Remote working can be a total blessing or a horrible curse. Now that working from home is truly the ‘new normal’ in a post-COVID world – why don’t we talk about how to absolutely NAIL the hybrid/remote work life?
You snooze, you lose
Although you can easily take that extra 30 minute snooze time in the morning now that your travel time is non-existent, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to wake up 10 minutes before 9 to start working immediately after getting dressed. Start your day by waking up at the same time you would going to the office to keep your biological clock from malfunctioning. Get yourself some tea/water/coffee and take a few minutes to take in that vitamin D from the morning sun.
Separate your work and private life
If you haven’t already, create an office space or corner. It’s a very common pitfall to continue for another hour once your workday is done, since you’re already home. But keep in mind that your mental health and time to unwind are just as important as doing your job right. In fact, keeping the right balance between work and rest ensures you’re able to keep rocking your job for a long time. One way to help you separate the two is to create an office space. See if your employer is able to provide an ergonomic chair. If that’s not available, create a space at the (dining) table to set up a more ‘office’ type of space. Whatever you do, don’t work from your bed or couch to keep your brain from being unable to separate work from relaxation (yes, it really does that).
Flexibility is a big plus
Working from home might be even more flexible than the yoga guru next door. Depending on the company culture – you can choose where you’d like to work (bring in those fancy iced lattes), you can play a little more with your outfits (at least below the waist) and you might even be able to start and end your day later (or earlier). Focus on your way of working that is best for you and go about it! Apps like TrackingTime can help you find out which hours are most productive for you, so you can schedule difficult tasks during these hours and organize meetings around them.
Set goals for your day
It might sound silly, but setting goals for your day helps you define (grossly) what your day might look like and keeps you from working unnecessary overtime. Make a list of things you’d like to accomplish that day and estimate how much time each task will cost you so you have a realistic to-do-list.
We’ve probably all seen memes go around the internet of people Zooming their colleagues and unwillingly flashing their Spongebob boxers to the entire staff in the process. It might depend on where you’re employed, but generally speaking that isn’t a great impression to give off. Next to that, a little psychology tells us you’re able to deliver high quality work when you feel good about yourself. Decide which look does that for you (and fits the company culture) and go for that.
Give yourself a break
Without group lunches it’s easy to skip your lunchtime and in-between breaks. You already know what we’re going to say: don’t! Grab a coffee with a nearby friend, do some grocery shopping, sit in the sun, read a book: anything that takes you away from your screen and possibly even into the fresh air. Working from home isn’t easy breezy for everyone, so if you’re having a hard time – give yourself a few extra breaks and take some ‘tens’ (ten minute breaks) during the day. If it helps: set a timer so you really have to take your break when it goes off.
Take one for the team
Depending on your home situation, working remotely can be isolating. If you’re responsible for a team (or are part of one): suggest a weekly (online) gathering, Friday afternoon drinks, lunch, breakfast: anything that brings people closer to the team and the company helps take away any feelings of isolation and reminds them they’re part of something great. Next to that, it can help keep your team (and yourself) motivated.
If you have a family or roommates living with you it can be difficult to keep your focus. Share your schedule with your household and schedule in some time to check in with them during the day. This way they won’t disturb you unnecessarily and know when you’re going to be available to them.
It’s all about energy
One thing you should not forget about is compensation. Energy costs are at a high right now, and if you’re working from home a lot, you’re the one paying for it whilst your employer might’ve paid for those costs if you were working at the office. So if there isn’t already a plan in place, ask your employer to create one to compensate for any costs you might not have at the office.
The right soundtrack
While you’re at it: the right music has proven to boost your work speed and performance. Sounds good, right? That’s why playlist company Streaming Queen created an amazing Spotify playlist for you to rock to: https://spoti.fi/3vBkxjb
At the end of each work day, create a routine as well. A morning routine is well heard of, but what about an evening routine? Preparing yourself for work is just as important as telling your brain your working hours are done. Do something you can do every day that signals your body and mind that you’re now going to relax. Taking the dog for a walk, putting on a podcast, playing with your children: it can be anything. Do try to make it a no-screen activity so you can really unwind for a bit.
And that marks not only the end of the ‘work day’, but also the end of our latest blog post. Sharing = caring, so feel free to send your team and colleagues our tips to upgrade their remote working sitch. Questions? We’re open to chat, hit us up!