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Telecommuting: Your Mental, Physical, and Virtual Health Matter

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Posted on 03/26/2020 at 03:00 PM

Telecommuting

Some employees work from home full time; some work from home a couple times a week; some have never worked from home. With the ongoing efforts to try to slow the coronavirus (COVID-19) more companies are moving to work 100% remotely, if available.

As a full-time digital marketing strategist who works from home twice a week, I rely on in-person contact during my three days in the office. As an avid spin instructor on the side, I spend five days a week staying active in a dark studio. What do these two jobs, and hobbies, have to do with each other, let alone COVID-19?

“Both careers have been restricted from human contact. The only option available to complete both jobs is by working from home, isolated from human contact, virtually.” - Josie Juber, Digital Marketing Strategist and Spin Instructor

Both (now work-from-home) careers also play a big factor on health in general. I rely on teaching spin classes to stay healthy physically, and I rely on my digital marketing job to stay healthy mentally. Here’s the spin (see what I did there?): What I did not take into consideration before, that I am now, is that both aspects of my health will need to be improved in a way I did not anticipate – virtually.

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How am I supposed to stay mentally and physically healthy if it is all to be done virtually?

With new distractions, whether it be children, spouses, electronics, or pets, there are going to be challenges that we aren’t used to being around during our workdays. We go to work to get our work done (mostly distraction-free), so how are we supposed to do that without leaving the house? How do I stay fit? How do I do everything I want to do… virtually?

In this time of uncertainty, take a few deep breaths and realize you can do anything, virtually or in person.

How to convert to working virtually

To reach our highest potential, though, we need to keep a few key points in mind:

1. We are creatures of habit.

We have a morning routine on our workdays that we follow to get us into the office and online. We work, for the most part, set hours and go home.

Why stop now?

Wake up each morning, pour that cup of coffee or pre-workout, get your kids ready for a day of virtual learning; do whatever it may be that you were used to doing before heading into rush-hour. If you did not work with the television on when in the office, don’t allow yourself to start now. Bring as much as you can from your cubicle, office, or desk to your couch, bed, kitchen table or wherever your new office space is for now.

Keeping a consistent (distraction-free) workspace will help with retaining focus, even if you have to retrain your brain a little.

2. Allow time to breathe.

This goes hand-in-hand with carrying on your habits and creating healthy new ones. It is no secret that no one stays in the same spot for eight hours straight. You find time to take little breaks. Whether it be a lunch break, 15-minute walk, or reading a blog, make that time at home. Close the computer for your lunch break, get a quick workout in, take a quick walk, read a quick blog.

To reduce stress and improve your mental and physical health, take the breaks that your body is used to. Don’t cheat yourself out of you time. Your work, and your body, will thank you later.

3. Socialize.

In order to stay sane, we need time to speak with other, non-robotic, humans. Remember that just because you are supposed to stay inside and distance yourself from coworkers and friends, doesn’t mean that you should shut them out completely. Check-in with your coworkers. Let them know you are there for them, would like to collaborate, and are willing to help in any way. This small act of kindness goes a long way and is an easy way to pay it forward, and hey – we all know that many ideas come from more than just one person.

Schedule a conference call. Be present.

4. Bring it all together with a solid connection.

With virtual work comes the requirement to have a solid and secure internet/intranet connection. Is this the one thing holding your company back from working from home, or maybe a subpar connection keeps getting in the way of solid work? Global Reach offers secure, online intranets to bring together companies and increase productivity. Bring all aspects of your company together in one easy-to-use platform. Internet connection is important, but it isn’t the only key part of connecting. We spoke about socializing in point #3. 

Connect with your coworkers – hop on a virtual meeting. Get creative – the coronavirus is new, which means your work can be too!

5.Control what you can.

With the uncertainty of the virus, it is important to grab firmly onto the parts of our lives that we can control. Hold tight to those habits that allow for a successful career. Allow time for breaks – just because home is your new workspace does not mean you should still be working at 8 pm. Allow time to breathe; get in a quick workout; breathe in some fresh air. Know you are not alone – socialize when you can. You can connect with almost anyone during this virtual age. Your coworkers, friends, family, the world is waiting for you.

Make time to stay safe – mentally, physically, and virtually.

If you need help with the tech side of telecommuting, know that you have resources with Global Reach. Contact us today for more information!

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