5 Ways To Make The Most Of Remote WorkBy Mindy Smoak
Nov. 10 2021, Published 2:56 a.m. ET
The COVID pandemic has ushered in a much-needed wave of support for remote work in many sectors. Flexjobs shared that, “…in May 2021, a Mercer study found that 70% of companies said they were planning to adopt the hybrid model.” That’s a huge shift!
Remote work will be a new way of working for many, bringing opportunities and challenges. Even if you work a regular schedule, you have a lot more flexibility being remote – if you know how to harness the advantages. Here are 5 tips for you to make the most of the new way of working.
Create Your Space
Create a workspace that works for you. Make sure it is:
- Away from the hustle and bustle of the house
- Organized for the way you work
- Decorated in a way that makes you feel happy and creative
Even if you don’t have a separate room, you can create a space out of a corner and a folding floor screen. Tip: check Pinterest for inspiration.
Design Your Schedule
Benefit News reports that “…full-time employees are working an extra 26 hours a month when remote.” This does not equate to taking advantage of new work arrangements. Many studies also find that remote workers are more productive, so create a schedule that serves you. Do this by paying attention to your energy more than time. Schedule your calendar according to when you feel most productive, creative, strategic, etc. Fast Company encourages practices such as time blocking, doing the most important tasks first, going with your energy flow, creating a task flow, and more. Most importantly, experiment and find what flows for you.
Related Article: How To Create Boundaries While Working From Home
One of my biggest challenges working remotely has been staying engaged with others. An article in The Scientist explains that “Social isolation is associated with increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia, as well as mental health consequences such as depression and anxiety.”
Lack of connection is detrimental to your mental health, and the uncertainty of the pandemic has increased anxiety. Try the following for your mental health:
- Work at a coffee shop with a friend or peer
- Take a walk with a neighbor or family member
- Have virtual hang-out times with your team where you don’t talk about work
- Start meetings with something fun to learn more about each other
- Schedule regular connection times so you have something to look forward to
You may think a perk of remote work is getting more done around the house while working. According to verywellmind, that is not a good idea. Multi-tasking not only makes you less productive, it also impairs your cognitive ability. Just because you work at home, doesn’t mean you should do both at the same time. During a 10-minute break throw in the laundry. Between meetings let the dog out. Just don’t try to help your kid with homework during a meeting or pay bills while completing a report.
Remote work presents a great opportunity to reconfigure your time. Replace your commute time with exercise, sleeping in, or enjoying tea on your porch. Make your lunch work for you by cooking something fresh and saving the leftovers for the next day so you can go for a short hike.
The best thing about remote work you can work from anywhere. No school on Friday? Then you can drive 2 hours to the lake on Thursday night and enjoy your Friday breaks on the dock. During spring break you can go work in the mountains and enjoy beautiful hikes outside your doorstep when you are done with work.
These are my top tips. Share your thoughts in the comments. Let’s help each other make the most of the new way of working.