We live in a time where working from home is becoming increasingly common. I personally work from home & I love it. Working from home has allowed me to develop a great work/life balance & has given me the freedom & flexibility to adopt a much healthier lifestyle than when I was working the standard 9am-5pm day in the office. With the introduction of the nation’s largest infrastructure, the NBN, I am able to completely work from home.
Today I attended Telstra’s Work-Life Index Lunch which showcased how Telstra are leading the way to normalise working from home & relay the health benefits to all of Australia. From Telstra’s Work-Life Index research*, it was found that Aussie’s are craving work place flexibility. They also found that working from home is better for mental health & emotional wellbeing, and I would have to agree. Since I started working from home, my stress and anxiety levels have reduced significantly. I can structure my day around my healthy lifestyle, I have more time for exercise & I don’t have the stress of driving to work in peak hour traffic (which benefits the environment too!). The research also found that 60% of those surveyed agreed that working from home allowed them to balance work & family life better. Whilst I don’t have family yet, I know this will be benefit my husband & I when we have kids as I’ll be able to structure my work day around family commitments.
Working from home has also allowed me to become more creative. With my new venture of Instagram and health blogging, working from home allowed me to design my own creative space when I feel more relaxed and made me more productive & self-motivated, plus developed new problem solving skills. Anchoring any work from home set up is a speedy broadband connection which is only going to increase with the roll out of the nbn network.
Telstra Work-Life Index Lunch
My 6 Tips to Creating Healthy Work/Life Balance When Working from Home
If you are considering making the move to work from home & adopt a healthier work/life balance, reduce your stress levels & improve your overall health & wellbeing, here are my top 6 tips on how to make the most of working from home & keep a happy balance between home & work life:
1. Create a designated work space – if you want to work from home, you will need a designated work space. Those that work from home are notorious for setting up wherever they can – think lounge chair, bed etc. For a few months, I started off on my bed & dining table, which just wasn’t a good idea! So my husband & I cleared a room & made it into my home-office. I decorated it with some beautiful indoor plants (did you know that having plants in your workspace can improve productivity, increase your concentration & make you happier & less stressed, plus they make it look so pretty!) and some nice smelling candles and now I love going into my “work room”. I feel comfortable & relaxed but also motivated to work. I also recommend keeping your work area organized! De-clutter regularly and keep everything ordered.
Dream Home Office Styled by @fiona_michelon_stylist
2. Consider a stand-up desk or other alternatives – research has proven that sitting, especially for long periods of time, is detrimental to your health. Healthier alternatives to sitting include a stand-up desk which, when compared to sitting, can:
• Increase blood flow and circulation
• Improve energy levels
• Increase productivity
• Reduce risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes
• Aid weight loss
I invested in a stand up desk and I love it! I also find it helps reduce pain I used to develop in my hip flexors and glutes from sitting in the office chair for too long. Other healthier alternatives to a desk chair you can also try at home include using a fitness ball as a chair (really good for strengthening your abs), walking on a treadmill, or kneeling on a mat.
My Stand-up Desk
3. Have healthy snacks on hand – take advantage of the face that you don’t have the temptation of the the office biscuit jar & boxes of chocolates and try some of the following healthy snacks instead:
▪ Bowl of fresh fruit
▪ Chopped up fresh fruit salad
▪ Veggie sticks and healthy dips (find my recipes here)
▪ Healthy homemade fruit Muffins (find my recipes here)
▪ Cold pressed veggie juices & smoothies (find my recipes here)
▪ Herbal teas
▪ Water jug – if you want to jazz you wanted up, you can infuse it with sliced fresh fruit like lemon, lime & orange, or fresh mint leaves
Also, aim to keep the unhealthy snacks out of the house so your not tempted by them. Remember, healthy, nourishing foods like the ones I’ve listed above are “brain food” & will fuel your brain with the energy it needs to think and concentrate and be productive in your home work environment.
Healthy Snack Options
4. Get some sunshine – Did you know that the average Aussie office worker doesn’t get enough Vitamin D? The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that one in four Australian adults are vitamin D deficient, with a person’s vitamin D levels being associated with the type of work that they do. Those employed in occupations that spend most of the day inside, such as office workers, are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency than those working in jobs based mostly outdoors. This is because your body produces Vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. So when you work from home, you can take advantage of the fact that you can get outdoors and get some sunshine to boost your Vitamin D levels, which is essential for bone & muscle strength, preventing osteoporosis and improving your mood! Try these tips to get some sunshine & boost your Vitamin D levels when working from home:
• Walk around outside in the sun whenever you have a phone call
• Take your paper work out doors to complete
• Work near an open window where natural sunlight can stream in
Working from home means I can also work at the beach on my phone
5. Incorporate physical activity & exercise into your day – physical activity is your day-to-day movements and exercise is structured physical activity. To create a healthy work/life balance when working from home, you need to include both. I take advantage of the extra time I get in the morning by not having to drive to work anext use it to exercise first thing. I also try to be as active as I can throughout my work time at home by having stretch while reading or walking while talking on the phone. I also love to get creative and do lunges and squats while I answer emails on my phone.
Early morning runs at the sandhills in Cronulla
6. Have a routine / daily regime – while working from home allows for great flexibility, it’s still good to have a routine to drive productivity. My routine start early with som exercise out in the fresh, a healthy breakfast & writing a to-do list and prioritising what I need to do that day.
*Research based on study findings “conducted by Nielsen, 19-26 September 2016, amongst 1,810 surveyed Australian employees and employers aged 18 or above.”
Sponsored Content: This article is proudly sponsored by Telstra. Why? Because I love Telstra and only recommend companies/brands/products that I truly believe in and who share the same approach to health as I do. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.