You’ve all seen the video by now of the viral “BBC Dad,” doing an on-camera Skype interview with BBC while his two young children burst in the room behind him. Remote working is certainly trending on social media, but it’s also trending in the workplace.
80% of the U.S. workforce views the opportunity to work remotely as a job perk, with many willing to take an 8% pay cut for the autonomy and freedom of the home office.
Some benefits of being a remote worker include reducing the stress of a commute and enjoying greater flexibility. However, isolation and the urge to “prove yourself” outside the traditional office environment are tough to fight.
Here are three tips to increase your work-from-home productivity without burning out.
Designate Office Hours
Let’s face it, it’s easy to keep tackling projects after hours to ease tomorrow’s workload, especially when you don’t have to physically “leave the office.” But keep in mind that 41% of employees cite their burnout results from personal pressures they put on themselves to perform. As a remote worker, it’s critical to give yourself a set schedule of working hours and a sense of workplace structure to avoid “just one more thing” burn out.
Insider Tip: Schedule a fitness class at 6:00PM to ensure you leave the house, refresh and recharge.
Remove Strict Work-Life Boundaries
While working from home doesn’t mean opening your laptop in bed, employees who keep their work life and personal life highly segmented actually experience higher levels of depletion and stress. Contrary to the notion that the two worlds can’t touch, finding a balance between your work and home life is vital to overall mental health and productivity. “Employees who allow the worlds to intermingle, by doing things like taking personal calls while at work, are able to more efficiently navigate between the roles which led to a quicker recovery time and more productivity,” notes Forbes.
Insider Tip: You need to call and reserve that table for Friday night. Make the call, then return to work knowing a delicious meal awaits at the end of the week.
Find a Coffee Shop Sanctuary
Without the immediate camaraderie of the traditional office, group lunches and cooler talk, remote workers often find themselves isolated, thus are more vulnerable to stress and depression. While venturing to a public place may seem counterintuitive to productivity, you’re not alone in seeking interaction. Co-working spaces have skyrocketed in popularity, offering a new take on the traditional office environment and reducing the sense of isolation for remote workers. Whether you’re jumping on the free Wi-Fi at your favorite coffee shop or have found the perfect, funky chair in that local co-working space, getting out of your home during the workday is essential to avoiding remote burnout.
Insider Tip: Need some human interaction? Find the local coffee shop with the best almond milk lattes and commit to going at least once a week.
Start thinking about those days you work past set office hours, determine whether the issue was prioritization or simply a refusal to stop working, then adjust for the next day. Take care of yourself, set boundaries, take a break and grab a coffee, and you’re well on your way to being a productive remote worker.
What are your work-from-home productivity tips?