Working from home has become the new normal for many of us. Whether you’re a veteran digital nomad or a newly transitioned remote worker, it can be a weird business. Joining the modern work dynamic that enables you to work from anywhere only really requires a laptop and patience. The freedom and flexibility it offers can be exciting, giving you the opportunity to discover your productivity rhythm.
Yet one thing people often come to learn on the job is that working remotely requires adjustment like any other line of work. Once the initial novelty and freedom of dictating your own hours and workspace wears off you’re liable to find yourself in a bit of limbo.
With much of our life revolving around our digital devices, work and leisure blend into one, and with that you can become your own judge, jury and executioner.
So here are a few tips for those that might be facing the same predicament…
1. Practise Tech Hygiene.
When so much of our lives, from relationships to hanging out and working, is concentrated on our smartphones and laptops, it’s important to give yourself space, especially before going to bed and after waking up, away from devices. Set a time each night to put away your phone and laptop, ideally in a different room from where you sleep.
In the morning, have a shower, go for a run, meditate or have a cup of tea - whatever helps you get into your body. Give yourself some space before jumping head first into your work mind.
2. Find somewhere comfortable.
That could mean working from your bed, but not only is this horrible for your posture, it is important to have boundaries separating the place you rest from the place you work. If you have a living room, a dining room or a studio that can be a great space. Or if you love working at your desk in your bedroom, make sure you use it.
It is also great to switch up your environment, you can jump from one location to another in the course of a day. Make sure that wherever you work, it is somewhere you can concentrate and feel comfortable.
3. Be disciplined and get used to the lack of external input.
This is a great opportunity to impose a bit of self-discipline without it being enforced by an infuriating or passive-aggressive superior. But don’t take the piss. Get out of bed at roughly the same time as everyone else and consider your job a roamer’s 9-5, or 11-7, whatever your productive hours are.
4. Allow yourself a creative lull.
People have them all the time but when you’re working on your own it can feel necessary to produce something tangible every day simply for peace of mind. This is unrealistic and some days are just floaters, everybody has them. The important thing is to make the time to sit down and give yourself that space.
5. Seek diverse and multiple sources of inspiration.
Remote working can be rich, yet it’s still easy to drift into a grass-is-greener envy of workplace routine. You have to remember that office dwellers would usually envy the shit out of you and that working remotely leaves you open to a whole array of exciting things, it’s just about finding the balance.
In these uncertain times we will be navigating highs and lows, so remember that it’s the little things that count.