Is Working Remotely For You?

Many people dream of working from home in their comfy clothes.  According to a report by Global WorkPlace Analytics, 4.3 million employees are working from home at least half the time.  Research indicates the remote work will equal, if not surpass, fixed office locations by the year 2025.  Is working remotely a good fit for you?

Working Remotely

If you’re considering working remotely with your current job or you’re looking for another job so that you have the ability to work remotely, there are some things to consider. There are plenty of pros and cons to working remotely and only you can know if it’s the right fit for you.

Things to Consider Before Working Remotely

Here are some things to consider before you decide to work remotely . . .

The Pros:

Location Independent

You can work wherever and whenever you’d like, for the most part. Your company may still require you to work set hours or you may need to reach a certain level of productivity every day or every week, but your schedule can be more flexible.

If it’s a nice day, you can choose to work outside. Or maybe your kitchen table is preferred over your home office. You can be more productive in the morning so you can finish your work by early afternoon. The choice is yours.

Save Money

You’ll save money. Without the need to commute every day, you’ll save money on gas, tolls, and parking. You’ll also be less likely to go out for lunch. And, you won’t need to buy as many “work” clothes and pay for dry cleaning.

Focus

You can stay more focused without coworkers popping into your office all day long to distract you with questions or new projects. You’ll need to have some willpower to avoid the pile of laundry or the TV until your work is done, but there won’t be as many distractions as you would normally have at the office.

Less Drama

You can avoid office gossip and drama. You know all of those conversations that take place in the employee break room about who’s dating who, who got promoted, and who’s in trouble with the boss? Yeah, those. No more! You’ll no longer get caught in the middle of the drama.

The Cons:

Isolation

You may feel left out. If you’re an extrovert who thrives on having people around you, you may start to feel lonely and left out. You won’t be in the office for impromptu meetings and you won’t hear all the latest news about what’s going on in the company.

Lack of Motivation

Unless you’re a self-starter, it can be hard to stay focused and productive. You may be tempted to check your Facebook feed, start the dishwasher, or make a quick run to the grocery store which will take valuable time from working and leaving you being less productive.

Making Remote Work A Success

If you decide that working remotely is for you, you can learn to manage your productivity by time blocking your schedule and turning off apps and websites that distract you. You can schedule short breaks throughout the day that allow you to take care of those chores. And, you can video conference into office meetings so that you can still be part of what’s going on.

There are ways to make it work for you, but it can still get lonely. Only you can decide if it’s the right choice. You may want to present the idea to your boss and ask to try it out for a few weeks or month before making it permanent to determine if it works for you.

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11 Tips for Work and Life Balance To Avoid Burnout

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By |2019-07-31T10:59:13-05:00July 31st, 2019|Career Success, Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on Is Working Remotely For You?

11 Tips for Work and Life Balance To Avoid Burnout

While it’s completely normal to experience stress in your job from time to time, feeling that way every day is not normal. If you feel stressed out in your work environment, even on the good days, you may be experiencing burnout or working in a toxic environment.  Even if you love your job there are steps you can take to make sure you maintain a work and life balance.

Work and Life Balance

Tips for Work and Life Balance

There are a few ways you can make your work atmosphere a little easier on yourself. Here are some ideas for getting through the day when you can’t wait for the day to be over:

Understand Balance

“Balance” doesn’t mean “equal.” There are times when either work or your personal life takes more weight, depending on what’s going on at the moment.  It is an ebb and flow situation and goes back and forth. You are still balancing things.   When you have to worry is when one side takes over your life for a long, extended period and pushes you to a breaking point.

Take Breaks

Allow yourself a 10-minute break about every 90 minutes and get out of the environment for a bit.   Even if it is just doing something different, going to the restroom,  or walking to the water cooler for a drink.   Even better, go for a walk outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Take your lunch break away from your desk. Listen to an audiobook, it will allow you to escape your environment for a bit and get your mindset back on track.

Create a Soothing Environment

If you have a desk, cubicle, or office that is all yours, make it a soothing environment. Listen to soothing background music as you work, keep your favorite mug nearby, add photos of your family and pets, add colors that bring you joy. Plants add life to an office.  Making your space more comforting will help reduce your stress.

Schedule Important Personal Activities.

Put them on your calendar just like a big meeting.  Things such as doctor appointments, dentist visits, school activities for your children, date nights with a spouse and more can quickly fall by the wayside if they aren’t purposefully scheduled. Block out your calendar for important personal events, and you’ll find they happen as they should. It can be tough to remember in the middle of a stressful day, but they’re just as important as any meeting.

Set Boundaries

If customers or colleagues think it’s OK to call you at 10 p.m. if they need something, they will. Set boundaries around when you are, and aren’t, available. Doing so will help you relax when you’re off the clock and avoid burnout.  It also helps others to know what to expect.

Take Up a Hobby

Having something you enjoy to do when you’re not in the office will help you keep your mind off work when you’re not there and will put you in a stronger frame of mind when you have to go back.  Pick something fun that you enjoy.

Turn off Technology

We now live in an “always on” culture with smartphones and other technology. However, you have power over your devices. Be intentional about turning them off and taking technology breaks. It will help you tremendously by keeping you more focused during your productive periods.

Create Balance

So often we hold on to work stress even when we’re not at the office. Or we work longer hours than we really need to, creating more stress. Find a balance in your life, not only in the time you spend at the office but in your mindset. Find a way to “turn off” the office when you’re not there. When you leave the office at the end of the day, signal your brain that it’s time to stop thinking about work by turning on the radio, calling a friend, or planning a great meal for dinner.

I have a friend that had a commute to and from work.   She identified a certain location on her commute to be where she changed what she thought about.  When she hit that spot going home, she shifted her thoughts from work to family, fun, future plans, etc.   As she was going to work, when she came to that spot she began thinking about what she would do first when she got to the office.  After a week or so of consciously doing this, it became a habit and it happened without thinking about it.

Get Exercise

Physical activity helps reduce stress, relieve tension, and makes you happier. Getting a little activity into each day will make the stressful part of your day easier to manage. Go for a walk, take a yoga class, do stretches at your desk, or simply go into the stairwell of your office building and walk up and down the stairs.

The exercise doesn’t have to happen at work.  Plan time at home to work in some exercise.  The more you exercise the better you will feel about your life in general.

Know Your Own Energy Cycle

Everyone has a natural energy cycle throughout the day. You can probably pinpoint times when you usually feel more focused and productive, as well as times where you want to take a nap instead of spending another minute at the computer.

If possible, schedule your tasks according to your energy. Do lower-energy administrative tasks when you’re in a lull, and more important work when you’re energized.

Schedule Vacation Time

It is important to take extended breaks from work.   Did you know that over 55% of Americans did not use all their vacation time last year?  Remember, vacation time doesn’t have to involve a week-long tropical getaway (although that’s a great way to recharge). Even a day away from the office can be enough to leave you feeling re-focused and refreshed.  Research shows that employees who plan to use all their time off are significantly more likely to actually use that time off.   It is important to your mental and physical health to take vacations from work.

Stressful job environments are all too common, but you don’t have to burn out or leave the job.  There are ways to take care of your physical and mental health and have a better work and life balance.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help planning an exit strategy and getting ready for the job search so your next job will be a place you truly enjoy working, your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find and schedule a consultation.
By |2019-05-21T07:35:01-05:00May 21st, 2019|Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on 11 Tips for Work and Life Balance To Avoid Burnout

Dropping Old Roles & Celebrating New Ones

Today, there are more dual-income earners and women breadwinners than ever before. Typical “gender roles” are becoming less mainstream with families working together as partners when conquering household chores and raising a family.

Employers must recognize added pressures and consider the best ways to support, engage and maximize employee time and productivity.

While your employer may slowly make changes to help, you can improve your partnership with these power-sharing tips for home.  Giving up power isn’t easy, especially when you don’t give it up at work.

How do you split the work at home?

Check out these Top 3 Power-Sharing Tips:

Embrace Individual Strengths

– If your partner is a better cook and enjoys it, let them do it, even if you have always been the one to make dinner. Your strengths can be used for multi-tasking laundry or helping with homework.

Give Up on “Your Way”

– When you start to share tasks in the household it is easy to be critical about the way someone else does things. Keep in mind it is better to have the towels laundered and folded even if it’s not the way you usually do it.

Sharing is Caring

– Sharing household chores no matter how hard your day was at work shows your partner that you care about their time and effort as well. Not only does this help your marriage/partnership, it has a ripple effect in overall happiness and satisfaction in life.
By |2014-06-04T11:25:12-05:00June 4th, 2014|How to Be Happy at Work, Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on Dropping Old Roles & Celebrating New Ones