I’ve been a remote employee for years now. When I first made the switch to working from anywhere, I was fortunate enough to work for a fully remote company. Video calls, slack messages, and Google Docs were the lifeblood of our organization. As with everything, there is a learning curve but I was supported by an organization that knew the ins and outs of having a successful remote team.
In early 2020, I watched in sympathy (and a little bit of horror) as the working world was jettisoned from its traditional roots based in cubicles and fluorescently lit conference rooms to this new, seemingly futuristic way of operating. I helped my mom figure out how to join video conferences and listened to friends as they vented about their inability to log in to their work servers. I watched as everyone struggled to find a balance between work and life - now that both were happening within the same four walls of their houses.
Over a year later and here we are. The burnout is real and remote working isn’t going anywhere. So how can you make the remote lifestyle sustainable in a post-pandemic world?
Boundaries are Beautiful
If you were working in the office, would you feel bad leaving at the end of the day? No. So why do you feel bad signing off of work at the end of the day? Set your working hours and communicate those to your team. If someone reaches out after your hours, don’t respond until you log back on in the am. Turn off the notifications for slack and email on your phone. Don’t check them until you log back on in the morning. Ask yourself “Will someone die if I don’t answer this right now.” If the answer is yes, do it. If the answer is no, close that laptop and go get some fresh air.
Block It Out
It sounds a bit counter-intuitive but become obsessed with your calendar. When you have meetings sporadically throughout the day with small intervals in-between, you aren’t setting yourself up for success. Try and schedule all your meetings in one half of the day, so the other half you can work on getting things done. Alternatively, put a large block of time on your calendar for heads down working. Make this time sacred and set that expectation amongst your team.
Switch Up the Scenery
As the world gradually opens up, so does the original remote worker mecca - the local cafe. When you feel safe to do so, I highly recommend getting out of your usual space and hitting up a local cafe for a few hours. Something about the mixture of expertly made caffeine and the ambient noise of steamers, cups rattling, and local gossip makes for the ideal work environment.
Walk It Out
This is probably a big shocker coming from me but take your meetings on the go. Switch to audio-only meetings and take your next 1:1 as you stroll around your neighborhood. We recommend using Spot ;) You’ll come back to your home office feeling more focused, more creative, and ready to take on the world.