Why Breaks Are Still Important Even If You Work From Home

Working from home really can be a dream. Many enjoy the freedom of setting their own schedule, the comforts of a home office and having more flexibility in life. Plus, if you happen to be the introverted type, remote work can quell some of the social anxiety you might feel in an office environment. As we all know, the number of people working from home skyrocketed during the pandemic, tripling between 2019 and 2021 -– and those numbers are still running fairly strong (via United States Census Bureau).


But working from home also comes with its pitfalls. The lack of structure and boundaries between home life and work life can lead some to feel lethargic, unmotivated, and depressed. You've likely heard of tricks and tips to prevent remote work burnout like getting dressed each morning, not working from bed, and taking regular breaks. Here's why that last one is so important.

Regular breaks to walk will ground you

We all know how important movement is for the body, mind, and soul. Inactivity is one of the biggest challenges of computer jobs and remote work, so scheduling regular time devoted to moving the body is key. If you can get in a 20-minute walk in the morning before you hunker down in your home office, you'll reap the benefits of clarity, groundedness, and refreshed energy. You should also be able to focus better during your work-from-home day. If you can, try to leave your phone at home so you're fully unplugged during your walk. Wear a watch to make sure you return home in time for your shift.


If you've got kids to get to school, the morning hours may be a little too chaotic for a walk. Try instead taking a break midday to get outside for some fresh air and movement –- but don't shorten your lunch in order to make this happen. The goal here is to recharge with regular breaks. If you live in a colder climate, an under-desk treadmill setup is another great option to get those steps in.

Take breaks to cook real food

When working from home, it can be all too easy to just grab a few snacks from the kitchen mid-shift, but a real lunch (just like one you would step out for in an office environment) is important not only for nourishment but for a sense of normalcy. Devote your lunch hour to preparing something that isn't too time intensive, but will still hit the spot. Plan your lunches for the week while grocery shopping and stock up on the ingredients that'll make your lunch feel a little extra special. And hey, the money saved by cooking from home rather than ordering delivery is quite the perk.


If you need some inspiration when it comes to your home lunch menu and are looking for something beyond a sandwich, there's an array of options out there. Hummus and pita pizza, BLT quinoa bowls, tortellini soup –- it's time to take your remote job as an opportunity to gain some skills in the kitchen and better nourish your hardworking self (via Taste of Home).

Meditate or do yoga in a different room

If you find yourself getting antsy and you're unable to focus on your work, take a ten-minute break in another part of the house to do a quick yoga flow or to meditate. Just a short session of mindfulness can work wonders for the psyche and mood. If you feel unsure about where to begin, choose a quick yoga video from YouTube with an instructor who suits your energy level.


Back and neck pain are common complaints of remote workers who are likely sitting for most of the day in an office chair or maybe even on the couch. The twists and stretches of a yoga practice should help your alignment and overall discomfort levels (via Performance Health). Downward dog, pigeon pose, and forward folds are all wonderful for the remote worker. If you need to quiet your mind after a stressful virtual meeting or a deadline, try one of the many guided meditations on Spotify.