You just got the job and are working remotely, or working from home, and have joined the 4.7 million employees or 3.4% of the workforce. First off congrats and secondly, read this post. I’ve been working remotely for about 2 years now and as someone who was used to coming into the office, I can tell you it’s has been a change of everything.
At first, you enjoy it. What’s not to love?
- No commutes
- No annoying co-workers
- No distractions
- You can make healthy meals and eat in your areas
- More time to spend with family/hobbies.
Then the downsides start to set in.
- Your home is your living space and work office. Slowly becoming your prison.
- You lose out on social opportunities.
- Work can creep up and take over your time.
- Communication issues as there is no face to face opportunities.
- Complacency and laziness start to overtake you and you become less productive.
So how do you deal with the work/life balance?
- Set a work area and boundaries
Figure out where you will be working. This can be in a separate room or if space is tight, a place in the living room. Cordon it off if need be. Set boundaries and keep to them. Don’t use the computer outside of work hours. For instance, my office is in a small room. The door remains closed outside of my work hours and I can only work in that office. Something like that can drastically improve my balance and give me time to myself.
- Disconnect yourself from work
This one is simple to say but harder to do. We are interconnected and it’s harder to disconnect, but it’s somewhat easier to disconnect yourself from work if you have to.
- Set office hours on Outlook.
- Get rid of any apps that are only for work. I.e. if you use Slack, don’t install it on your phone.
- Try and set boundaries with your team. I’ll work these hours and that’s it. Special circumstances and on call do not apply
- Schedule social hours.
You won’t have face to face interactions with your coworkers. There’s nothing to keep the monotony away. It is you and your office. It sounds bleak when you think about it. Here’s what you can do about it.
- Make time to hang out with friends.
- Spend family time away from the house or plan a game night.
- Find a local Meetup of people in the same field.
- Immerse yourself in your hobbies.
- Keep on task
This is me to a T. I get distracted easily. When I was in the office it was easy to keep myself busy. At home it’s something completely different. I have chores, food to make, and I can turn on the TV. I can go relax on the couch. There’s a myriad of things for me to do.
The trick is to find what keeps you on track. This can be a whiteboard with tasks. A to do list. Use apps to help keep on track.
Working remotely doesn’t have to be a bad thing. As long as you can prepare adequately you can avoid the monotony of it. I hope these tips helped and if you have any that you do and want to share. Comment below or let me know via the usual methods.