7 Hacks That Make WFH Days More Positive & Productive, From mbg Staffers
Team mbg is fortunate enough to have jobs that allow us to work from home. We've spent the last six months doing what we've always done: dishing about the latest health news (chemical bans! coffee research! spider venom!). We've just done it in virtual chats instead of conference rooms named after superfoods. (The Chia room is dearly missed.)
We recognize that this flexibility is privilege, and we're grateful for it. But we also know that nothing screams monotony like working from home during a pandemic. Here are a few strategies our editorial team has put into practice this week to make the workday a bit more varied and exciting, positive, and productive, week after WFH week.
Monitor coffee intake more closely.
"I've started recognizing when I need more coffee versus when I'm just craving a break. With less movement, I've found I need less coffee—too much and I turn jittery, which never really happened before. Now when I start craving coffee, but I know I've reached my caffeine limit for the day, I just take a small break, go for a walk, or tidy up my apartment."
—Alexandra, senior beauty & lifestyle editor
Start an "adult cubby."
"I always loved the little cubbies and lockers we had as school kids and decided to carry them into adulthood to help delineate work and life. Placing my laptop into its little basket at the end of the day is a signal for me to get off electronics and rest in the evenings.
In my work basket, you'll also find WFH essentials like a candle for coziness, a book to read on my lunch break, and a hemp+ supplement for stress relief.* I've found that taking it in the morning helps steady my mood and helps me stay more even-keeled through busy workdays.*"
—Emma, senior sustainability editor
Switch up workspaces.
"I read something in the forthcoming book by Frank Lipman, M.D., about how it's not about sitting or standing all day; it's about variety. This has unchained me from my standing desk and given me permission to work where I want to work (standing at the kitchen counter, sprawled on the floor, perched on the stoop if the Wi-Fi allows, etc.). Productivity doesn't happen because I'm sitting at My WFH Desk."
—Hannah Margaret, deputy editor
Stick with a morning routine.
"The longer I'm working from home, the more important getting out of my apartment before work has become. Starting my day with a leisurely walk helps me separate my morning routine from the start of my day, which helps get me into work mode."
—Eliza, editorial assistant
"With the pandemic world we're living in, my WFH hack to stay physically active while limiting outside germs has been tuning in to a variety of fun, energetic workout videos on YouTube. Whether following along to Zumba routines or a HIIT workout to Mamma Mia's ABBA songs, anything that resembles dance gets me moving and my heart pumping."
—Ashley, director of scientific affairs
Invest in a desk chair.
"I finally got a real desk chair, and it has made a huge difference, not just in my comfort but also my productivity. I find sitting in the chair puts me in the 'work' mindset and makes me feel ready to conquer my to-do list."
—Darcy, associate health editor
Dance it out.
Nothing gets me back on track like a solid dance break! I crank up the tunes for a song or two, dance around my apartment, and get back in the zone once my body and mind feel energized. I'll sprinkle in some yoga moves here and there as well. No real routine, just free movement—whatever feels good!
—Sarah, editorial assistant
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.