important they practice healthy habits not only to perform better in this environment but also to care for their own well-being. Read on for 5 health tips for freelancers and remote workers to remain healthy.
Many freelancers and remote workers fall victim to “cabin fever,” feeling like they’re locked up all alone and isolated, with no colleagues and only walls around them. Due to this, it’s vital to get air and sunlight.
Take a small walk, or, at the very least, open a window or step out onto a balcony for a few minutes. Afterall, humans are just complex plants with emotions. If they don’t get enough sunlight and water, they simply do not perform as well and face health and psychological risks.
Even if only simple desk exercises, exercising every day can help reduce the back pain that comes with sitting at a desk or PC all day long. There might also be a nearby gym or a swimming pool worth considering, and if workers can make at least 30 minutes to one hour a day for exercise, they will be much less likely to develop back problems over longer periods of time working from a desk.
The next threat to freelancers’ and remote workers’ health is isolation and feelings of loneliness. Humans need social interaction, and if they don’t get it regularly, they are at risk of developing symptoms of depression and/or social anxiety. This is why it’s important to at the very least find a place to work from outside of the home. Any social interaction is better than none, even if it’s only with the barista for coffee or tea.
Another way to not feel so isolated when working remotely is to connect with colleagues and friends over the internet or by phone. Use messaging applications, conference calls, or direct lines of communication to avoid feeling out of the loop in the job or simply feeling trapped in a routine. In traditional offices, there’s always colleagues to share a quick chat with at the coffee machine or kitchen, but remote workers need to make time for these healthy micro-interactions on their own.
Finally, and while not ideal or feasible for everybody, adopting a pet like a cat or a dog can be a good way to help freelancers and remote workers set and commit to a schedule, improve organizational skills, fitness, and well-being in general.
While potentially a distraction at times, having a pet while working from home can help combat the feelings of loneliness and isolation and lead to an overall more comfortable working environment.
Beyond these 5 simple ways to stay healthy on the remote or freelance job, the main idea is to simply create and practice a healthy work-life balance as well as sustainable working habits and routines. When committing long-term to this type of lifestyle, it’s important to take every step to ensure both physical and mental health long into the future.