How To Work Remotely Like A Boss When Living With Type 1 Diabetes
Monday, May 2, 2022 - 12:03
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced many workplaces to embrace flexible working arrangements. While not all professions are able to be performed remotely, if all you need is a computer and an internet connection, you may well find yourself working from home for most of the week. Depending on your employer, you may or may not be expecting to return to your workplace full-time even when the pandemic passes. If you’re not currently loving the remote working situation, here’s how to work from home like a boss when living with type 1 diabetes.
If staying at home all day is your thing, that’s great! However, even for people who prefer the cosy familiarity of their four walls, eventually it can get a little monotonous. As many countries – Australia included - begin to cautiously emerge from various restrictions and lockdowns, if you’re living with type 1 diabetes, you may still choose to keep yourself home for the time being. One study investigating the impact of the pandemic on remote working listed the following challenges when working from home:1
- Working longer hours compared to if you work from in the office.
- More distractions, such as a ringing doorbell (because admit it, you’ve been online shopping from home too!), or if your children are remote learning from home.
- Difficulty in “switching off” for the day once your work hours are over.
- A loss of separation between work and personal life.
- Feeling disconnected from your colleagues.
In addition to these challenges affecting everyone working remotely, if you’re living with type 1 diabetes, you may have found that this work arrangement has impacted your blood glucose management. If the disruption to your usual routines includes your exercise regime as it has for many people living with type 1 diabetes, you may find your blood sugar levels beginning to creep up. Researchers who surveyed people living with type 1 diabetes found 62% of participants needed to modify their insulin dosage despite attempts to remain active during lockdown.2 As if that weren’t enough, experiencing stress is also known to lead to challenges with blood glucose management and increase the risk of hypoglycaemia.3
If this has gotten you feeling stressed as you read this article from your desk at home, fear not. Challenges were made to be overcome.
You may have already done a brainstorm of ways to make the most of your time working from home and come up with some innovative solutions. Here are 6 basic things to consider when working remotely.
1. What keeps you feeling fresh and motivated?
It may be listening to certain genres of music as you work or starting your day with a particularly strong brew of coffee. Perhaps an early morning meditation or a long hot shower is what gets you going.
2. Try to set up a dedicated space for your home office.
This means not the dining table or in front of the TV. Doing so can help you mentally draw the line between when you’re working at home and when you’re living at home. If you can, make sure your desk, chair, and computer are arranged ergonomically.
3. Take breaks.
Give yourself frequent moments to stretch, drink water, and have a real lunchbreak. Your eyes will also benefit from time away from the screen.
4. Stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine.
When faced with the same four walls every day, you may be tempted to fall into less than healthy habits. Ask a friend or family member to keep you accountable and on track. To get you started, you may want to check out our videos, Be Active. Stay Active (hyperlink) and Exercising with Maria (hyperlink) for some simple stretches.
5. Make the most of communication channels.
Whether that’s chatting to your colleagues online during the workday or calling a friend during your lunchbreak, you won’t regret the effort you put in to stay socially connected.
6. Surround yourself with support.
Your diabetes healthcare team may be able to suggest ways to keep your blood glucose levels well-managed when working remotely. Connecting into forums with other people living with type 1 diabetes may give you ideas of how to stay active and motivated, or at least provide you with an empathetic ear.
COVID-19 has certainly sprung some abrupt changes on many workplaces. Depending on where you live, many governments are advising people to work from home, whether living with type 1 diabetes or not.4 So, grab that brew and settle into your ergonomic desk chair – you’ve got this, boss.
- Toniolo-Barrios M, Pitt L. Mindfulness and the challenges of working from home in times of crisis. Bus Horiz. 2021;64(2):189-197.
- Assaloni R, Pellino VC, Puci MV, et al. Coronavirus disease (Covid-19): How does the exercise practice in active people with type 1 diabetes change? A preliminary survey. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2020;166:108297.
- Diabetes.co.uk. Stress and Blood Glucose Levels. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/. 2019. Available at: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/stress-and-blood-glucose-levels.html. (Accessed July 2021).
- Diabetes.org.uk. Updates: Coronavirus and Diabetes. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/. 2021. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/coronavirus#work. (Accessed July 2021).