Whether you are stuck behind an office desk or travel around for your job, putting up your feet and working from home for a day is a notion most of us like the sound of. It is of course easier to get a massage whilst working at home, but could it also make your working day more productive?
Many studies have shown that we work better when we take regular breaks. You probably don’t need science to tell you that. Taking a break is plain common sense and often your body or mind will send out hints reminding you.
That dreaded mental block, repeated yawns or just a pain in your backside are all signals that perhaps you need to take a break from your desk chair. Nevertheless, a vast number of us ignore those signals and instead plough on unaware that our efficiency levels are endlessly plummeting.
You will already know that manual activities such as moving boxes repeatedly without a break tires your muscles. But did you know that, in the just the same way, continuously performing a mental task without any breaks exhausts your mind?
As your brain begins to feel weary you head towards something scientists call cognitive boredom. Once that kicks in your mental prowess and attention to detail decrease considerably and your work becomes less productive.
From a physical perspective, your body is not designed to sit at a desk tapping on a computer in the same position for long periods without a break. In fact, several studies have shown that sitting all day long not only slows down your metabolism but can also increase the risk of weight gain and serious diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
The good news is that you can quite easily beat the numbing of your mind or muscles through taking effective breaks. Many studies have been conducted to show the optimal periods of work versus rest. One such recent study, which monitored over 5 million data points per day over a period of time, showed that the top 10% of the most productive employees were regularly taking a 17-minute break after every 52 minutes of intensive work.
So we know that breaks are important if you want to keep your productivity levels high, but why massage therapy?
When you are working from home, it can be difficult to pull yourself away from the desk to take an effective break. Niggling thoughts or ideas can mean you never properly switch off and find yourself back at your desk as soon as you have made yourself a cuppa. Or you find yourself wandering around your home aimlessly for a while with nobody else to interact with … and decide that you may as well continue working. Sound familiar? Read on to see how your local mobile massage therapist can come to your rescue.
To properly improve efficiency levels, you need to completely step away from your work during any breaks. Both physically and mentally. Requesting a professional mobile massage therapist to visit you for an hour when you are working from home can help you do exactly that.
At the start of the day set out a schedule outlining the intensive work periods together with matching breaks. Follow something like the popular Pomodoro Technique by Italian philosopher Francesco Cirillo.
Cirillo stipulates that after going through several repetitions of his recommended 25 minute work + 5 minute rest sessions, you should take a longer and more meaningful break. This allows both your mind and body to recover and replenish energy to a greater level. It is during one of these longer break periods that getting a massage can reap rewards.
Plan your home visit treatment so that it coincides with one of the long breaks during your day. You can of course book your massage at home on-demand at the very last moment so that your therapist arrives within the next 60 minutes. However, when working from home, discipline is essential so we recommend that you plan further in advance and stick to the schedule.
When your therapist arrives, you will be ‘forced’ to step away from your work and take a proper break. Although this may feel annoying at the time, especially if you are in the middle of a particular task, the longer-term benefits are worth it.
Some of the advantages of getting an independent massage therapist to visit you while you are working from home are:
⦿ You will have to leave your desk to open the door and of course to receive your massage. Unless you have booked a chair massage, but more on that below.
⦿ Having another individual around you for a while is a refreshing change from being alone and helps offsets any of those common feelings of loneliness whilst working at home.
⦿ Your therapist will be with you for a pre-agreed, set period of time. This adds a point of control to your break and reduces the risk of it lasting longer than planned (unlike most television breaks). Although we often recommend that you extend your massage if it feels good, in this case you should avoid the temptation however much you are enjoying the therapy. The key is to manage your work and break times strictly.
⦿ Your masseuse or masseur is specifically trained to encourage relaxation and alleviate anxiety. Let a professional help you switch off completely from the work that you have been doing to reset the onset of cognitive boredom.
⦿ Prepare your room for your massage by dimming lights and putting on some relaxing music. A distinct change of setting from that under which you have been working provides further cognitive and physical relaxation benefits.
⦿ Shedding your clothes for the massage will further help to clearly distinguish the break from your work. Just make sure you get fully dressed again when you return to your desk. The temptation to continue the rest of the day in some slacks may be strong, but we recommend that you get properly dressed again before returning to the grind element of working from home.
⦿ Many massage techniques are intentionally designed to relax built up muscles tension and improve blood circulation around the body. Together this reduces the risk of muscle fatigue, which is one of the key issues of working without a break.
If you are working at home, the most suitable treatment types are probably a relaxing one-hour Swedish or Deep Tissue massage although almost any of your favourite styles will be fine. We would say however that chair massages are best left for office environments; when you are trying to improve the efficiency of working remotely it is especially important to move away from your desk or sitting position for the rest period.
In addition to booking a massage to break up your day with added therapeutic benefits, the following important tips can help you work more productively whilst having your feet up:
⦿ Follow the same morning routine that you do when going to the office. Wake up at your usual time, take a shower, make your bed, get dressed and have breakfast ... in the same way that you do when going to the office. You don't have to wear a suit and tie but a comfortable, smart casual outfit is a good idea to help the right frame of mind.
⦿ Many of us spend around an hour travelling to work and another hour coming back home at the end of the day. Take advantage of these two hours by sitting down to start your work exactly when you would normally walk out of your front door and reward yourself by planning the end of your working day two hours earlier than you would normally arrive back home from a day at the office.
⦿ Don’t tell any of your friends that you will be working at home. Especially not the ones who are not currently working and love a natter.
⦿ Play background music to help you settle and feel less lonely at home but avoid overly vocal tracks and never switch on the television until the end of the day.
⦿ Make sure your schedule for the day includes at least one break outdoors. A brisk 15-minute walk to buy something for lunch is a great way to achieve this.
Remote working can be very productive and can also do wonders for improving your work-life balance. However in order to do so, you will need to be very disciplined at home, perhaps even more so than you are in the office. Use massage therapy delivered to the comfort of your home by an independent, trained, professional to help you achieve exactly that.