In the post-pandemic age in which we live, more and more of us find ourselves working remotely from the comfort of our homes. In theory, building a career from the comfort of your own home is a revolutionary and even unbelievable idea for some people. However, many of us have started to notice the flip side of the coin concerning remote working and the under-reported challenges we face concerning our overall wellbeing. In this article, we will explore some of the challenges you will likely face working from home, and how to overcome them.
A challenge of any job is “switching off” when you return from work, well as you can imagine, that struggle is even more complex when you work from home. How can you emotionally log out of work mode and switch back into your personal life? One way to do this is setting yourself boundaries. Working from home comes with a degree of flexibility, make the most of this unique working situation, as long as your work gets completed to a good standard. Also, ensure you know when to log off at the end of the day. It’s easy to keep going if you’re close to finishing a project but remember the project will still be there ready for you whenever you get back to work, remember to see those boundaries and make time for YOU!
Remote working can sometimes be lonely, especially if you live alone, but even if you don’t, working in a remote corner of the house can be an isolating feeling. In these moments it's important to make sure you’re exerting your social battery and connecting with your colleagues, remember they’re likely in the same boat as you! There are lots of ways remote employees can stay connected, I recommend you use Slack, a messaging platform that is great for the whole team to communicate, formally and informally. Doughnut calls are great for connecting to different members of the company. Employees are randomly assigned to someone else in the company for a 30-minute natter, they could be anyone regardless of team or management level, either weekly or bi-weekly is recommended. Great for recharging your social battery.
While on the topic of being social, you might find that other people who work for your business that are local to you could want to meet in person. Every now and then coming together for a little in-person work day is a great way to stay connected and build stronger relationships with your co-workers. Anyone who's worked with a team remotely and then met them in person can attest to the fact that you don’t get a real sense of what someone is like until you spend time with them in person.
Switch up where you work
A luxury of working from home is that most companies don’t limit you to working specifically from home. Many remote employees have taken to switching up their scenery and working wherever they want (provided they have wifi)! Popular working spots in our team tend to be cafes, sometimes a stimulating environment can benefit our productivity while giving us a motivational boost we all need, not to mention the benefits to your mental health by working in an active environment. Of course not all of us thrive in busy environments, if you have access to wifi via your phone there really is no reason you can't take advantage of a sunny day and take your work to a quiet park, but remember this is weather-dependent. Even simpler, moving to a different room in the house, or working in the garden can provide fresh scenery.
Working in an office provides a general structure to base your day around, generally with a set time for a lunch break, easily taken as everyone else on the team has the same break. When you work from home, the daily schedule can be less simple. What do you do when you’ve got a break? Do you go into town and get some food? Do you cook for yourself? Do you kick your feet up and relax? Whatever you do, it’s important to remember to take that break time for YOU! Taking that personal time during the day can do wonders for your mental well-being and help you feel more positive and focused when your break eventually finishes. Overworking can have negative effects, on ourselves and our quality of work. So for your own sake, make sure you take a break! Or a kit-kat. When I was researching this topic, I came across an employee who takes intermittent gaming breaks, to help switch up the day!
When we work in an office, eating the right food isn’t always the easiest thing to do. It’s all too easy to run to the nearest eatery, even more detrimental if you work within walking distance of a Greggs. By working from home, you remove the temptation of going out to snack on unhealthy food. Still, the new adversary in the form of Deliveroo and JustEat begins to present itself and become a potential issue, for the body and the bank account. At home, it’s important you take the time out of your day to make yourself a healthy, balanced meal, the ability to cook and prepare good food on your break is a much more realistic option when you work at home compared to working in an office daily. Of course, that’s not to say never treat yourself, but after a few well-balanced lunches from home, I’m sure you’ll notice a little boost in how you feel. If that fails, CAFFEINE!
As I stated at the start of this blog, working at home can seem like a blessing, and in my humble opinion, it is! But only if we make it so for ourselves. With the flexibility remote working provides, comes responsibility to our schedule and of course, ourselves. Protecting and maintaining your positive well-being is a very important aspect of all our lives, I hope this short blog helps you visualize how that can be possible.
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