Wellbeing Tips for Online Teachers Working from Home
Online teaching is a rapidly growing industry and with the availability of new technology, more teachers are taking to working from home.
Whilst this has lots of benefits, it’s important not to overlook that you still need to be mindful of your wellbeing and below are some simple guidelines to help with this.
Keep work and home life separate
Try to keep your work life separate from your home life. This may be difficult if your online teaching workspace is in the dining room and your “desk” is the dining room table, but if possible, set yourself up in the room you use the least. If you do have to use your dining room table, always be sure to tidy up and “close” the area at the end of the day so your table once again becomes the place where you eat your meals and not a place you mentally associate with “work”.
Even if we try to deny it, it is a well-known fact that exercise is good for us! If you are teaching online that means you have no commute so use this extra time wisely. Instead of having that extra hour in bed, get up and go for walk or a run or try that gym class you’ve been talking about forever (restrictions permitting of course). Anything is better than nothing, even if it’s playing your favourite song between your online lessons and dancing around the kitchen! Throw in a few extra stretches and you’re good to go! As the age old adage goes “healthy body, healthy mind”.
When your job is teaching online, it’s very easy to slip into the habit of staying indoors unless you have a reason to go outside, especially as the mornings are darker and the winter nights draw in. However, try to get outside at least once a day whilst it is still daylight even if it is just for a walk around the block. It’s good to stretch your legs, feel the wind on your face and get your daily fix of vitamin D.
Make sure you follow the Health & Safety Guidelines for working from home. https://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/dse/home-working.htm
Teaching online obviously means you will be in front of your computer for several hours a day. To avoid any physical discomfort, it is important that your work station is set up correctly e.g. your camera should be at eye level and your knees should be at a 90 degree angle with the floor which may mean you need a footrest. Look after your eyes by varying your focus every now and then and carry out simple eye exercises. It’s also important to make sure you take regular breaks from the screen.
Keep in touch
You may be teaching online but that doesn’t mean you can’t speak to your fellow online teachers / colleagues. Try arranging a Zoom coffee catch up, I’m sure your colleagues would appreciate it.
Try following these simple guidelines to help make sure that working from home doesn’t feel like sleeping at work!