The benefits of remote work are clear. No community, a significantly relaxed dress code, homemade lunches that aren’t soggy, and you can do a load of washing on your lunch break.
But there are definite downsides to working from home.
Often, your workday doesn’t end. It spills on over into your personal life. It sometimes occupies your life 24/7 if you don’t have proper boundaries in place.
Emerging research indicates that remote workers often work longer hours than their office-based colleagues. This may have you onside with your boss, but it is terrible news for you if you don’t know how to unplug.
Try these tips to make sure you unplug from work and have a personal life, so you don’t suffer from burn out.
Declare an End to Your Workday
Centralised office workers do stay back at work occasionally. Still, often, they leave the office at a reasonable time. They must get home – dinner, drinks, date……catch the last bus!
Just because you don’t have to commute, it doesn’t mean you should operate without a mental stopping point.
Set an end to the day and make it firm. If you must, organise another commitment to take you away from your work at the end of the day. Otherwise, you’ll keep adding on things to do and be sitting at the computer still at 9pm.
Make an Agreement with Your Manager
It is so easy to fall into the habit of sending emails and messages after your established working hours. Some countries have even put limits on after-work emails.
Make an agreement with your manager to draw boundaries on your working hours and stick to them. Discuss with them the possibility of establishing clear guidelines and expectations that will help everyone in your team be happier and more productive; not feel that they must be on call 24/7 to prove their worth.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
This can work just as well if people have access to your calendar or not. I have a shared work calendar where people who need to book in appointments can clearly see blocked out time that I’m not available. They don’t know what and who it is for, but they know they can’t take that time.
Schedule in dinner every night. Your favourite television shows. The weekly catch up with friends. Make it a part of your work calendar so you know that you and others can’t make calls, organise appointments or schedule meetings during those times.
Out of Sight Out of Mind
When your day is over, put everything away. If you are lucky enough, turn off the light and shut the door. If you must utilise a shared space, pack everything up and put it out of sight.
Put your smartphone down and turn off the notifications for your work emails. Most email platforms allow multiple accounts to be segregated away from your personal email. It is a lifesaver.
You deserve a well-earned break. Try to get out of the house and into the fresh air. This will reset your brain and start your rest and rejuvenation for the night. So, you can wake up happy and raring to go in the morning. Let us know how you unplug from your workday as a remote worker.