Remote work is perfect for professionals of all ages who want to earn money while setting their own hours. Companies across the globe are hiring more and more remote workers in what is now known as the gig or flexible economy. Leaving your 9-5 and the long commutes behind brings a special brand of freedom that many people love.
However, working remotely isn’t all fun and games. It’s a job, just like any other job, and that means you need to keep yourself productive throughout the week. One unique challenge of working remotely is isolation.
Whether you’re running your own business or working for a traditional company, staying sane isn’t always easy. You don’t have the benefit of co-workers and direct supervisors to work with on a daily basis, and this might be a challenge if you’re not used to working alone all of the time. Here are some must-have tips for staying sane while working remotely.
1. Manage Your Time
One of the biggest changes when working from home is learning how to manage your time wisely. Deadlines and projects fall on your shoulders when you don’t have a team of supervisors making sure everything gets done on time.
You’ll need to check in with yourself daily to ensure you’re on track to complete your tasks on time. A tool that helps with this is humanity.com, a scheduling app that’s perfect for remote teams. Creating an effective system for staying on top of your daily to-dos and deadlines will help you feel less stressed during this transition and beyond.
2. Interact with Other Humans
Other humans are hard to find when you work from home. One of the perks of working in an office environment is always having a coworker to turn to whether you need to chat during your coffee break or you have an important question about a project. When you’re working remotely, you’re on your own.
Even if you thrive while working alone, odds are you’ll still long for a bit of interaction after a while. Plan for opportunities to get out in the world and meet friends, other professionals, or even just chat online with your coworkers or fellow remote workers.
Aside from this, consider working in a coworking space or a local coffee shop. The goal is to get out of your little at-home work bubble a few times a week, if possible. You’ll feel much less isolated even with small steps like this.
3. Stop Working After Hours
When you work remotely, you don’t have any clear office space. Even if you have an at-home office, that line between work and home life is blurry. How do you make sure you avoid doing work once your tasks for the day are done?
You need to set clear boundaries for yourself to avoid burning yourself out. Nobody wants to be up answering work emails into the evening hours, and you need time to recharge. Start by working in a designated space. It’s tempting to work from the couch, but this will not help to separate work life from home life in your mind. A home office or a work desk is key.
Beyond this, make sure you have a set time when you put work down for good. Maybe after 5 pm you stop receiving emails and walk away from your desk. Perhaps you never work on the weekend. Whatever you choose, make sure you stick to it for your own peace of mind.
4. Stay Organized and Clean
At work in a traditional office, you know the importance of staying clean and organized. At home, those lines are blurrier. When your desk is just another part of your house, what’s to keep it from becoming buried under papers and clutter?
Since you’re likely the only one coming in contact with your desk on a daily basis, it’s up to you to stay organized. Having clutter and a mess in your workspace will create anxiety and slow down your workday.
5. Remember Your Health
Finally, and most importantly, don’t ignore your health. Since your home and work life often blend together when you work remotely, it’s easy to ignore other things like your exercise and diet. If you want to be more productive, you need to take care of yourself.
Exercise is a great way to get out of the house regularly and keep your mind refreshed. You can go to the gym for a mid-day work break or even just take a walk around your neighborhood. Beyond this, stay healthy by making your lunch at home and avoiding the money pit of eating out regularly. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll save some time this way as well.
There’s a reason remote work is so popular nowadays. People want more from their time, and remote work gives you the freedom to choose how you want to spend your days. However, make sure you’re staying sane when you’re alone most of the time. These tips above will keep you performing at your best without letting your health suffer.
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