According to Forbes, at least 50% of the working US population works remotely in some capacity. Whether you are a full-time remote worker or take advantage of weekly or even sporadic remote working days, you’re likely enjoying benefits like flexibility, skipping out on the commute, and being able to work in whatever clothes you want (see tips below!).
While remote working has decided perks—so many, in fact, that 99% of remote workers responding to this Buffer survey said that they would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers—it definitely brings challenges as well. Some of the biggest hurdles when working remotely can be maintaining work-life boundaries while physically working in your home, staying productive at home, and maintaining enough social interaction.
I began working remotely full-time two months ago, and I’ve developed a few hacks and rituals to combat these challenges. I hope you can incorporate the tips below into your own remote work lifestyle!
Set a pre-work ritual, and even better if it involves leaving your house
I’m one of those people who can’t go a day without my morning routine, and I’m much more productive for it! Creating some sort of ritual before the start of the workday can help you set work boundaries and send a signal to your brain that the workday is starting. My personal routine involves meditating, doing the morning pages, getting dressed, and walking to a coffee shop before coming home, opening my laptop, and beginning the workday.
I highly recommend going outside before starting your workday, even if it’s just for a short walk around the block! Sunlight resets our circadian rhythm and has a number of health benefits including serotonin production. It can be very easy when remote working to spend all day inside, so getting outside before starting your workday is a great way to make sure you get some sunlight no matter what.
Change into clothes that make you feel confident and productive
There’s a stereotype that remote working is done with your PJs on, but I can’t think of attire that would make me feel less productive. Since you’re not going into a physical office you may not need to wear that pencil skirt and blouse, but you can put on a cute outfit that makes you feel great! I personally try to avoid wearing sweats and t-shirts while working and instead opt for pants, skirts, blouses, and dresses that make me feel cute and confident. I encourage you to create your very own version of business casual!
Associate certain areas with productivity
I work out of my bedroom, which can make drawing work/life boundaries very challenging, as you can imagine! One non-negotiable for me is that my desk is only used for work—I don’t read, eat, or do personal projects on my desk. By following this rule, I’ve trained my brain to be in “work mode” at my desk, but not in other areas of my apartment.
You can also do this with a coffee shop or coworking space. The idea is to associate certain areas only with work, which will lead to greater focus and productivity when you work in those areas.
Change into different clothes when the workday is over
Having a post-work ritual is just as important as a pre-work one for boundary-setting and balance. One post-work ritual that I love is changing into different clothes. I’ll typically change into sweats or leggings at the end of the workday: this sends a signal that the workday is over and it’s time to wind down.
Make sure to schedule in social time
I probably don’t need to tell you that remote working can be lonely: 19% of remote workers said that loneliness was their biggest struggle with remote working. Humans are remarkably social animals, and even the most introverted among us need regular social interaction for a happy life. I try to fill up my evenings with social obligations and group fitness classes so I can still get that social time in. You could also try connecting with coworkers in your area or even friends who work remotely for a coworking date!
I hope these tips make your work life a little more balanced, productive, and fun 🙂
What tips do you have for working remotely?
Photo: Hipster Mum via Unsplash; Pixabay