Remote work has proven that it’s here to stay. More companies are shifting to hybrid work models, giving employees more flexibility. The shift in work culture has presented several benefits to employees and employers, including financial savings, less travel time, and a boost in productivity, to mention a few.
However, the transition from in-office to remote work presents new challenges and puts a fresh spin on familiar ones. If you’re considering transitioning to a fully remote position, here are a few tips to help you prepare.
Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
The importance of a healthy work-life balance is nothing new. Every professional struggles to find the perfect balance between work and personal life. However, working remotely brings a unique perspective to the situation. While most may think remote work would have lessened the burden, it has, in fact, created new problems, such as establishing a dedicated workspace and the further blurring of work-life boundaries.
While the opportunity to work from anywhere can sound appealing, at times, it’s not practical. Cafés and other public spaces can be overcrowded, loud, and subject to environmental disruptions like unexpected inclement weather. One of the best ways to avoid distractions is having a dedicated workspace like a home office when working remotely. Creating physical barriers between work and outside distractions helps promote focus and comfort, allowing for a healthier work environment.
Work-life boundaries can be hard to establish when working remotely, especially if working from home. Children, pets, and easy access to distractions like T.V. on your phone for scrolling are legitimate concerns when working from home. To help mitigate these distractions, set up private home offices with proper office furniture like desks and storage to help create a divide between work and personal. And remove all non-work-related electronics from your vicinity to diminish the accessibility to outside distractions like social media.
Establish Regular Wellness Routines
Alongside working from home, the popularity of healthy living has been gaining popularity these last few years. Continually gaining momentum, the healthy lifestyle movement has begun to bleed into all areas of life and culture. It’s influenced fashion, music, popular foods, and even the workplace. Workplace wellness has become highly valued, especially amongst millennials, who have been reported to make up most of the workforce.
Perhaps the most important wellness routine to establish for remote workers is movement. Daily exercise is critical to staying healthy and fit, contributing to productivity and performance. Schedule 15 minutes every few hours to stretch and take a walk. Or, if working with a team, try using video conferencing to schedule time for group yoga. These moments not only help with physical wellness but can also help reduce anxiety and stress.
Monitoring eye health is another important routine to establish when working digitally. Excessive screen time exposure and repetitive eye refocusing can cause discomfort, headaches, blurred vision, and more. To help avoid these discomforts, it’s important to schedule regular eye exams and practice healthy vision habits. For example, maintaining prescription contact lenses can be a great way to promote eye health as it helps lessen eye strain and irritation, allowing for more comfort and focus. Other ways to preserve eye health could include taking breaks offline throughout the workday to intentionally limit screen time and lowering screen brightness to be more comfortable on your eyes.
Develop Soft Skills
In addition to technical skills, soft skills are abilities that can easily be transferred between careers, positions, and responsibilities. Soft skills are the base of employee work ethic and are detrimental to developing a healthy and productive work environment. However, the transition to remote work can hinder soft skills like communication and teamwork if not correctly addressed.
Oftentimes, remote employees experience long-term isolation, which can impact their social skills, leading to workplace miscommunications and loss of productivity. It’s crucial that spaces are constructed to make employees comfortable and social. It’s been found that providing social connections help employees feel more knowledgeable, connected, and engaged at work. By setting up virtual channels specifically for socializing or “water cooler talk,” companies can help establish pipelines between remote employees from various departments that generally would not have the chance to interact.
Another easy way to develop employee soft skills is to establish regular team-building exercises. Allowing teams to meet and engage for as little as 30 minutes a week can significantly impact employee relationships and productivity company-wide. Simple exercises such as work-related trivia games can strengthen team bonds while developing other soft skills such as ingenuity and time management. These exercises are beneficial for employee development and a fun way to productively increase engagement.