For many people, work-from-home was just a dream. In 2020 it became a reality for many of us. After a year, however, many of us are hitting a wall. Virtual work has some unique challenges. To ensure a positive work-from-home experience, you need to take steps to set yourself up for success. You also need to make sure work-life balance doesn’t get out of whack.
Benefits of Virtual Work
In 2019 Airtasker surveyed a small sample of full-time work from home employees. Most loved eliminating a daily commute for the fuel and time savings. Remote workers were also able to increase their weekly exercise time to nearly three hours per week compared to their in-office counterparts, who average about One hour and 45 minutes. Other health benefits include eating out less, drinking more water, and not being exposed to coworker illnesses. Perhaps the most significant benefit is productivity. Most remote workers find it easier to concentrate on tasks without office distractions.
The necessity of creating a designated ‘work’ space
With all that said, it’s also true that remote employees tend to work 1.4 extra days per month than their in-office coworkers. How can you avoid being on the job 24/7? Here are three essential steps you can take.
- Create a comfortable workspace. If possible, make sure you have a designated area for work. Set up the same way you would in an office with your computer at the right height, your chargers close by, and anything else you need easily accessible.
- Eliminate Distractions – Turn off devices that aren’t necessary for your job. Fight the urge to check your Twitter feed. Consider using a task-tracking app like Flora to help you focus in a fun, gamified way.
- Get a comfortable seat – After a year in a wobbly kitchen chair, maybe it’s time to invest in something better for your back and better for your well-being.
Productivity & Self-Care Tips
- TAKE BREAKS. Remember coffee breaks and casual discussions around the copier? Take breaks! Get up, walk around, stretch, and, if possible, get outside.
- Follow a schedule or create a daily to-do list – Don’t let the flexibility of work from home compromise your productivity or self-care. Don’t do laundry while you’re working, and don’t ‘work’ after hours while you’re doing laundry!
- Exercise – Repurpose your commute time! Do a quick yoga practice or shoot a few hoops in the driveway. Get your body moving, and you’re your blood flowing.
- Use your PTO – if you need a day off, TAKE IT. Reset your mind, mood, etc. by taking time away from work just as you would if you were in the office