Remote work has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more companies offering flexible work options that allow employees to work from home or other remote locations. I work remotely myself and it has allowed me the opportunity to travel while only needing a laptop, internet connection and a passport! While working remotely has many benefits, such as increased flexibility and productivity, it comes with its own set of challenges, particularly when it comes to maintaining physical and mental wellness or social interaction.
Setting boundaries when working remotely
One of the biggest challenges of remote work is the lack of boundaries between work and personal life. When you work from home, it can be easy to blur the lines between work and not-work time, leading to long hours and burnout. While the office commute is hated by many people, one of its benefits was a clear distinction between work and home. As this article mentions, remote working has meant that people are “frequently asked to jump on a video call a few minutes before … normal clocking off time” and if they were in an office, they would “be walking out the door and unavailable”.
To combat this, it’s important to establish clear boundaries and set aside dedicated work time and personal time. This can help prevent work from spilling into your personal life and ensure that you are taking regular breaks and getting enough rest.
Some tips that I use include:
- Turning off notifications on my phone for teams/emails past a certain time of the day. Some apps even have specific settings for this.
- Holding firm to scheduled meeting times, so if a meeting is scheduled for 30 mins, it shouldn’t go on any longer than that – and to emphasise that at the start of the meeting.
- As a manager, I also try and adhere to these guidelines as well, so that we can all leave at a reasonable time of the day and have a good work-life balance.
Another challenge of remote work is the lack of social interaction. Working from home can be isolating, and it can be easy to feel disconnected from your coworkers and the outside world. To combat this, it’s important to make an effort to stay connected with your coworkers and participate in regular virtual meetings or social events. This can help you maintain a sense of community and prevent feelings of isolation. It’s why I created this app!
Self-care is important too
In addition to these challenges, remote work can also take a toll on your physical health. When you work from home, it can be easy to fall into sedentary habits and spend long periods of time sitting at your desk. To combat this, it’s important to incorporate regular physical activity into your daily routine. This can include going for walks, doing yoga or other exercises, or simply standing up and stretching regularly. Andrew Huberman speaks a lot about this and the importance of getting outside, exposed to daylight, with regular exercise. It absolutely makes a big difference.
Overall, maintaining wellness while working remotely requires a combination of establishing boundaries, staying connected with others, and incorporating physical/outdoor activity into your daily routine. By taking these steps, you can ensure that you are able to enjoy the benefits of remote work while also maintaining your physical and mental health.