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Friday, June 29, 2018
8:08 PM

How to Avoid Growing Restless When Working Remotely   

Remote work is growing increasingly popular in the digital age. Who wouldn’t love not having to commute to work every morning or being able to make their own hours? Working remotely is not always what it’s cracked up to be, though. Many people think they are removing distractions during their workday, but the distractions of home can be even more enticing than those at an office. Others do not do well without structure, so they find themselves meandering and not being productive.

Is there a method to not growing restless when working remotely? The process can exact a psychological toll, so how can employees learn to manage the monotony of home? That is the secret: you can shape your office however you please, and no one said it has to be where you live.

Change up your workspace

Even if you have a spot in your home designated for work, a change of scenery never hurts. US news advises:

“When working remotely, you most likely have the freedom to work wherever, as long as you have your computer and a strong internet connection. To keep your days from being monotonous, especially if your remote office is your home, go elsewhere every once and awhile. For example, spend a morning at your favorite coffee shop or take your computer and sit out on your porch when the weather is nice. Varying your location, when possible, boosts your creativity and keeps you active.”

You can have as many “offices” as you want. Public libraries, co-working spaces (where lots of remote workers gather), and internet cafes are all viable options. You’ll find yourself being more productive when you can get excited about a new setting.

Here’s a tip, though: wherever your workspace is, keep it tidy. Be consistent with the tools you take with you, such as calendars, notepads, memos, and planners. Disorganization is something that ensnares remote and office-based workers alike. If possible—this may sound odd—make sure a plant is nearby. Looking at a bit of green throughout the day reduces stress, makes your space more attractive, keeps you healthy, and cleans your air (oxygen is moderately useful, isn’t it?).

Interact with others

Many distributed workforces communicate with one another electronically, but people who do not do so with other people face-to-face for long periods often find themselves starving for interaction (which may be why people find themselves looking to random YouTube videos just to hear another person’s voice).

Remote work can be lonely, but you also do not want unexpected drop-ins from friends that distract you. Instead, schedule times where you will converse with someone, whether it is via phone or in-person. Call your grandmother, strike up a discussion with your barista, or take your dog to the park and mingle with other dog parents. On a related note, get outside, too—everyone can benefit from a daily walk, but remote workers with flexible schedules have an advantage for scheduling this luxury (or necessity, for some).

Start a side hustle

If you are not an entrepreneur already running your own business, being someone else’s employee does not mean that you cannot have something creatively your own to balance your work life. If you have a passion or hobby, find a way to monetize it with whatever time you have. Come up with a name, make a logo, and get paid to do what you love.

Travel

Here is something many remote workers are discovering and taking advantage of: if all you need is your laptop and an internet connection, why not work from literally anywhere? The practice of traveling while working virtually is known as “digital nomadism.” It takes a significant amount of research and planning, but if you are excited about working from a coffee shop in Paris or a coworking space in Tokyo, all the effort is worthwhile.

You do not have to do it yourself, either. Companies like Remote Year handle all logistics for digital nomads for a monthly fee (such as accommodations, internet, and more). Participants travel in groups of 75 individuals maximum and travel the world together—all while maintaining a regular income from their home country-based jobs. You certainly won’t be bored when you eliminate the sameness of home.

Set a schedule

Flexibility has its perks, but sometimes people do not utilize it well. They think that because they have so much time to finish their work, then they have time for just one more episode on Netflix or one more funny video. When the end of the day comes, they still have a lot of work to do and feel anxious about it.

Set a schedule that determines when the end of your workday is. When you give yourself a deadline, you have more motivation to avoid distractions. Netflix is fun, but it can wait until evening—and you won’t be stressed when it is time to relax.

Remote work is an appealing option, but it leaves room for restlessness if people do not hold themselves accountable. How do you plan to stay productive when working from home or on the road?

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