There has been a lot written about working from home. The pandemic forced this on so many of us. And what started as a reluctant trickle became a flood of remote workers with little time to prepare. It was adapt or flounder.
As the grounds for staying away from the office fade, a lot of businesses have begun bringing their workforce back to the office. Even as this is occurring, we’re seeing an increasing number of stories in the news about businesses losing key individuals that discovered the benefits of working remotely and decided they wanted to keep it that way.
For the most part, workers and independent studies have demonstrated that it is completely possible to effectively work at home. It’s possible to focus. And, it is possible to bring flexibility to your life without your team or business getting the short end of the stick.
Let’s assume you have or are considering greenlighting ongoing work from home. You want to set yourself up for the long term – no more temporary solutions. After all, you may be working remotely for the rest of your life. Have you considered it that way? If that’s going to be true – you have to make this situation sustainable.
Create a home you like to work in
I hope that after more than two years of remote working you have taken measures toward making a suitable environment. But, perhaps you convinced yourself it was temporary and you so didn’t commit. Here’s how can you make your home a great work atmosphere?
Invest in the right equipment
This may include adjustable lighting, a good chair, a keyboard, a mouse or trackpad, and an external monitor so you can take a break from laptop posture. Sustainable remote work shouldn’t feel like you’re always camping over in an airport.
Set boundaries, focus, and take breaks
Learn about the Pomodoro Technique. Have a visible timer that others in your home can see. They will realize that the countdown means you are focused and a break is coming soon and there will be a time that you will all get caught up. I’m going to emphasize adopting this technique again. It forces you to focus and it forces you to take breaks. It’s hard at first, but I’ve learned some hacks to resist distractions. Keep a notepad and a pen near and if your mind wanders, jot a keyword down and trust it will come back to you at your break and you can focus an entire Pomodoro just on that.
Shake it up from time to time
Begin the day at Starbucks, buy a small coffee, and camp there for a couple of focused hours. People don’t do this because they are lacking a proper workspace. Working in a public place, with the noise and the movement can actually help you stay focused. And it can also feel social.
Maintain work-life balance
When you work from home, the lines blur. Balance was a problem when we were at the office. You would go in early and stay late. Now that you’re home, it has the potential to be harder. There’s email over the weekends and at the table with your partner staring at you. It’s easy to over-weave work and home. Remember this is about sustainability. Find or maintain hobbies and interests. Use these as a way to get away from work and meet people. And don’t lose touch with your coworkers. If you aren’t doing it already, enjoy a virtual or in-person happy hour a couple of Fridays a month.
The ideas and best practices are varied. Just remember to invest in the sustainability aspect of remote work. Set your organization up with the best Remote Workforce Solutions. If you don’t, you [will] get burned out and will start imagining a better situation somewhere else. Stick with it, make those needed tweaks and settle into the new work/lifestyle.