Are you a remote worker? Or thinking of doing less in the office and more from your home office? Then read on, since I'm going to reveal the secrets that all remote workers will relate to, but not share with you...
Remote Working Secret #1
You're fair game for visitors. You and I know that remote working means you're actually working from your home office. But friends and family? They think remote working is a sneaky skive, so they'll pop around unannounced whenever they want. Never mind that you're on a Zoom call with your boss or an important client... They'll drop in, chatter in the background and noisily make a cup of coffee while telling you loudly that they hope you'll be finished working remotely soon. And yes, they emphasize the phrase working remotely as if they think you're doing something totally different.
And it's not just unexpected family and friends...
You also find that you've unwittingly become the local Amazon hub because your neighbors know you're working remotely, and yes they use the same emphasis. Because you're home and they're not, all kinds of parcels and packages are dropped at your house and disrupt your workflow.
How do you deal with your visitors?
Enforce boundaries. Be firm with friends and relatives who want to drop in when you're working remotely. Remind them gently that working remotely is a thing, and they probably did it themselves in some capacity if they were in lockdown or quarantine. You are not skiving, sleeping in late, or avoiding renovating the house. You're working.
Tell your lovely neighbors that you can no longer take deliveries in for them. It might hurt, and they might be a little upset, but you won't lose hours of your day being the unofficial Amazon depot.
Remote Working Secret #2
Work-Life balance is harder when you're remote working. Lunch at your desk runs into dinner at your desk and before you know it you're as stiff as a board and it's 1 am. Or, you have a day filled with unscheduled interruptions and you have to work late into the night to complete the work that should've been completed between 9 and 5.
How do you ensure you're balanced?
Track your time. Make a note of how long it takes to complete a task, and note down why somethings took longer than expected. Were there interruptions? Did the Amazon dude drop off multiple parcels that day??
Schedule in time with your family, away from your desk. Seriously do this. Schedule in your exercise. If it's in the schedule, do it... And if it's not on the schedule, it will have to go on tomorrow's schedule.
Turn off emails, WhatsApp and Slack. Check in at designated times rather than let these tools dominate your life.
Remote Working Secret #3
Your health/ fitness will take a downward spiral - if you let it. You'll never want to leave the comfort of your chair, and your health will pay for it. You'll feel stiff, you'll feel crampy, and you'll feel too tired for exercise.
How do you ensure you stay healthy?
Schedule it in, or work in fitter ways. I'm typing this from my standing desk. Sarah (part of team Sparks) works from a cycle-desk. We meld fitness into our remote working environments. Other Content Sparks team members make sure they go out for a walk every single day for at least 20 minutes. You don't need fancy desks to stay fit, you do need to recognize that you'll need to add in more outside fitness activities as you're no longer walking around the office.
Remote working can be tough when you're not used to it. But with some careful planning, you'll find you can work as productively outside of the office as you can inside it!
P.S. What about when you also need to work with people who are in the office and not remote? And what if you need to manage a mix of remote and in-office team members?
That's what we refer to as Hybrid Working. Ready to learn more? Grab our free report here:
Want to teach how to manage remote workers? Grab our 'ready-to-teach' White Label course here:
Managing Remote Teams
Teach Yourself. Then teach your audience.