Living the Dream: A Work From Home Story

Living the Dream: A Work From Home Story
Working from home
Taking breaks when working from home is key to being successful.

Can we ask you a question? When was the last time you stood up? No, we’re not talking about standing up for a cause close to your heart (though that’s important too). We mean, literally—when was the last time you pried your butt from that chair? 

It’s a serious question. If you work from home, you likely spend numerous hours perched in front of a computer screen each day. Sure, you might get up to grab a coffee from time to time. Maybe you even wander to the kitchen for some lunch. And you probably get up to pee (please say you get up to pee!). But what about the rest of the time?

Yes, yes… you have work to do. We know. But what if you could perform more efficiently and intelligently with a few real breaks thrown into your day? Remember back when you first got the opportunity to work from home? You thought you’d be living the dream. You could roll out of bed and work in your jammies all day from the comfort of your recliner. And you could snack when you want to… rest when you want to… exercise when you want to, and generally take everything at a leisurely pace.

Dream vs Reality

Then, reality set in. You needed to look professional (at least the top of you, anyways) so that you could attend Zoom meetings. You realized that the recliner was maybe a little too laid-back for working. Those snacks became your main meal of the day and there was never a perfect time to break for exercise or take a mental break. Did you know that according to one study, work-from-home employees are putting in 1.4 extra days of work per month over what office workers put in?

The truth is that, while it’s a good thing that some of your initial work-from-home dreams were shattered (yes, you need to put on a shirt and comb your hair for that Zoom call), some of those perks you imagined really should be happening. Let’s take a look at why.

Your Eyes Need a Break

Have you noticed your eyes are more tired and sore at the end of the day than they ever were before? The American Optometric Association advises that after looking at the computer screen for 2 hours, you should give your peepers a 15 minute rest. Also, while you’re working away in those 2 hour blocks of time, remember to look away from your screen every 20 minutes or so and focus on something at least 20 feet in the distance.

Look at it this way: You’re not going to be getting a lot of work done if you ruin your eyesight.

Your Mind Needs a Break

When you were at the office you probably had a couple of scheduled coffee breaks and a longer lunch break each day. Even if your break times weren’t laid out for you at your place of business, you probably took the time to step away from your desk from time to time, chatted with a coworker, or took a walk around the block. Do you do the same at home? You probably don’t have any coworkers there, but it’s still important to give your mind a bit of a rest.

Studies have shown that taking brain breaks boosts your productivity, allows you to think more creatively, and increases your satisfaction with your job. So, while you don’t have a coworker beside you to chat with, there are countless ways to get a little break: do a short meditation, read a chapter in your new book, sit back and listen to some music, or take a stroll around the block—whatever helps you unwind for a bit.

And Yes, Your Butt Needs a Break Too

Do you regularly sit so long on workdays that certain parts of your body start to go numb? That’s not good! When you started working from home you probably had all the plans in the world to get in those extra steps each day. But it’s not reality, is it? In fact, you’re probably sitting longer than you would be at the office, because you don’t have those long walks from the parking lot or to the restrooms and break room.  

Your body needs some activity. Get out and walk a block or two. Or, if you have workout equipment at home, spend a bit of time on the treadmill. Lift some weights. Do a short yoga workout. The choice of movement is yours. The point is to get up out of your seat for a short while and get moving. Even better, you’ll also get that brain break we talked about.

It can be hard to get past that feeling that you have to put in extra time when you’re working from home. You want to overperform so that it’s clear that you’re doing your job and doing it well. At The Get Smart Group, we understand the work-from-home struggle. We are a highly driven, remote team. Check out our website to see what kinds of inspired (and rested) work we do. Trust us; your bosses are going to love the results they get from you when you’re relaxed, focused, and on your game. 

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