Remote work has been a topic of interest for quite some time. With technology advancements allowing work to be done online (using a computer, phone, etc. ), there are very few reasons that most people can’t carry out the same tasks they do in an office setting, from the comfort of their own home.
Although remote work offers many perks (no commute time and the ability to work in your PJ’s), there are also a few concerns. The increased risk of burnout for those who work from home is particularly a concern, as the line between work and home gets blurred. While the ability to set your work hours (within reason) is a major perk of working from home, this also can move quickly into working overtime.
Without the need to leave the office when the work is done, it becomes very easy for “work time” to move into “home time,” and the effects of burnout can be felt fast. It can be as simple as working an extra couple of hours to get that project done, having constant access to your work email on your home computer, and checking back regularly, maintaining communication, or receiving work-related messages to your phone.
While it doesn’t seem like much, it can quickly become overwhelming to continually have access to your work life while trying to make dinner or cool down at the end of the day.
Thankfully, we have a few simple tips and tricks to make remote work, work for you.
Start the Day with A Routine
One of the perks of remote working is the ability to be flexible with your schedule. While some people may be most productive in sticking to a 9-5 workday, this may not be feasible for all employees working from home, especially in light of COVID with no access to childcare for those who have children and both spouses having to work.
In those cases, maybe the workday starts later in the afternoon, or even in the evening. In any case, giving yourself a routine that transitions you from your home time into your workday (whether it be making a coffee, getting changed into different clothes, going for a jog, etc.) will help differentiate your personal and work time. Having a routine in place can help create a productive work “day,” whenever that is for you!
Dedicate a Space Specifically for Work
This one may be easier said than done – not everyone has the ability (or space) to transform part of their house/apartment, etc. into a home office. Still, having a place you can go to for work and be able to “leave from” at the end of the day helps keep the boundary between home life and work-life very clear, and can help mitigate burnout.
If a physical space for work isn’t possible, consider creating a separate account on your computer so that you have one for work and one for personal use. Having a different account for work allows you to log out of work at the end of the day, and give yourself clear boundaries between work and home.
Connect, Connect, Connect!
Another issue that can arise from remote work is an increased risk for feelings of loneliness, isolation, and disconnect. Even for introverts, staying connected with team members throughout the workday can help create a sense of community, even when you’re unable to leave your home. Even something as simple as a daily check-in to discuss your goals can help keep you on track and feel connected as a team.
Similarly, if you’re managing a team, take advantage of resources such as Rhonda.ai, which allows you to check-in with team members when you’re unable to do it personally so that you can stay involved, increase employee engagement, and maintain motivation during difficult times. As an employee, if you’re having a difficult time, let Rhonda know! Use Rhonda as a member of your team to provide engagement and feedback, improve employee satisfaction, and promote positive a company culture.
Remote work can feel lonely, but it doesn’t have to! A perk of the current situation is that everyone is experiencing it with you. You’re not alone, and you’re strongest as a team, even if that means your team functions a little bit differently now.