While at one time remote working seemed like a temporary solution, it’s now seen as one of the leading benefits that jobseekers hope for when finding a new role. However, while there are many benefits associated with remote working, many remote employees are struggling with ongoing loneliness and difficulty in maintaining productivity.
You may be one of those who finds it difficult to stay motivated without the structure of a traditional office environment. Or maybe you also miss the social interaction that comes with working in an office. Perhaps you may need to be more disciplined about setting boundaries between work and home life.
Here, we explore what to do if you are struggling with remote work, and how to improve your working life. With a little planning and forethought, you can set yourself up for success – wherever you are. Our top tips include:
1. Reassess your space
When remote working was a temporary solution, you may have set up shop at your kitchen table or in a cluttered spare room. If you have been working hunched over on your bed, now is the time to begin thinking more long-term. The physical strain of not having a proper ergonomic desk setup can leave you feeling unwell and contribute to an overall negative impact on mental wellbeing – so organize your space in a way that makes you feel invigorated and comfortable.
2. Set up co-working dates
Unless your colleagues are far-flung across the country or world, it may be possible to set up co-working dates with them. If your office is hybrid, choosing odd days to go in with a colleague can be beneficial to touch base, or simply meet up and work together in another location. Keeping up both professionally and socially in person can ease issues of silo working, and keep you feeling part of the “real world.”
3. Be open and honest
If you are finding remote working a challenge that is impacting how productive and happy you are, then don’t try and hide this. Your team may also be struggling with the ongoing isolation and disconnection that is rife in remote work, and discussing the mental health implications can help you to feel less alone. It’s no secret that working from home can be tough.
It’s also important to be open and honest with yourself. If you’re finding it hard to stay focused, take a step back and assess what might be causing the issue. Is it the location you’re working in? The type of work you’re doing? Or is it simply the fact that you’re not used to working from home? Once you’ve identified the source of the problem, you can start to look for solutions. For example, if you’re struggling with distractions, consider investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
4. Keep to your routine
While working remotely might be productive for some, interruptions to your day can dampen your best intentions. Setting clear boundaries around your working hours can be beneficial for focusing and also prevents you from working long into the night and becoming burned out. This is part of why a dedicated workspace is so important, closing the door on your working day can create a separation between life and work.
A good routine should include:
- Waking up at a similar time each morning
- Getting dressed as if you’re going into the office
- Regular breaks throughout the day to stretch your legs and get some fresh air
- Time scheduled for yourself at the end of the day to relax and unwind
5. Take a look at your career
Putting measures into place to ensure you can do well while working remotely is important, but if you don’t feel “cut out” for this new way of working, assess your overall career. Is it only remote working that is causing these feelings, or might it be time to seek career progression? Now is the ideal moment to decide what is best for you, and whether remote or hybrid working is a part of that.
As remote (and hybrid) working is still common, there is no reason to think this will change going forward. Hybrid working can be a great option, but if your company is entirely remote, these strategies can help you to feel better and thrive in your career, even at home.
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