How to make remote working benefit your mind and soul

Find working from home a challenge at times? Here’s how to make remote working benefit your mind and soul.

Everyone has felt the challenges of working at home, from staying healthy to keeping your mind active. But many people who are now experiencing major temptations to go back to the office may have greatly underestimated what remote working can do in the long run.

While we all know that working from home is not the best environment for everyone, and comes with its own unique challenges, it’s crucial to remember that we can make remote working benefit us in so many different ways. But what are the biggest challenges that we all need to overcome in order for remote working to benefit our mind and soul? 

Separating your work life from your home life

You might think this is impossible, but this is down to the fact that you are working where you live. This means that you’ve got to create a space that is different from the rest of your home. This will serve you well because it allows you the separation between your work life and your home life.

The best way to do this is to use a spare room and turn it into an office. But to go one step further, you’ve got to make it stylistically and aesthetically different to the rest of the home. This means that you view this as a space that is different to your home, and therefore put you into a different frame of mind. 

If your home is all hardwood floors and linoleum, make your office as close to your office environment as possible! Install grey carpet and a desk, but also realise that this is a perfect opportunity for you to turn it into a working environment that makes you productive. If you hate your office and everything that goes with it, this is the ideal way to make your environment a bit more comfortable, but not too comfortable. 

Making the environment a productive one

If you are working at home, and you feel you have no motivation, you are not alone. But the reality is that you are going about it the wrong way. You need to make the environment conducive to your idea of productivity. In which case, what are the obstacles stopping you from being productive? Are there things that you have no control over? Like your children?

But the reality is that if you are to be productive, there are ways for you to mitigate these issues. While you may struggle to keep a toddler occupied when they want to climb all over you, with older children, it is crucial to be firm. There is no way to avoid every single interaction at home, but it is important to be clear about the kinds of interactions that are okay and which ones can wait. 

The best thing you can do is to set up a signal to let everybody know in your home when you are trying to focus. For example, you can put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door. Or you could just put on headphones. If you have headphones, you can use this to your advantage because there are a multitude of tools out there to help you focus. One of the best programs to help you work is My Noise, which comes with a variety of pre-recorded tones and sounds so they can help you absorb yourself in your work.

Avoid overworking

Another reason why you need to set up a different space is to avoid overworking. You may think that because you are working at home, people have the right to message you at all hours. But if you start overworking, you’ve got to keep yourself in check.

If you’re working for someone, and you are worried that the manager is going to pull you up because you weren’t online at a certain time, this says more about the manager than it is about you. The reality is that remote workers are more likely to overwork. It’s far harder to switch off when you are working and living under one roof. This is why you need to create a very strict line between your work and home. But you can do a few things to make life easier. 

  1. Put appointments on your calendar for the end of the day. If you need to get out of the home office, you need to set an appointment that will actually get you out of your home or out of your house, such as grocery shopping. But it doesn’t have to be about getting out of the house, it could be an appointment to start making food. 
  2. Set reminders to take breaks. You might think that this is a pointless exercise, but you can use your computer to announce the time every hour, and this gives you the opportunity to get up and away from your desk. You can also incorporate productivity techniques such as the Pomodoro method, which allows the luxury of a break while still remaining productive.
  3. Be clear with your team when you are leaving for the day. It’s so easy to feel the temptation to remain online in case something happens. But when you make a definite statement that you are leaving for the day, this is not just a clear message to them, but to you that you need to stay away. 

And also, turn off your notifications on your computer and your phone so it doesn’t pull you back into work!

Remote working can benefit your mind and soul

It’s not easy especially if you feel that you are out of the loop. But remote working can benefit your mind and soul, as long as you go into it with the right attitude. Because working at home can give us a lot of anxiety, especially if we feel we need to work more in order to show our boss that we are being productive, this can have an adverse effect.

Instead, it’s about drawing that fine line between work and home, so you can work at your best while also making sure you have the downtime you deserve.

Photo by Charles Deluvio