Remote work might be the future, but it still comes with its own set of challenges. The mixing of your work and personal life, loneliness, and noisy coffee shops are just a few obstacles facing remote workers.Remote work might be the future, but it comes with its own set of challenges -@ericbieller Click To Tweet
If you’re not prepared, it’ll be hard to keep your sanity intact when working from home. Below are a few tips that will soften the blow and make remote work less lonely and more productive.
1. Get some human interaction
Personal interaction during the day is crucial to keeping your sanity. In an office environment, it’s much easier to get your fill of human contact since you’re constantly around other coworkers. You sit beside them in desks, have meetings in conference rooms, run into them on your way to the bathroom and sometimes even go to lunch together. At the end of a busy day at the office, you might even crave some alone time.Personal interaction during the day is crucial to keeping your sanity as a remote worker -@ericbieller Click To Tweet
Remote work has the opposite effect. When you work from home you have the option to work all day in isolation, and when that happens you soon begin to crave human contact. One great way to counteract this effect is to head to a local cafe or coworking space. If you’re having trouble finding a place, check out Workfrom. It’s a great site for finding cool places to work in your neighborhood. If you still can’t find a decent place, Starbucks or your local coffee shop is always a trusty fallback.
One of the causes of the remote working blues is not being able to spend quality time with your coworkers. When your relationship is digital, you can’t exactly grab lunch or beers after work. Luckily there are plenty of online tools out there to give you more face time and a sense of presence with your team.
2. Separate work and home
Separating work and home is essential, even if they occupy the same building! One of the biggest issues you can face while working remotely is the blurred line between home and work life. It can be tough keeping the two separate. Getting out of the house certainly helps, but you might not always have that option.
Some people get over this hurdle by dedicating a special room in the house for their office, whereas others have certain work rituals that let them know it’s time to get down to business (such as lighting a candle or turning on ambient noise).
I keep a routine in order to separate my working hours from personal hours. I’ll treat my mornings as if I was going to the office. Instead of waking up late and bumbling over to my computer, I’ll get up a few hours early, shower, eat breakfast and get dressed before I even touch my computer. My routine gives me an official start time to my working day.Having a routine gives remote workers an official start time to the working day Click To Tweet
If you live in a small space and can’t dedicate a room as the home office, there is hope. I live in a studio apartment with my significant other and have had to get creative, but it works out well. Try installing a physical divider between your workstation and your living space. I’ve put together a Pinterest board with some great home office ideas for small spaces that can help you get started.
3. Find the right toolsWhen you work remotely, the tools you use are everything -@ericbieller Click To Tweet
Great tools are absolutely essential for remote workers. They are your office, your working space, your collaboration channels and your delivery. The right software can ensure that you have face time with your team, are staying updated with what’s being done and are always aware of time zones.
It’s not all about software though! You also need to carry the right items to help combat poor seating choices and limited Internet. Once you leave the comfort of your home, uncomfortable chairs, noisy coffee shops and minimal power outlets all pose challenges. With the right hardware, you can laugh in the face of remote working adversity.
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4. Keep your workspace clean
This may sound like a trivial thing, but keeping my work area clean has helped my productivity tremendously. When your workspace is part of your home, it can be tough keeping it organized, especially if the rest of your place is generally messy.
In my case, I don’t mind a messy living area but I can’t stand a dirty workstation. It’s distracting, hinders creativity and doesn’t help my work when I have to dig through piles of clutter to find a pencil. So even though I have a hard time keeping my home clean, I fight to make sure I never pile stuff on my desk and I always try to keep the surrounding area clear. This gives me the feeling of working in a clean area, even if the rest of the house is a mess.