How to Set Boundaries When Working Remotely

Many people recently ventured into the unknown world of working remotely, and for most of those
people, the change came quickly and without much notice. If you found yourself unprepared to work
remotely and haven’t been able to get into a routine and be productive, I’m here to help.

Set Boundaries

When working in an office, you have the comradery of coworkers all working toward the same goal. In some cases, you may have an office where you can close the door when you need quiet time. The commute to and from the office allows you to set your mind for work or to unwind from work before you go home. All of these things allow you to focus on the job you need to do.

But when you work remotely, these things change. You no longer have coworkers popping in and out of your office sharing ideas, in many cases you don’t have an office where you can close the door, and you lose your commute time that signals your brain when it’s time to work and when work is done. Working remotely requires you to set a few boundaries, both for others and for yourself, in order to be productive and successful.

Set Boundaries When Working Remotely

Create a “Work Only” Space

This can be a spare bedroom, a corner of your basement, the garage, or any other area where you can set up a dedicated workspace. Having this space will help signal your brain that it’s time to work when you enter it, and time to quit when you leave. It will also help your family to know when it’s work time and to leave you alone.

Maintain a Schedule

If you normally work 9-5 in your office, maintain those same work hours at home. The more you can maintain a regular schedule, the easier it will be for you to be productive during that time. Hold back the temptation to check email at 7 am just because you can or to pop back in your office for a few minutes after dinner. An unstructured schedule will make it harder to be productive.

Fill Your Commute Time with Something Else

If you normally left for work at 8 for a 1-hour commute, don’t start using that time for work. Maintain your regular working hours and fill your commute time with something else. Have breakfast with your family, go for a walk, read a good book, listen to a podcast. Use this time to prepare your brain for the day ahead.

Take Breaks

Just as you would take a coffee break or lunch break in the office, do the same at home. It’s important to move around, stretch your legs, and walk away from your computer for a few minutes. If you’re used to taking a coffee break with a coworker, schedule a break by phone with them.

Working remotely certainly has its benefits, but if you’re unable to set boundaries, your day will be completely off track and you won’t be able to be productive.  According to Inhersight.com, you might even need to find someone to check in with to hold you accountable to your boundaries.  Boundaries are necessary to help you stay focused and be successful when working remotely.

Other Posts You  May Find Helpful

3 Quick Tips for Work-Life Balance at Home

9 Tips For Success When Working Remotely

Tips For Working From Home With Kids Around

Do You Need Help With Your Job Search?

If you need help updating your resume or practicing for an interview during these hard times, consider reaching out to me, Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2020-07-08T22:04:25-05:00July 8th, 2020|Remote Work|Comments Off on How to Set Boundaries When Working Remotely

Tips For Working From Home With Kids Around

Are you working from home with kids around?  Working from home is a dream for many parents, but the reality can be much different, especially when it is thrust upon you with little notice. Working from home with kids around requires a little planning, patience, and flexibility. Your schedule may change at a moment’s notice and there will be days when you can’t be as productive as you’d like.

Work from home with kids

Working From Home With Kids

To set yourself up for success, there are a few things you can do to ensure a productive work environment.

  1. Be Willing to be Flexible

You may not be able to work a standard 9-5 schedule if you’re at home with kids around. Be flexible and adjust your schedule (If your job permits this). Get up earlier and work a few hours in the morning, then put in a few more hours between lunch and dinner, and work an extra hour or two in the evening. Being flexible allows you to spend time with your kids throughout the day as well as work.

  1. Communicate Your Needs

If your spouse is also at home, communicate what you need from each other as far as quiet time and distractions. Figure out how you can work together to give you the quality quiet time you need. Then discuss this with your kids so they know the rules about when it’s okay to interrupt and when it’s not.  Even small children can learn to be respectful of work time.

  1. Hire Help

If your spouse isn’t home to help care for your kids, hire help when it is possible. Bringing someone in, even for just a few hours a day, to keep your kids distracted and cared for while you work can help you increase your productivity.

  1. Have a Dedicated Space

With a dedicated home office where you can close the door, you can help your kids set boundaries. They’ll know that when mommy or daddy is in the office with the door closed, it’s work time and they shouldn’t disturb you. It can also help to signal them to keep the noise level down.   If you have a make-shift office, find something visual that will signal to your children that you should not be disturbed.  It can be a certain piece of clothing or jacket you put on, certain music you play or a stuffed animal you sit in the chair beside you.  Whatever you decide as a signal can work.

According to MoneyChat, “Having a dedicated workspace can also help reduce distractions, like social media.”   The more focused you are the more work you will accomplish.

  1. Create a Boredom Box

Put together a box with craft supplies, books, parent-approved movies, and toys that they can use on their own if they’re bored. You can also create a list of parent-approved activities to hang on the fridge and include things they can do on their own if they’re bored. Making sure your kids have plenty to keep them busy will allow you to be less distracted.  You can also include age-appropriate chores or homework.   When you work, they do their work.

  1. Create a Healthy Snack Box

As parents, we’ve all heard the cries of “I’m hungry! There’s nothing to eat!” To your kids, this is an emergency worth interrupting you for. Steer clear of this distraction by creating snack stations in the pantry and fridge with plenty of things they can eat on their own. Crackers, pretzels, yogurt, fruit, cheese, juice boxes, and other healthy snacks will give your kids more independence while giving you peace and quiet.

  1. Practice

Practice with your kids before you start working from home or when you set up new rules to help them learn and understand when it’s okay to interrupt you and when it’s not. Give them a signal that tells them to stop or be quiet if they’re interrupting at a bad time. For instance, putting your hand up to tell them to stop or your finger over your lips to tell them to be quiet.

Working from home with kids around can create a lot of challenges to your productivity, but if you work with your kids and you’re willing to be flexible, you should be able to be successful.  Who knows, you may decide you enjoy working from home and opt to make it a permanent work environment.

Other Posts You  May Find Helpful

3 Quick Tips for Work-Life Balance at Home

9 Tips For Success When Working Remotely

5 Easy Ways to Balance Your Work and Family Life

Do You Need Help With Your Job Search?

If you need help updating your resume or practicing for an interview during these hard times, consider reaching out to me, Rachel at Career Find to assist you.

By |2020-06-10T22:00:39-05:00June 10th, 2020|Remote Work, Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on Tips For Working From Home With Kids Around

Proper Ergonomics Can Help With Remote Work

With many of us adjusting to working remotely, setting up home offices, using the dining room table or some other makeshift desk, plus the stress of isolation, and fear of COVID-19, we are feeling pressure from many directions.   This crazy time can take a toll on your body. To prevent aches and pains, try your best to practice proper ergonomics while working from home.

Proper Ergonomics

Ergonomic Tips for Remote Work

Check Your Monitor

When you sit at your desk, make sure the center of your computer screen is slightly above eye level.  If you are constantly looking up or down, it can create neck and back problems.

Be Aware of Your Arms

Make sure your arms are parallel to the floor with your wrists supported and minimally bent.  Putting extra stress on your wrists will increase the chances of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Customize Your Chair

Desk and computer heightUse a desk chair with adjustable lumbar back support and customize it to your body.  You can also purchase separate back supports if you feel you need them.  I found this diagram of how high your desk and monitor should be on Pinterest.

Bend Your Knees

Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle.  If you are vertically challenged, you may need a small footrest so your feet are not dangling.

Keep Your Feet on the Floor

Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest.  Do not cross your legs or your ankles.

Use a Headset

Instead of holding the phone with your shoulder, use a headset.

Get Up and Stretch

Take time to stretch your body and change your position during the day. It also gives your eyes a break from the computer screen.  It is recommended you move at least once every hour.  Stand up, stretch, take a walk, just move.

We rely heavily on our body and mind to help us reach our maximum potential in all aspects of life.  Take the time to take care of your body.  Proper ergonomics can help with remote work so your body can carry you wherever you’d like to take your career, whether that be back to your office when this is all over, or being a permanent remote worker.

 

By |2020-04-14T22:42:42-05:00April 14th, 2020|Career Success, Remote Work|Comments Off on Proper Ergonomics Can Help With Remote Work

9 Tips For Success When Working Remotely

With recent developments, many of you are being asked to work from home.  For some, it is a dream come true, but for many, it is a time of uncertainty and you might be unsure of how to be successful when working remotely.  I’d like to share a few tips to help you be successful in working from home.

Working Remotely

Tips for Working Remotely

  • Create an Office

Designate an area in your house that is going to be your temporary work office space. Working from the kitchen table in the middle of where everyone will be in and out is not a good idea.  Try to select something that is not in the middle of the life of your house.  If you need to get creative, perhaps you can carve out a piece of a quiet room, or use a big closet space.  Some people use a spare bedroom or the corner of their bedroom.  Even if it is a temporary thing,  it will help you be successful while you do have to work from home.

  • Set Office Hours

Setting traditional office hours for yourself that are boundaries and keep you in work-mode even though you’re in the home.  If you don’t do this, you might find yourself not starting work till noon or not ending work at a reasonable time.   When you work from home it is easy to blur the lines between work and home life.  According to the Owl Labs 2019 State Of Remote Work report, US-based remote employees tend to work more than the standard 40 hours per week—that’s 43% more than on-site workers.  Setting regular hours and sticking to them will help to avoid working all the time.

  • Think About Ergonomics

Light, seating arrangements, the height of your desk and chair matter.  If you don’t take these things into consideration you will soon find yourself aching and they will take a toll on your body.  Your eyes should be in the middle of your computer screen when looking straight ahead.  Not looking down at a screen on the table.

  • Dress for Work

Working in PJ’s might sound enticing, but it really doesn’t lend itself to productivity.  It is important to get up in the morning and get dressed even though you are not going to the office.  There is something about the routine and being dressed that flips a mindset switch into work mode.  You don’t have to wear heels, etc. but dress so that if your boss would walk in you wouldn’t be embarrassed. After all, you may end up talking to him or coworkers through Zoom or Skype and you want to appear professional.

  • Stay Connected

Working remotely can make you more productive, but there is also a lot more isolation which for some people can lead to depression, overworking, and increased impostor syndrome episodes.  It is important to stay connected via email, chat, texting, facetime, and other means.   If there isn’t restrictions due to illness, make plans to meet people in person.  Meet for breakfast or lunch, or meet at the park and go for a walk.  People need people for emotional wellbeing and to live a longer, healthier life and when working remotely it is easy to just become a hermit.  So make an effort to stay connected.

  • Take Breaks

It is important to take breaks from your work and do other things.  When working remotely there is no one to turn off the lights and tell you to go home.  You need to do this for yourself.  Just as it is important to have start and stop times, you also need to schedule breaks.   Time to walk around the block, go for a run, read a book, watch a favorite TV show, cook a meal, spend time with the kids, etc.   Get outside and enjoy some fresh air.  Regular, moderate, exercise can be correlated to an increase in productivity, and according to Harvard Business Review, is a key factor in helping you achieve a better work-life balance.

  • Move Often

Schedule times to stand up, stretch, walk around and then to get back to work.  You need to move at least once every hour.  It is important to move but don’t get distracted by household things and end up taking a big break.  When you are being paid to work, you need to focus on work.

  • Eat Healthy Foods

It is easy to work through lunch or just eat a bag of chips or a cookie.  Make sure you are eating healthy meals so your brain functions properly. Keep fruits, celery, carrots, and other healthy snacks on hand.

  • Stay Hydrated

Remember to drink plenty of fluids.  Chances are, you might be sitting more and moving less, it is imperative that you stay hydrated for your health. Hydration helps regulate body temperature, deliver nutrients to cells, prevent infections, keep joints lubricated, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.

Whether your remote work is temporary or permanent, Taking these nine tips into consideration when you work remotely will increase your chances of success and help you get through the stressful times.

Other Posts of Interest

5 Easy Ways to Balance Your Work and Family Life

Does Your Resume Need an Update?

Is Working Remotely For You?

By |2020-03-17T15:15:49-05:00March 17th, 2020|Remote Work|Comments Off on 9 Tips For Success When Working Remotely