The benefits of remote work have been widely discussed, but if the events of the past year have taught us anything, it’s that working from home isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
In some ways, working in a traditional office environment is easier. The day’s work is done as soon as you leave the office, so there’s a clear line between work and home life. That line is a lot blurrier once you become accustomed to working from home to the point that work seeps into your personal life, or vice versa.
It’s a common misconception that working from home is always better for achieving a healthy work-life balance. In fact, the opposite often turns out to be true. Promoting a healthy working environment should start at the leadership level, where managers lead by example and make every effort to advocate a healthy work-life balance.
1. Establish a dedicated working space
It might sound like a dream come true for some people, but working at the kitchen table or from the living room couch is far from ideal in the long term. Eventually, it can start feeling like you’re always at work, while the distractions of everyday life prevent you from getting things done in an efficient manner.
Setting boundaries between work and personal life begins with establishing a dedicated work space. Ideally, this should be a separate room. If that’s not possible, then a nook that’s out of the way of the common areas in your home is the next best thing. Another option is to rent desk space at a local coworking spot.
2. Draw up a remote working schedule
The most common complaint among remote workers is that they often end up working at sporadic hours and, sometimes, for significantly longer periods than they would if they were in the office. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with working during evenings or weekends, it’s vital that you maintain a consistent schedule that respects your free time.
Work schedules will vary from person to person. For some, their schedule might involve allocating an hour in the morning for everyday rituals. Others may set breaks to walk around the block every couple of hours or to go out for lunch. It is important to assure yourself that you always have dedicated time for work and for personal life.
3. Use remote work productivity tools
Mastering remote work is all about adopting the right blend of technology and process. While technology is undoubtedly a critical enabler of remote work, it can also be its biggest enemy. For example, notification fatigue is a serious problem, which is why it’s probably not the best idea to let yourself fall into the habit of checking work emails and messages in bed.
Using the right productivity tools will help a lot, but you should also avoid using too many. For example, using a cloud-based calendar app lets you plan your time more effectively. Another must-have solution is online storage, which allows you to instantly share and synchronize files with your colleagues instead of having to waste time sending them by email.
4. Invest in suitable hardware
Business leaders should make every effort to provide their employees with suitable hardware and software. However, they should also be able to accommodate employees who prefer to use their own devices for work. It’s also a good idea to invest in hardware that saves time and provides a smooth user experience.
For most remote workers, the most important device is a laptop, so it makes sense to invest in a business-grade machine that offers decent performance and ample storage. Investing in a second monitor or a standalone keyboard can also increase productivity, save time, and promote better ergonomics. Together, these things encourage a better work-life balance, too.
Cutting Edge Network Technologies helps businesses in Florida unlock their full potential by migrating to the cloud and better accommodating distributed workforces. Get in touch today today to schedule your first consultation.