The popularity of remote jobs seems to be unstoppable now as more and more businesses adapt to it and inject it into their work system. However, this unfamiliar territory still sparks hesitation and fear for most workers as the times have become more uncertain. The benefits are apparent, complete flexibility, absolute freedom and autonomy, and convenience in mobility. But as the downside takes time and effort, the line between self-awareness and concentration becomes thinner as remote work requires more than how an office setup would.
Here are mistakes you should avoid when working from home:
1. Refusing to take a break
Lunchtime, break time, and quick chats with officemates in the typical office-based workplace are common. Yet when working remotely, it’s easy to get drawn into your job and lose track of time, sometimes even forgetting that the day has already ended, and you might even have forgotten to look up and smell the flowers.
Schedule daily breaks to eat, stretch, or go for a stroll. A few minutes you spend away from your workstation would give you ample time to rest your mind. To make sure that this is followed, try setting it as a reminder on your phone or computer so that you get an automated notification. While in a rest mode, do your best to avoid getting into a job mindset as it will only defeat the whole purpose of relaxation and break time.
2. Sticking to your home attire
Working from home has made slipping into our sweatpants or pajamas sound more appealing. After all, most employers wouldn’t mind what we wear as long as we get our work done. It will save us more time if we skip the lines of planning what to wear while, in fact, you’re not really going anywhere.
However, even the most ambitious individuals do not wake up and immediately begin working while still in their home attire. Instead, they get dressed for the day the same way they are if they go to the office.
Although it may sound sweet to think about working in your most comfortable outfit, it’s not really going to put nor inspire you to be in your most productive ‘work mode.’ According to a Northwestern University report, workers, regardless of occupation, work best when they wear clothes with “symbolic significance.”
For instance, for men, wearing jeans or slacks paired up with a button-up collar shirt inspires you to do better at your job as it makes you value yourself and what you do best more.
On the other hand, women can go for an easy-to-wear and casual day dress paired with a blazer and luxury women’s earrings. Such outfits affect your behavior and give you a sense of power and confidence.
Additionally, looking presentable and well-groomed would save you the trouble of scrambling to get ready every time an unscheduled video conference arises. So consider planning simple work outfits that would help you distinguish between working from home and just being stuck at home.
3. Failing to set boundaries and procrastinating
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by personal issues as the boundaries we set can be easily crossed now that we seem to be available to everyone 24/7.
This is why you need a tight routine — a consistent timetable that you are stringent about — to avoid distraction. The best approach is to build a daily to-do list that can be easily altered should the need arise, depending on the situation. However, the objectives should be exact, measurable, and feasible.
Structure maintenance often involves the establishment of boundaries. Most of the time, being transparent about your work schedule with your partner, colleagues, and people you live with will help you set the limitations of what you can and won’t tolerate. Consider creating a “Do Not Disturb” time frame through which you can perform without being interrupted.
Of course, these should also apply to you. Being responsible about what you do with your time online lets you respect your own boundaries, too. If you get distracted easily by social media sites, for example, remind yourself that it’s not yet time and that you have your priorities for the day that need to be finished. Instead, why not let yourself surf the internet after accomplishing your tasks for the day? It will serve as a reward and a motivation to keep you going.
There is a multitude of advantages to our new normal. To achieve this aim, however, there are certain things we need to address and consider. Neglecting to maintain the patterns in place will send you careening down a path to self-destruction once you start working. Take time to experiment and decide which one works for you and which ones do not. Find your own process and stick to that which gives you both comfort and productivity.