The transition to working remotely can feel like a difficult adjustment. There are more distractions, less community, and blurred boundaries compared to working in an office.
But it also comes with opportunities and advantages that can help you lead a healthier work life. Our top 10 tips can help you make the most of working remotely.
When working remotely, you work from your home - or wherever you so choose - instead of at a central office with the rest of your company.
Some choose to work at a co-working space with other remote workers instead of at their home. Some also may have a hybrid work from home model, where you work remotely some days of the week and go to an office other days.
Working remotely became the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has in some cases persisted as a new standard practice as other activities returned to normal.
Though it began as a temporary stop-gap solution for pandemic restrictions, many workers have come to prefer working from home rather than going to an office every day.
Some of the main benefits of working remotely include:
Working remotely gives you more flexibility for things like travel, childcare, and setting your own schedule. Plus, you can set up your "office" however you want - bright, dark, quiet, music playing, inside, outside - whatever makes you most comfortable!
Commuting can be stressful, exhausting, and time-consuming. When you work remotely, there is no commute to worry about! That extra time can go toward self-care or being productive on the job.
Working remotely gives you the ability to choose where you live regardless of your career. For many, this has presented opportunities to be closer to family or live in lower-cost areas.
Studies have shown that most workers are actually more productive when they work from home. So, your company - and your career trajectory - benefits too!
When you transition to working remotely, be sure to set up a designated workspace - no matter how small. Having a desk and comfortable chair in a separate space where you do your work will help you set boundaries and stay productive.
Though it might feel tempting to sleep in til noon and do all your work in the middle of the night because you don't have to physically be in the office at a designated time, keeping a regular schedule will help you stay on track and reduce stress.
Working remotely, it can sometimes feel like you're always at work. Be sure to set boundaries with your team about when you will be online or reachable by phone, and when you're logging off for the day.
Also make sure to set boundaries with roommates or family members about when it's ok to interrupt to take care of something in the home.
Working in an office, you probably had to use your PTO for any time you'd physically be out of the office - like traveling for family obligations. Working remotely, you can work from anywhere, meaning the laptop can go with you on your trips. This means you can save your PTO for true self-care rest and relaxation time!
When you're working remotely, it's harder for your coworkers to have visibility of what you're working on. Though in the past you may have been able to just stop by someone's desk, working remotely requires you to be much more intentional about checking in.
Try setting up regular 1-1 meetings with your manager, and documenting regular project updates for the rest of your team to look at.
One of the biggest drawbacks to remote work is the lack of community - it's significantly lacking in water cooler chat.
Be sure to make an effort to find a sense of community in your remote workplace by joining hobby-related message groups or scheduling a call to chat during lunch with a coworker.
One of the many advantages to working from home is its mental health benefits. In fact, a survey by ZenBusiness found that over 60% of those working remotely claimed it improved their mental health.
Why? When you have more control over your schedule you can make it suit your needs - and free up time in your day for self-care activities, like journaling or exercise.
Routines can help you transition from work-mode to home-mode. In the morning, try taking a relaxing shower and getting ready like you would before going to the office to help get the day started.
After the workday ends, you can go for a walk, change the lighting, or play fun music to help mark the transition.
Working remotely, it can be difficult to take breaks - it's easy to feel obligated to be "on" all the time. But just because you can walk to your pantry and back to get your lunch doesn't mean you don't need a good hour to yourself to break up the day!
Using your breaks to run errands or tidy up the house can also save you effort later on in the evening when you're ready for rest.
Though working remotely has you at home kind of all the time, it's important to get a change of scenery every now and again. You can try working from a local coffee shop or coworking space, or even just going for a walk. Walking increases your heart rate to start your working day outside every day on your lunch break.
Working remotely, though initially popularized by restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, is become a standard practice for many companies. As it turns out, it offers many benefits to workers like increased productivity and flexibility.
Investing in your workspace, setting boundaries, taking breaks, and establishing community can help you make the most of the arrangement.
If you're looking to level up your mindfulness about your work habits, check out the Jour app - our personalized daily journal prompts can help you deal with burnout, stress, goal setting, and more!