Remote Work Lifestyle
June 26th 2020
While a lot of people due to the global situation that is currently happening are forced to work remote or work from home (I will detail what I think the differences are later), I got some tips&tricks that may help you go down the road with your work and your life as separated as possible.
The reason why I think that WFH is not the same as Remote Work, is that WFH for some reason forces you to actually Work from Home and have let's say a fixed schedule 8 to 4 or 9 to 6 or whatever your employer, company, agency has as a working schedule.
Some tips that could help you be better working from home are widely found in the internet in some other articles, even Mark gathered some of those items in this awesome blog post from Annertech , but I want to add a couple more items that have worked for me in all this journey:
Don't let work be the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up
As simple as it sounds, a lot of people finds just waking up and working a better chance to get an "extra hour of sleep", but in the long run it might affect your day-to-day life thinking that you need to wake up to get the work done.
I usually wake up about 2 hours before I start working, and do all my morning routines as: make/drink coffee, take a shower, get the kids up, drive my older daughter to day-care, read the news/interesting articles, twitter (as any other person would do on his/her free time) and then almost disconnect from everything and start working.
All that "foreplay" to work, gives me the feeling I'm going to work after all this (as usually you would do all of that and drive to work, take the bus to work or walk to work) so when you start to work, your mind is clear and you actually woke up.
Define a place to work
Not all of us have the same luck/opportunity to separate from other people at home and start working. I'm lucky enough to have a separated room which I call office to isolate from the other people at home and do my work. Yes is the answer if it helps to get better focus and concentration, Not always is the answer if it helps you get more work done, since it depends on how much you can get affected to external sounds, voices, kids running around, or some TV show in the living room. I know a lot of people that are very productive in an open-space or in an isolated office, so that depends a lot on what works for you.
This is the space I have to get work done currently.
Now I would like to get a bit into "Remote work is a lifestyle, not a way to work".
I like to think that is a lifestyle since some things have to be involved in order to do remote work:
- Find a company/agency/employer that believes in the remote work
- Be mature enough to work remote
Find a company/agency/employer that believes in the remote work
A company may feel "ok" with you working from home, since they know you are home and you are more likely working. But a company that allows you to work from the park, from a coffee shop, from a parking lot (car park for some regions) is not easy to find.
Be mature enough to work remote
I don't want to put on the line the veredict if you are a mature person or not, but sometimes working remote can really show how "engaged" you are in getting the work done. Some people might find working in a coffee shop a good choice, or in a park. But when you meet people in those places, you have to be mature enough to think that you went there to get some work done (Taking advantage of the Wi-Fi or just to have a coffee while working) and not to get some "social interaction", that if it happens you need to know that the piece of work you meant to do in that place, has to be done somewhere else.
Working from the car, while I wait for my daughter's training to be over
Most of the time, while doing Remote Work, you are allowed to do Flexible Working Hours (as we do in Annertech), which I find pretty handy since they allow you to fit your work around your day-to-day basis, for example:
- If you got some paperwork, go to the bank, sick child
- If you are not feeling focused, under stress
- If you don't feel 100% or feel pretty tired
You can just let other people know and come back to get the work done later.
Trust is what I think that Remote Work is based on, employers are given the trust that they will do the work as soon as they are able to, and in return, of course if the trust is respected and valorated, they will get the work done in time.
So, why do I think this is a lifestyle? Well, you work when you are able to work, you mold your work to fit your daily duties and fit your daily duties to fit your work. Everything is a balanced environment, while WFH in a fixed schedule, you basically fit your life according to your fixed 8-4 or 9-5 work schedule.