The onset of the pandemic brought many changes in our lives. One of the largest is the opportunity to work remotely. It has offered the flexibility to juggle all the roles we must fill. And it has been pleasant for many, but it has brought along stress as well. Overcoming gender inequality in the workplace and filling traditional roles in addition to professional roles can be difficult.
It’s important to remember to take the time for self-care and staying in control of your health when working from home. Here we’ll share the good and bad of working from home as well as tools and tips to help you stay in your best mental and physical health while working remotely.
Benefits for Women Who Work from Home
While working from home, women can take care of their domestic duties while earning a living. Instead of working all day and getting home to work another full-time job, they can multi-task and get things done throughout the day.
Benefits of working from home include:
· Not having to commute
· Savings from gas and dry cleaning
· Less exposure to COVID-19 and other illnesses
· Relaxed dress code
· Favorable work-life balance
· Control and flexibility
Drawbacks to Working from Home
There is a downside to working from home. Women, who already have salaries disproportionate to their male counterparts, find that remote positions may pay less than on-site positions.
Distractions from family and friends who don’t understand that work hours cannot be used to run errands and chat on the phone can be disruptive. Children often walk into zoom shots during business meetings. It also can be hard to tell where work ends and home begins. Women sometimes find themselves taking calls and completing projects well into the evening. We can also find our distractions from social media, email, television, and intrusive notifications on the cell phone or computer.
Other drawbacks to working from home include:
· Time management difficulties
· Health issues
· Difficulty detaching after work hours
· Getting and staying organized
Working from Home While Pregnant
Working remotely while pregnant certainly has its advantages. Not having to worry about pulling yourself together and get to work each morning while dealing with morning sickness is a big one! When dealing with the pandemic, being able to stay home and avoid potentially being infected by COVID is another.
Expectant moms working from home don’t have to spend all that money on maternity wardrobes to keep their professional appearance. They can also easily squeeze a few minutes of exercise into each day. There are no reaching hands that want to feel your belly, unsolicited advice, and questions to interfere with you getting your job done. And you can make it to those doctor’s appointments easily when you’re not having to schedule with the office staff. Then after your appointment, you’re not rushing back to work.
Mental Health and Working from Home
While working from home, it’s essential to keep the stress at a minimum and stay centered enough to notice if your mental health is suffering. Usually, remote workers are more engaged and happier. But you must check in with yourself. Some remote workers experience:
· Loneliness and isolation
· Performance anxiety
Tools & Tips to Stay Healthy When Working From Home
To maintain good mental and physical health, you must be intentional. Set SMART goals that are short, realistic, and easy to achieve. The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, practical, and timely. When setting your goals, think about every area of your health and the things required to stay healthy. For example:
Physical Fitness Goals
- 30-minute workout each day
- Legs workout twice a week
- 50 sit-ups each morning
Eating Healthy Goals
- Drink 80 oz of water each day
- Eat veggies 5 days a week
- Drink at least one glass of green tea each day
- Journal each day
- Meditate twice a week
- Take a soak and do a home spa day once a week
Healthy Routine Goals
- Get to bed by 10 pm each night
- Say affirmations each morning
- Take a walk outside three times a week
Also, try these tips to stay healthy and mentally fit:
- Empty your thoughts after each workday by jotting down your notes and to-dos in a journal
- Practice Yoga
- Use mood music for work time and home time
- Keep water nearby and stay hydrated
- Use healthy snacks instead of processed snacks while working
- Walk away from your work area a few times a day
Working from home can be a great thing when you’re keeping your mental and physical health at the forefront and managing your time wisely. Follow these tips above and do what’s best for your family and health. Visit your physician regularly and discuss any stressors or difficulties with them. If you’re pregnant, follow your OBGYN’s recommendations for caring for yourself while working remotely.