As stated in a recent MetLife survey, 70% of employees report that their daily routines have been affected by COVID-19. Having a disrupted routine not only leads to more stress, but is also results in less productivity and less engagement. It has been nearly a year since many employees rapidly transitioned to working remotely, and while creating a healthy work from home routine was a popular topic at the time, we haven’t discussed it for several months.
The holiday season is notorious for disrupting routines, and when you add in new strands of COVID-19, a presidential election, news of a vaccine, and the unprecedented winter storms we’ve had in the months since, it is perfectly understandable if your employees are struggling with their routines. While we wait to begin our transition back into the workplace, now is a great time to share tips with your employees to help them create a new routine, find balance and prioritize their wellbeing.
Tips for a Healthy Routine
Listed below are tips we have collected from Virgin Pulse, Forbes and Thrive Global. Share them with your employees to help them make changes to their routine and create a healthier and more productive life!
1. It all begins the night before! Write down your schedule and your goals for the next day, turn off electronics and hour before bed and establish a healthy bedtime routine to ensure you receive 7-8 hours of restful sleep.
2. Try waking up at the same time everyday, just like you would for an in-office job. From there, follow a morning routine that will help you mentally and physically prepare for the day. Shower, get dressed in anything other than pajamas, eat breakfast, etc.
3. Avoid scrolling on your phone first thing in the morning. 46% of Americans check their phones before even getting out of bed and whether it is social media, your work email, or the news, this habit creates a stressful and unhealthy start to your day.
4. Drink a full glass of water within an hour of first waking up. It is reported that 75% of Americans experience chronic dehydration, which causes fatigue, headaches and an inability to focus throughout the day. Starting your day with water sets you up for success and helps you stay hydrated throughout the day.
5. Make time for exercise. Whether it is a virtual workout class, a quick home gym workout or walking the dog around the blog, write it down on your daily calendar. If your day tends to get away from you, schedule a morning workout to start your day off healthy and productive!
6. Take breaks! Working from home comes with so many distractions that can disrupt your routine. So, allow yourself a short break for every hour of sitting and working. You can stretch, make a healthy snack, switch over the laundry, etc. Regular breaks like this not only get you moving, but they help you recenter yourself and stay on task during working hours.
7. Never skip lunch. Every day, make sure to close your laptop and step away from technology to eat a nutritious lunch. Making time for a mindful, midday meal can increase feelings of satiety while helping you avoid that afternoon slump.
8. Schedule in time to interact with colleagues. Most people thrive on some level of human interaction, especially in the workplace. It’s an opportunity to share ideas, get feedback, and feel like you are part of something important. If your organization offers virtual break rooms or water coolers, join in! You can also schedule Zoom meetings, interact through Slack, or give a team member a quick phone call.
9. Stick to your work hours. No matter what you set your work hours as, it is important for you to stick to them. Set boundaries and put work away outside of your work hours. This will help you avoid distractions and stay better organized. If you live with family or have roommates, communicate to them what your hours are and when you will be and won’t be available.
10. Relax and unwind in the evenings. After dinner, instead of simply watching tv or scrolling social media, choose an activity that helps you feel the most relaxed. It could be spending time with your family, journaling, reading, arts and crafts, etc.! Regardless of your choice, healthy evening routines are incredibly important and set you up for success the following day.