How to revamp your remote work routine for autumn
Want to remote work this autumn in a smarter way?
As we head into the autumn, you might find that it’s the perfect time to revamp your remote work routine. Around this time of year, many of us swap summer vacations for meeting-heavy days and crunched deadlines as we strive to meet our year-long goals. When you add sending the kids back to school or kicking off a new college semester, it’s no surprise we might feel in need of a new, refreshing routine.
Go into this busy season with a fresh perspective on your remote work routine. What served you well in the spring and summer may not necessarily set you up for success in the autumn.
Depending on how lax your company and supervisors are, you might already have some kind of schedule and daily structure about remote work routine. However, if you don’t, it can be helpful to create one. Now, it doesn’t have to be set in stone and you can change it as you need to, but here are a couple of main pointers and benefits:
Have a clear end time for work every day. When working from home, it can be really easy to get sucked into working late. However, this will only add to feelings of burnout and stress. This is one easy way to set boundaries with work…more on that later!
Optimize your time by scheduling all your meetings in a way that works best for you. Meetings can throw us off track when we’re being productive, so if you have the power to choose the times of your meetings, use this to your power. Depending on the type of person you are, maybe you’d like to get them all out of the way in the morning so that you can work uninterrupted throughout the afternoon, or maybe you’d like to save your meetings for later in the day when you are craving social interaction. Figure out what works best for you and roll with it.
Still don’t have a proper remote work routine? This could be messing with your workday. You don’t need a whole separate room to have a nice home office set up. The following things can help:
Use ergonomic products. If you’re constantly sitting hunched over on your couch with your laptop on a pillow on your lap, well, this isn’t ergonomic at all. Invest in a nice back cushion for a chair if you don’t have an office-grade desk chair, or maybe even a laptop stand and separate keyboard. Look at your pain points and figure out what products can help you feel more comfortable working.
Separate your work from home space from your pleasure space. Whether you are living in a house or a studio apartment, see what you can do to compartmentalize your work area and separate it from the space that you wind down in. This could be as simple as closing your laptop and putting away your laptop stand to keep things out of sight and out of mind at the end of the day.
Beautify your space. Just as you’d decorate your cubicle in the office, why not spruce up your surroundings at home? Getting nice frames for a few pictures of loved ones or a little desk plant can make all the difference.
It’s crucial to set boundaries in all aspects of your life for your wellbeing. If you don’t set boundaries with work, you’re going to end up allowing your work to take over your personal life. Small steps like these can help you to stay relaxed when you’re not working:
Don’t check your email outside of work hours, especially on the weekend! Unless your job really requires you to answer every email super quickly, don’t give yourself the extra stress. Allow yourself to unplug when you’re not clocked in.
Speak up if your boss is giving you more work than you can handle. If you feel like your boss is taking advantage of you, or simply has unrealistic expectations of how much work you can complete in the day, speak up. Instead of suffering in silence, ask if you can get assistance from another coworker, or delegate the work if possible.
Distractions can be really rough when we are trying to set a remote work routine, but it’s possible to get those distractions under control:
Communicate with housemates/family members who are distracting. If somebody in your household is being loud and distracting while you’re trying to work, politely ask if they can keep it down, at least temporarily. They might genuinely have no idea that they’re bothering you. If this isn’t an option or doesn’t work for you, you can’t go wrong with noise-canceling headphones and peaceful music.
Keep your phone in another room. If texting and social media are big distractions for you throughout the day, try leaving your phone in another room while you need to be extra productive. You’re much less likely to get out of your seat and go into another room to check your phone than you are to open it when it’s just a few inches away from your laptop.