How to Maintain Balance as a Remote Worker
By Chuck Cusumano and Jillian Broaddus
Last month, we wrote a blog about ways you can take actions to personally grow while working remotely. However, what we didn’t address were the many challenges when it comes to working in your pajamas. There are certainly benefits to a lack of commute, a sense of freedom, and being able to get work done with your furry friend right next to your desk. However, it isn’t all positives:
Nearly a quarter of remote workers say they work longer hours than they would on-site and over half say they're less likely to take time off than they would be if they worked at their business's location
More than half of remote employees say they feel disconnected from fellow employees
19% of remote employees report loneliness as their biggest challenge
If you need some tips to avoid these challenges, try these:
Separate your Workspace – While it may seem comfortable to bring your laptop in bed, or log-in to your email while sitting on the couch, it can also make it much harder to disconnect at the end of the work day. Set boundaries for yourself!
Set Timers – Time flies when you’re having fun! That may not be the cause at play when, suddenly, you find yourself working well into the night. Set timers so you can keep track of your day, and manually schedule breaks. Need a game plan to emulate? One experiment by the software startup Draugiem Group using time-tracking app DeskTime found that the most productive workers took regular and frequent breaks, working in 52-minute sprints with 17-minute breaks.
Get Outside – When you schedule your breaks, make sure a few of them are to get some Vitamin D! Even just a ten minute break for fresh air has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and increase productivity, focus, and creativity when you get back to work.
Virtual FUN Meetings – Don’t just schedule virtual meetings with coworkers to discuss business matters. Schedule virtual happy hours, or even just a 5-minute “water cooler chat.” Having dedicated time for fun catch-ups can combat the loneliness and disconnectedness that can plague remote workers.