COVID-19 has changed the working lives of many people around the globe. In 2021, it is estimated that 27% of people will be working from home. The global pandemic has seen a change in the TEFL industry, with a soaring rise in the number of teaching English online jobs available. If you’ve recently completed your TEFL course and you’re looking for your first teaching English online job, or even if you’ve been teaching English online for quite a while now, it’s important that you stay healthy whilst working from home.
Although working from home definitely has it’s benefits (staying in pyjamas all day), it can also have an effect on your health, both physical and mental. So, we wanted to share with you our top tips to help you stay healthy while teaching English online.
1. Set up a separate office space
Creating a specific space in your house that is just for working is crucial to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Your bed, sofa and dining areas should all be associated with relaxing rather than work, so even if you live in a tiny studio, make sure you set up a separate desk or area of your home that you use only for teaching online. If you have a spare room you can turn into an office, amazing. If not, create a space in your home that can serve as an office for now. This might be your kitchen table, a corner of your bedroom… anywhere! That way, when you log off at the end of the day you can still relax and feel at home in the rest of your house.
2. Optimise your working space
Choose a comfy chair, set your laptop or PC up at the right height and remove any distractions. If you’re teaching online full-time, it’s important that your workspace is set up correctly to avoid any future back problems.
3. Set a schedule and stick to it
When working from your own home, it can be tempting to wake up late and work at odd hours, or carry on working on new lesson plans or class props after your final class of the day but setting a work schedule and sticking to it will hugely benefit your mental health and work life balance. Before you start your week, set yourself a schedule of when you’re going to start work, have your breaks and finish work, then – stick to it!
4. Take an actual lunch break
Don’t eat your lunch in front of the computer! Set yourself a time, close down your computer, move away from your work areas and take an actual lunch break. We know it can be tempting to sit at your desk and continue planning your lessons, marking work or finding new students but it’s not healthy!
5. Get outside
Try to get outside once a day, even if it’s just a short walk or for a bit of exercise. The fresh air and vitamin D will improve your mood and make you more productive for the rest of the day.
6. Keep moving
Don’t just sit slouched at the desk all day, get up and make yourself a drink, have a walk around your house, pop out into the garden – anything to keep your joints moving will keep you feeling refreshed and less sluggish.
7. Get up, get showered and get dressed
Treat working as an online tutor the same you would working in an office. Get up, jump in the shower, do your hair, put on a bit of make-up or wear a smart outfit. You’re more likely to feel productive if you get yourself ready in the morning as you would if you were going out to work.