Remote work – is probably one of the most sought out after-work types of post-pandemic. Although it does have its many perks (comfort in your home, flexible schedule, no need to pack a lunch), many people fail to acknowledge the struggle that can come with working from home. So, what are these obstacles and how do we make the most of remote work?
Read on below for some of the challenges of remote work and advice from our team (who are fully remote) on how we make the most of our days and stay focused.
Staying in a Routine – Can be Tough
When you go to an office setting, leave at a certain time, have lunch at the same time, and have your whole day planned out, this establishes a consistent routine. When working from home, it’s important you have that same concept. No doubt, it can be tough to stay consistent with this, which means you must put yourself in a position where you are organized and plan for your day. Our team at Bridge has gotten routines down very well, and they’re here to shed some tips on how they build their routines.
On building a routine and staying productive:
“Get up at least an hour before you start work and get dressed for the day.” - Kelsey, Client Manager
“As a creature of habit, routines are easy for me. I thrive on having a routine from the time I wake up to the time I log off from work every day while working from home. I get up at the same time every day; unless my body decides to wake up before my alarm. I have a cup of coffee and take the dog out back or go for a little walk before logging in for the day. I use my calendar to keep myself on a schedule during “work hours” – that doesn’t mean I can’t adapt to things changing, but I like having a baseline schedule to work off. It is crucial for me to make sure I keep my calendar up to date for my peers, who are also working remotely as well. Along with my work calendar, I leave myself daily notes of things that I need to get done by specific days/times.” - Amanda, Senior Client Manager
“It's important to have a routine and stick to it so that you work during working hours and spend time with your family during family time. Still prepare ahead of time for sports and after-work/school obligations just like you did when you were commuting to and from the office, so you do not feel distracted with chores when you are trying to focus on work. Also, turn your work computer off when you are finished for the day, so you are not distracted by work when you are trying to be present for your family.” - Samantha, Talent Acquisition Manager
Balancing a Family and a Full-time Job
During the pandemic, everyone had to reevaluate their lives and how they operated, especially those with families. Many people lost their childcare providers, and their jobs, and had to rethink the way they operated day-to-day. Although we've come such a far way since then, there are still struggles when balancing a family and working remotely. Can it be done successfully? Yes. Many people have found that working remotely and having a family is easier and provides a better quality of life. It does pose challenges at times though and that's something people with families must come together to figure out.
On family management and boosting productivity:
“Setting a daily schedule that will work with your family is the first place to start. Plan to make phone calls and schedule meetings while your kids are at school and prioritize administrative and research work for when they are home. This will help you maintain and increase productivity at all times of the day.” - Whitney, Director of Talent Acquisition
Learning to Share a Home and Workspace with another Person
Sharing a space with a roommate or partner can be its own challenge, now add that both people are working remotely in the same home. Not everyone has the luxury of having separate office spaces or a multi-room accommodation. A lot of people must learn how to work remotely with their spouses or roommates, so it does not affect one another's work. The biggest key to success for this is communication and setting boundaries. Know one another's important calls ahead of time, and try creating designated spaces for one another. This can be easier said than done, but once following a routine as well, this can be accomplished.
On sharing spaces:
“Make sure you have dedicated spaces and boundaries to make sure you each can focus and get actual work done. Knowing one another’s schedules is helpful too.” - Megan, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager
“Communication is super important if you’re sharing space with another person. Make sure you have important calls or presentations to talk about prior to the day-of with your roommate. This way you both can have an understanding and noise-level check if needed, or if someone makes the decision to go to a coffee shop or take your break when these events are occurring!” Depending on how large the space is, this is very important so you’re not distracted by another phone call happening or feel like you can’t concentrate” - Hayley, Marketing Manager
Learning to Put Mental Health First
When you work every day from home and don't have a family or anyone else in the space with you, this poses a different kind of challenge. Isolation day after day can create social anxieties and quite literally cause cabin fever. Someone who is in this position must prioritize going out on walks, seeing friends, having phone calls with family, and doing social activities (this could be grabbing a coffee), a must to keep their mental well-being in a good spot. Not only do these things help you get outside of your own head and space, but they also are ways to treat yourself and prioritize self-care.
On self-care and taking care of yourself:
“I’m all about self-care, and being a creative-minded person, I must find ways to spark creativity. I make sure to carve out time in my calendar to step away from my laptop for a walk or coffee run. Not only do these things make you feel good, but they help you get back to focusing once you return to your computer. My other tip for self-care would be to make sure when you’re logged off at night, you’re doing something for yourself and getting yourself out of your home. If you’re like me, and you don’t have kids or after-work responsibilities that are a day-to-day occurrence, you got to get yourself outside. I’m prone to this and I know so many others who work from home can get into ruts where they won’t leave their place! Especially as the weather starts to turn cold in the Midwest. Cabin fever to the max. Make sure you’re taking walks, going on a quick drive, running errands outside of the house, having baths, and doing face masks!” - Hayley, Marketing Manager
We hope that you've enjoyed reading more about how our team at Bridge successfully works from home! Every day is a new day and a new opportunity to try something new, start a routine; and spark communication and productivity.