The 2020s have ushered in the era of remote work, and it’s clear that the trend is here to stay. While some employers are working to bring their team back into the office full-time, others are advocating for hybrid or fully remote solutions, focusing on the importance of avoiding employee burnout. Studies have shown that remote workers are less stressed, take fewer sick days, are more motivated, and have a better work-life balance. No matter what side of the debate you’re on, we can all agree that preventing burnout is one of our top goals. Working from home has its own set of challenges, but with the right strategy, you can feel engaged and connected to your team while achieving great results. Keep reading to learn more.
When in doubt, over-communicate
It can be hard to feel connected to your team when you’re a remote employee and be in tune with what everyone is working on. Be proactive and schedule regular check-ins with your team a few times a week to catch up and be on the same page with the status of everyone’s projects. Aside from team meetings, schedule regular 1:1s with your manager to create a space where you can share your progress and any goals you’ve accomplished so they can keep your work top of mind.
Tools of the trade
Let’s face it, setting up shop on your kitchen counter with just your laptop is not going to cut it. If you’re going to be working from home the majority of the time, there are certain tools you have to have at your disposal. For starters, make sure you have reliable Wi-Fi and a room away from all distractions in your home, including roommates or family members. Set up your office space with a comfortable chair and desk to start, and consider adding other gadgets that can make your life easier, like a wireless keyboard and mouse, a second screen, or even noise-cancelling headphones.
Pro tip: Check with your organization to see if there’s a budget for home office equipment.
Managing your time
One of the best perks of working from home is the flexibility it offers you, but it’s important to maintain regular hours to keep yourself organized. Set up a morning routine giving you time to get your day started before logging in. You grab a coffee, make yourself breakfast, and make a list of your daily tasks and goals to help you stay on track. It’s also helpful to schedule dedicated blocks of time during the day for accomplishing your tasks without any distractions. Most importantly, make sure you’re sticking to your schedule and completing all your work for the day before the time you’re meant to log off so your work doesn’t bleed into after-hours, which leads us to our next point.
Schedule time for self-care
When you’re home, it can be easy to stay glued to your computer with the excuse of “just finishing up one more thing.” Of course, big projects and short deadlines will always come up, but try to set a time to officially log off for the night. Making yourself available 24/7 can quickly lead to burnout, making you less efficient and productive. Working from home can also lead to you fully embracing the hermit life, so make it one of your daily goals to get outside at least once. Find screen-less hobbies to give your eyes a break and grab a book, or go for a nice end-of-the-workday walk.
If you’re a social person, working from home can lead to feelings of isolation, but just because you’re virtual doesn’t mean you can’t create a fun company culture! Schedule virtual lunch or happy hour with your coworkers and make it a point to avoid talking about work. Or encourage your company to host virtual events, like a workout class or cooking class, to get everyone involved. For ways to stay connected on a day-to-day basis, use your company’s messaging app (whether it’s Teams, Slack, etc.) to create “just for fun” channels where you can share pet photos, tv or movie recommendations, or even a book club. Don’t be afraid to be proactive and get the ball rolling on these initiatives if your company doesn’t already have one!
Adapting to remote work can be challenging, but with the right strategy and the right tools, you can pave your way to success. Ready to make this your most productive year yet? Check out our webinar on setting SMART goals to learn how to plan and reach your goals.