Five Telecommuting Health Hacks For a Healthier and More Productive Workday

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Five Telecommuting Health Hacks For a Healthier and More Productive Workday

Feb 23, 2024

The number of people working remotely full time or in a hybrid situation has skyrocketed since the pandemic. While the work-from-home life offers many benefits, such as a more relaxed environment or flexible schedule, it also presents unique challenges — especially for those used to working in a more formal corporate space. 

One of the most common complaints associated with telecommuting is that it’s easier to get “in the zone,” sit for long periods and experience poor health effects. This can also result in reduced efficiency during the workday. 

Remote workers, are you looking to improve your health and productivity? In this article, we’re covering five habits you can incorporate to help combat some of these challenges. 

1. Take regular microbreaks 

Many people say that working in the comfort of their own home makes it easier to get caught up in the tasks at hand. Not necessarily having the structure that often comes with working in a corporate office can make your hours run together. Some people find that remote work puts them in a mode of pushing through to get to the end of their day. This might mean either working nonstop for an extended period or working well past regular office hours. 

Wherever you’re working these days, it’s important to incorporate micro breaks on a regular basis. What’s a micro break? These are shorter breaks, generally two to ten minutes long, that are sprinkled throughout your workday. Research shows that these short breaks are as important for our mental health as longer breaks. Taking an intentional micro break can help alleviate stress and prevent mental burnout

The best way to take microbreaks is to schedule them into your day. For instance, a ten-minute break at the end of every hour. Setting a timer to indicate the beginning and end of your microbreak can be helpful. As for what to do on these breaks, consider getting up and moving your body away from your workspace. Take a quick walk outside or head to your kitchen for a glass of water and a stretch.

2. Keep food for energy accessible 

It can be easy to mindlessly snack on whatever is around you when working from home. To best support your focus and overall health, keep healthy foods that give you energy easily accessible. After all, what you put in your body directly influences overall well-being and productivity. 

The proximity of wholesome snacks ensures a convenient and healthy option for refueling throughout the workday. Nutrient-rich foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and whole grains provide a sustainable energy source, combating the afternoon slump and promoting sustained concentration. Maintaining stable energy levels also supports mood stability and helps in managing stress. 

Having these healthier options readily available can help you avoid the temptation of reaching for a processed or sugary snack that can have the opposite effects. In addition to energizing snacks, consider preparing healthy lunches ahead of time that you can conveniently grab from the fridge when you work from home.

3. Try Deskercise

Deskercise refers to exercises you can do while working at a desk. These movements can help combat the sedentary nature of desk work at home. Simple exercises performed at your desk can provide health benefits when you’re otherwise stuck in a seated position for long periods. In addition to promoting healthy circulation, deskercises can prevent muscle stiffness and support healthier posture by breaking up periods of being hunched over. 

Examples of deskercises include:

  • Seated leg lifts

  • Chair squats

  • Neck stretches

  • Wrist rotations

  • Arm stretches

These desk-friendly movements can be sprinkled into remote work without disrupting productivity. Plus, stretching breaks can minimize discomfort associated with prolonged periods of sitting. Embracing deskercise as a part of the remote work routine is a proactive approach to supporting physical health and fostering a healthier work environment, ultimately contributing to increased productivity and overall well-being.

4. Practice the 20/20/20 eye care rule

The nature of most modern work-from-home jobs is that we spend much more time in front of a computer screen (or sometimes multiple screens). This is incredibly strenuous on your eyes, especially when technology dominates so much of our leisure time. Staring at screens for extended durations can lead to eye discomfort, dryness and blurred vision.

One way to help alleviate some pressure on your eyes when working remotely is to practice the 20/20/20 rule. The rule recommends taking a break every 20 minutes, looking at something 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. The 20/20/20 rule offers a simple yet effective strategy to reduce eye strain, prevent fatigue and maintain optimal visual health. 

In addition to practicing the 20/20/20 rule, consider purchasing some blue-light-blocking glasses to use when in front of your screen. The blue light emitted from computer, tablet and phone screens can promote headaches and disrupt melatonin production, making it harder for some people to stay on a regular sleep schedule. 

5. Have a designated workspace

There’s a certain environmental freedom that comes with telecommuting. For some people, this means choosing a different area of their home to work from throughout the week. However, too much variation may lead to reduced efficiency and organization. Instead, it can be helpful to have a designated workspace. This might mean creating an office area in your home or perhaps claiming a regular spot at your co-working space. 

A dedicated work area helps create a clear boundary between professional responsibilities and personal life, fostering a structured routine. It also provides a psychological signal that signifies the start and end of the workday, supporting a more consistent work-life balance. Moreover, a well-organized workspace enhances focus and productivity by minimizing distractions. 

Ergonomically designed and comfortable workstations also play a crucial role in preventing physical discomfort and musculoskeletal issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle. A designated workspace can serve as a hub for creativity, concentration and effective communication when you don’t have a corporate office.

Try healthier telecommuting today

Adopting the above health hacks when telecommuting enhances your productivity and prioritizes your overall well-being. From setting up a designated workspace to taking regular microbreaks, reducing eye strain and incorporating deskercises into your daily routine, these hacks contribute to a more holistic approach to remote work. They address physical and mental health concerns and emphasize the importance of balance and self-care while supporting your productivity on the job. 


  1. Albulescu P, Macsinga I, Rusu A, Sulea C, Bodnaru A, Tulbure BT. "Give me a break!" A systematic review and meta-analysis on the efficacy of micro-breaks for increasing well-being and performance. PLoS One. 2022;17(8):e0272460. Published 2022 Aug 31. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0272460

  2. Galinsky T, Swanson N, Sauter S, Dunkin R, Hurrell J, Schleifer L. Supplementary breaks and stretching exercises for data entry operators: a follow-up field study. Am J Ind Med. 2007;50(7):519-527. doi:10.1002/ajim.20472

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