Remote working and working from home (WFH) have become such popular and relatively newly available options for lots of types of jobs and roles. There are lots of positives to be gained, both by the employer and employee adopting these models, of even offering hybrid working. However, I wanted to take a look at the balance between the positives and the potential negatives. Not to diminish remote working’s benefits or positive impact on businesses and society as a whole, but to help understand areas that people may need to be mindful of.
We ran a poll asking people to state whether they suffered from any of the most common issues sometime associated with remote working. A resounding 42% reported that they had experienced no negatives and that life had only improved. Encouraging reading indeed. The remaining votes were as follows:
- I find it hard to switch off – 19%
- I fail to take regular breaks – 31%
- I’m less productive – 8%
Here are some ideas of how to combat these potential issues that some people report suffering from:
- Set yourself a routine and stick to it.
- If you have a separate work phone, switch it off once your working day is over and only turn it back on again at the start of the following work days.
- Create boundaries between your work and rest areas, ideally a separate room if you can.
- Create your To Do list at the end of the day for the following day. This should help you rest assured that nothing will be forgotten.
Taking Regular Breaks
- Set specific times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and dedicate these times only to yourself, not work.
- Set a timer or alarm at regular intervals and go and do something other than work for 5-10 minutes. Hang the washing out, go for a quick stroll, pet the dog. Whatever you need or want but nothing work related.
- Make sure the breaks you take have a set purpose and that you achieve it. This will help you feel recharged when settling back to work again.
- Largely a by-product of not switching off or taking regular breaks – all of the above tips for switching off and taking regular breaks should help with this.
- Create an attractive, inviting and comfortable workspace. You need to like the space you’re working in.
- To Do lists and calendars can be instrumental in helping keep you on top of what needs doing.
- Prioritise items between importance and urgency. Some tasks that are urgent, aren’t actually very important at all. Some can probably be foregone for less urgent but higher importance tasks.
Overall, the pros for remote working far out way the cons and this way of working looks set to become the new normal and continue to grow in popularity. Utilising some of the tips above should help you further achieve balance between work and home.