Just got your first remote job, or maybe you’ve been working remotely for a little while but are still struggling to be consistent and energized to do your work each day? Well, you are not alone. In February 2022, Pew Research found that 59% of workers in the United States who said their job could mainly be completed from home, were working from home all or most of the time. More and more people are working remotely and it’s not always an easy shift. Many people feel disconnected from their co-workers when working remotely. But it does not have to remain that way. With a little work and consistency, you can improve your remote-work lifestyle.
Maybe it’s a separate room in the house, or even just a different seat at the kitchen table, or it’s a nearby coffee shop. No matter the type of space, it is helpful to dedicate a location to work activities. This will help put you in the mindset for the need to work. Preferably a place with minimal distractions where you can feel comfortable and focused.
The next tip is one I personally struggle with- getting ready for the day. Now that you have a commuting distance of 20 feet, why not use that extra time to catch some extra z’s? While it’s always nice to snuggle under the covers a little longer, you may find yourself hopping on the computer still groggy from the 30 second transition from bed to desk. Give yourself some time to wake up. Maybe stretch and shower, or wear something other than sweatpants and eat breakfast. Create a time shift from sleeping to working and do it at a consistent time each day.
With working from home comes some flexibility to pause on work and then pick it up later in the day. Why not? If you aren’t setting a schedule, you may find yourself working at all hours of the day and night, simply because you have the convenience to do so. Remember to keep balanced because work will always have its pending demands, but life outside of work also requires attention. Leave time for other things too.
One of the trickier parts of working remotely is the loss of office socializing, especially if you’re an extrovert like myself. Pew Research found that 60% of those who work from home all or most of the time, felt less connected to their co-workers. You can still get creative and find ways to connect with your coworkers. One way we practice at NPR is by having a Microsoft Team Water Cooler Chat that is ongoing. People can post pictures about their life or share thoughts or news. NPR’s HR team has also recently started a team lunch, where people can hop on a video call as a group and chat and eat. Some other tools that can be helpful are different software that facilitate idea sharing and communication, like Slack, Xtensio, and Zoho.
Enjoy the many benefits of working remotely and find the things that work best for you.
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