Being a remote worker brings both advantages and disadvantages to the table. On the one hand, your commute is relatively short or non-existent. This is great for saving money on gas and enjoying your mornings without the madness of rushing. On the other hand, lines between your work and personal life often blur together. This makes it hard to differentiate between when your home is your work space versus your home. To try and maintain normality in an abnormal work environment, consider the following 3 areas to focus on:
1) Find ways to stay connected
During remote working, feelings of isolation can be overwhelming. Social interaction can be limited if your only form of discourse is threads of emails to sift through. Having other communication tools to keep you connected to your coworkers can be a great way to maintain relationships from afar. Below are a few tools and resources which can help keep the conversation going:
- Messenger apps like Slack allow you to chat to coworkers instantly and with ease. You can create groups for different departments or for clients that you may have to streamline communication for while outside of the office. You can even create groups based upon shared interests. For example, book recommendations, favourite wines, or even suggest podcasts to listen to! Instant messaging can make working and socialising a breeze.
- Video conferencing tools allow you to create and take part in those larger meetings you would have had face to face right from the comfort of your home office. Many people choose between Zoom, Go to Meeting, and Skype for their video conferencing.
Bonus tip for employers: If you have employees that are new to the remote working world, pair them up with employees that are already familiar with the working from home environment. Having a remote work mentorship program during times of transition can help your staff feel comfortable and improve their levels of concentration and engagement.
2) Find ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle
Working from your home can turn you into a homebody real quick, and it becomes too easy to work longer hours and have your work consume your life. It’s important to create a schedule that helps you enforce a work-life balance. Now that you have a more sedentary lifestyle, you also have to keep your wellness in mind when working from home. You might ask yourself: am I eating right? am I sleeping enough? have I even left my house today? Recognising the neglected areas of your wellness while working from home is vital to creating a successful work-life balance. Below are a few wellness pointers to consider when working remotely:
- Sleep well: Getting enough sleep will help your mind and body focus on what it needs to do each day. Avoid taking naps throughout the day (as tempting as it may be), and if you find that you’re having trouble sleeping at night, create a bedtime ritual to help you all asleep faster.
- Eat well: The temptation to snack while sitting at home is always there, and when you work from home it’s even worse. There are many great tools out there to help you, like an accessible and customizable weight loss program you can access through your phone. This program can help you manage your diet while working from home. You can make changes as you see fit to find a plan that works best for you.
- Exercise often: Being remote and in your home more can lead to a sedentary lifestyle. It is important to find ways to exercise and keep your health at the forefront of your priorities. Find online workouts, take a run through your neighbourhood, use your world as your gym. Even taking 15 minutes to exercise can help your energy levels and clear your head of a potentially stressful workday.
3) Find ways to relax
Finally, as a remote worker, it is especially important to find ways to decompress after the workday. After all, your home and office are now intertwined. Creating a separation between the two will help you reset and renew your energy levels. Below are a few things you can do to help unwind and give your brain a break:
- Take breaks: Make sure to take breaks throughout the day. Giving your brain a little bit of relief a few times a day will increase your productivity by avoiding burnout.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness meditation encourages you to focus on the present, to be fully aware of the here and now. There are some great benefits to mindfulness meditation: it lowers your stress levels, reduces anxiety, and even helps ward off negativity. Including these practices in your routine can help you hit the reset button for each new day.
- Reduce screen time outside of work: Find ways to pass the time without a screen. For example, puzzles, board games, trying out new recipes, learning an instrument, drawing, painting, anything to exercise your brain and get your creativity flowing can help with your overall anxiety and stress levels as a remote worker.
Working from home can become a stressful experience if you do not take the necessary steps to ensure your mental and physical health is taken care of. Therefore, encouraging yourself and others to maintain a healthy lifestyle during remote work periods will help the productivity and wellness of all.
Author: Guest Author
Photo Credit: Jenny Hill on Unsplash