Recent events have made it necessary for millions of Americans to work from home, presenting new challenges to a workforce that is used to traditional office culture. Although this is a change for most of us, remote work has been gaining popularity over the last decade and for good reason. Employees report fewer distractions and have been proven to be more productive outside of the office. Not to mention the lack of commute and freedom to work in our pajamas.
Remote work does have its challenges, a report by the United Nations Labor Organization concludes that remote workers are susceptible to working longer hours at a more intense pace, which can lead to increased stress. These changes may seem overwhelming, but with the following tips we can all maintain a more “normal” work environment from home.
Prioritize Your Work
Working from home provides us with plenty of new distractions that make it easy to procrastinate. Instead of working on your tasks for the day, you distract yourself with household chores and television, when suddenly the workday is done.
Rather than allowing distractions to derail your day, make a schedule and stick to it. Set your work hours and prioritize your tasks by deadline or importance. Tackle those cumbersome assignments, that you are likely to put off, at the beginning of the day. You may find that completing the hardest task first will decrease stress and make it easier to stay productive throughout the day.
Just as scheduling our workday helps to keep us on task, we can also benefit from scheduling our breaks. Feeling overwhelmed at work contributes considerably to stress, which in turn inhibits our ability to be both productive and creative. Taking breaks allows us to reset and prepare for the remainder of our day, which in turn boosts creativity and improves job satisfaction.
Schedule yourself small ten-minute breaks during the workday and try to avoid eating lunch while you work. Take that time to step away from work completely and practice healthy habits. Some beneficial break-time activities include stretching, exercising, and stepping outside for some fresh air.
Create a Designated Home Workspace
When our living space becomes our workspace, it can become difficult to maintain work-life balance. Designate a room or small space in your home that is specifically for work and try to avoid working from the couch or bedroom. Working from a specified space not only helps to keep you more organized, it also helps to better separate work and free time.
Keep Up the Water Cooler Chats
Working from home and no longer having in-person contact with coworkers can impact company culture. Communication at work benefits us in a lot of ways, the relationships formed create a more productive team and the social connections give us an important sense of belonging that can improve our overall mental state. Utilize your company’s online communication platform to your advantage and maintain those important social connections. Continue your usual small talk before meetings and be sure to check in with your coworkers. When we do not see each other face to face it can be easy to miss the signs of burnout among colleagues and these chats can help to identify and reduce stress.
As we all adapt to the changes in our current environment, it is important to maintain normalcy where we can. Taking extra time to practice these healthy work habits can help better preserve your work-life balance. The challenges presented when transitioning to remote work can be overcome with a little extra care and we can be free to focus on the benefits.
Up-Rev is fortunate to have the ability to operate remotely and continues to work on new and existing projects. We are available for all of your product development needs and remain committed to our mission of turning incredible ideas into innovative products.