When it comes to remote work, there’s no doubt that it offers a lot of advantages. For example, working from home cuts out the daily commute, eliminates many of the distractions that come with working in an office environment, and lets you set your own schedule. However, working remotely also has its challenges that must be addressed if you want to maintain your wellbeing.
The isolation factor of remote work can be especially difficult. If you’re used to working in a bustling, collaborative atmosphere, suddenly finding yourself alone at home can be a jarring experience. Fortunately, there are several strategies that you can adopt to enhance your wellbeing while working remotely.
Create a Morning Routine
The beginning of your day sets the tone for the rest of it. By creating a morning routine—one that might involve healthy habits such as meditating, doing some light exercise, having breakfast or journaling—you can start your day with calm and positivity.
This routine goes beyond simply jumping out of bed and getting into your work clothes. Giving yourself a bit of time in the morning to attend to your personal needs can be transformative for your productivity and wellbeing.
Take Regular Breaks
Without colleagues to chat with or an office environment to move around in, it’s easy to get consumed by work when you’re working remotely. Establishing boundaries around working hours and taking regular breaks can help you create a better work-life balance and prevent burnout.
Taking breaks is also an excellent opportunity to connect with others, whether it’s through social media or a quick phone call. Whatever you do, make sure you have a few minutes built into your workday to recharge your batteries and clear your mind.
Make time to connect with colleagues
The benefits of social interaction on mental wellbeing cannot be overstated. Connecting with colleagues, talking through projects and ideas, and simply having regular touch-points for social interaction can help you stay grounded and connected.
Virtual coffee breaks, lunch meetings or check-ins can easily be scheduled through tools like Zoom or Slack. Many remote teams use these methods to stay connected and maintain a sense of community.
Designate a Dedicated Workspace
It can be incredibly helpful to have a designated workspace when working remotely. Having a dedicated area where you work (as opposed to using a bedroom or living room space) can help create mental boundaries between the personal and the professional aspects of your life.
Ideally, create a workspace that is comfortable, organized and free from distractions. This will help you stay focused and maximize your productivity when working remotely.
Establish a Routine
Without the defined structure of an office setting, establishing a routine can be key to maintaining a sense of structure and productivity while working remotely. This means setting defined working hours, planning the most challenging tasks for the morning when you’re fresh, and breaking up your workday into manageable chunks.
When establishing a routine, be sure to consider your natural energy levels, leisure and personal activities and outside responsibilities that must be taken care of, to ensure that you’re balancing work and personal time in a way that works best for your lifestyle.
Remote work can be stressful, and as such prioritizing self-care is essential. Making a conscious effort to eat nutritious meals, get enough sleep and ensure you’re taking care of your physical and mental health goes a long way in enhancing your well-being.
This might mean committing to a mid-day yoga routine or carving out time for yourself with a relaxing self-care routine. Seeking out support from a professional in some cases may also be necessary. Prioritizing your wellbeing is essential when it comes to remote work and should be maintained in your daily routine.
Take Advantage of Flexibility
Finally, it’s important to take advantage of the flexibility that remote work can offer. Whether that means scheduling time for personal activities or pursuing passions outside of work, remote work provides you with the unique opportunity to shape your days in a way that matches your personal interests.
You may be able to work at different times of the day, or take advantage of a mid-day run or social activity that interrupts the workday. Stay mindful of what you need and want, and be solution-oriented when it comes to creating the schedule that works for you.
It’s easy to let paperwork or digital files get disorganized when working remotely, leading to stress and wasted time. Taking steps to keep your files and spaces organized can help you stay on top of work and minimize anxiety.
Create a filing system and regularly go through your computer documents and folders to keep things streamlined. This will help you avoid searching for misplaced documents or files during the workday.
Being cooped up inside all day can take a toll on your mental wellbeing, especially when working remotely. Getting outside, breathing in some fresh air and soaking in the sunshine can be incredibly beneficial for your overall wellbeing.
Take breaks throughout the day to step outside, stretch your legs, and get some sun on your face. Even if the weather isn’t perfect, a change of scenery can do wonders for resetting your mindset.
Get Involved in Your Community
Just because you work remotely doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in your community. Look for opportunities to volunteer, join local groups or attend networking events in your niche.
Being part of a community, whether it’s in-person or online can give you a sense of belonging, connection and purpose beyond your work. This can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing and help counteract any feelings of isolation.
When working remotely, it’s essential to set boundaries to protect your personal life from seeping into your work life, and vice versa. Establishing these boundaries can help create a clearer division and help you balance your responsibilities.
Set defined working hours, turn off your work email when the workday is over, and don’t check your phone for emails during personal time. This can help create a healthier balance and avoid burnout.
Communication is Key
Effective communication is the cornerstone of remote work. Make use of communication tools like Slack, email and video conferencing to stay connected with your colleagues and project teams. Communication is necessary to clarify tasks and deadlines, and to foster teamwork, collaboration and clarity.
Clear and consistent communication also helps supervisor and team members understand your needs, workload and any hurdles your facing, it will make it more likely they can offer support when needed.
Remote work can feel isolating, and it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture or skip celebrating accomplishments when working alone. Don’t forget to take a few moments to celebrate each achievement or milestone.
Whether that means sharing the news with your team, treating yourself to a favorite meal or relaxing during some off-duty hours, it’s important to enjoy the fruits of your labor and acknowledge your hard work.
Seek Out Advice and Support
Working remotely often means working with minimal guidance or supervision. It’s essential to seek out advice or support when needed. This includes investing in online training or further education, attending industry conferences or simply meeting regularly with a mentor or colleague.
Joining a remote workers group for support or advice can also help you feel less isolated and remain connected within your field.
Practicing mindfulness techniques can be helpful in reducing stress and anxiety, especially in light of demanding remote work conditions. Incorporate practices like meditation or deep breathing exercises throughout your workday to help you stay focused on your work and centered in your mind.
Mix Up Your Work Environment
Sometimes even the most dedicated remote workers need a change of scenery. Work in different locations throughout the week, such as a café, a co-working space or a hotel lobby.
This change of scenery can give you a refreshed perspective, help elevate your mood, and help you move beyond creative blocks that may be limiting your success.
Take an Exercise Break
It’s essential for your health and wellbeing to move your body throughout the day. Consider integrating short bursts of exercise into your routine, such as yoga poses or taking a short walk, to enhance your overall wellbeing.
Regular exercise can increase your energy levels, reduce stress and even improve your creativity throughout the day.
Learn a New Skill
Working remotely can provide more flexibility in terms of the use of time throughout the day. Embrace this opportunity to learn a new skill that interests you outside of your work, whether it’s a new language, or a coding language, or even learning how to play an instrument or cook a new dish, the possibilities are endless
This can help prevent burnout, give you a sense of accomplishment, and ultimately help you achieve a better work-life balance.
Use Time Management Tools
When you work remotely, it’s important to make use of time management tools that can help you streamline your work, save time and reduce stress.
There are many time management tools readily available, including Trello, Asana, or KanbanFlow, among others, that can help you stay on top of your busy schedule and maximize your productivity.
Enjoy the Perks of Remote Work
Remember the many advantages of remote work, such as reduced commuting time, flexibility, and increased autonomy, among others.
Don’t forget to take advantage of these unique features that come with the gig—like setting your own working hours or working from a nearby beach. Use these perks to create a work-life balance that works best for you and enhance your overall well-being.
Working remotely comes with its unique set of opportunities, as well as potential challenges. By implementing beneficial practices, you can enhance your overall wellbeing as you navigate these conditions.
Some of these practices include creating a routine, taking regular breaks, staying connected with your colleagues, practicing mindfulness, and prioritizing self-care for your health and wellbeing.
With so many benefits that come with remote work, it is essential to make the most of your opportunities by balancing your work, personal relationships, and self-care practices. By adopting these strategies, you can optimize your work and personal life leading to a happy, fulfilled and productive life working remotely.