How to Find Balance in the Remote Working World
The typical day for most people has shifted dramatically from where we started the year. It may feel like things are changing every day and we are unsure where to focus or what we can do. From the way you go about your morning routine to marketing during a global pandemic or even the new way of connecting with clients, things just aren’t the same. Nothing beats the atmosphere of a digital marketing agency, but as the weeks have continued, we’ve begun finding our balance again in a wildly unstable and shaky environment, in particular in our remote workspace.
We’ve compiled the top 10 things the Power Digital team has found to help regain that stability at an individual level as we re-define what our daily schedule looks like.
Dressing to Impress…Our Motivation for the Day
Working remotely can have benefits such as eliminating your commute each day or working in those sweats and yoga pants. With video conferences on the rise, the need to maintain our professional appearance regained its hold on remote workers. However, we found that dressing for a normal “day at the office” actually set the motivation for our day to prepare for work. Re-establishing this habit has brought the creative energy behind crafting that OOTD (outfit of the day) into everything else that followed.
Stepping into Another Perspective
My step count has taken a huge hit with the transition to remote work and being confined to my living space does not lend itself to hitting that target of 10k a day! Taking this goal outdoors not only brings new, physical space to explore, but also distance between what may be the source of any anxiety felt throughout the workday. It can be difficult to separate a work day from home life; it can be as if your work mind just never shuts down. But, taking time to make outside time a part of your daily schedule can make the world of a difference. Not only is fresh air good for your mind, but it is known to improve sleep if you are taking it to greener environments such as the great outdoors!
Skipping Meals? Not Here!
As easy as it may be to skip a meal while being caught up in work mode, it’s important to take that break and get the nutrients needed to function at an optimal level. Don’t forget to take some time in your day to “Bio Break!” Refueling your body with more than your caffeine-only morning routine helps restore needed nutrients that will give you natural energy and help get you through the rest of your work day. So don’t reach for another Keurig cup at 11:45AM. Step away, have some nuts, a banana, and yogurt to increase your alertness and feel refreshed.
Setting Your Daily Intention
Putting a focus on 1-3 main goals to achieve for the day has really helped to prioritize the ever growing list of to-dos at work and at home. These daily intentions have led the way to a steady approach to knocking the items off the list one by one and feeling that progress made each day. Whether you set them at the end of the day for the next day or first thing in the morning it’s a great way to keep yourself on track and break down larger projects into attainable bite-size tasks. This can improve your productivity levels as well as bring much needed motivation into your likely repetitive WFH routine.
Despite being in quarantine and around less people daily, the distractions are still REAL and exist. With distractions arising from our own thoughts and the world around us, practicing mindfulness each day through meditation or breathing exercises is another way we’ve stayed centered through the ebbs and flows of our daily lives. Whether you are new to checking-in on the self, or have been at it for years, the activity of learning to block out the noise has been and will continue to be a practice. Some days of remote working present tougher obstacles to tackle then others, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn to tap into this part of the self.
A muddy mind will lead to fatigue, burn-out, and stress. If you are searching for some great tools to help get you started or stay consistent with a regular practice, here are a few suggestions used by members of the team here: “Breathe” available through your Apple watch, “Calm” or “Headspace” which offer a subscription based platform in order to help you make time in your days to focus on mental health, curb anxiety levels, and pull away from the screen when it’s time for bed.
Having the intention of creating a healthy work-life balance sometimes isn’t enough, especially when most of us don’t have many people physically around these days. Creating daily routine video standups with small groups of teammates helps to keep accountability and track both personal and professional goals. Not to mention, it’s also a great motivation to get showered and dressed before your daily standup so you’re ready for the day!
Create Your Own Space…And Then a Backup Space
You’ve heard a lot about the importance of carving out a space in your home for your “office,” but if you’re sharing your home with others sometimes that “office” is shared with others, or next to the TV where your boyfriend plays afternoon video games at an obnoxiously loud level. Always have a second space you can go to where you can quickly have some privacy and quiet in a snap.
Set Expectations and Be Transparent About Them
If you work with multiple departments, chances are not everyone is going to establish the same “working hours” and in these times that’s okay! Understanding that some people may shoot you a slack message at 9pm doesn’t mean that they expect an immediate answer is quite the mind shift. Establish hours with your manager that work best for you and when you will be the most available to your team and state them clearly. Use your Google calendar to show your working hours, set yourself to away in Slack, update your working hours in Asana. And definitely don’t feel pressure to respond to those midnight Slack brain dumps!
Clock Out / “Go Home”
It may seem like you are working more hours than usual because your “office” is always in sight. To avoid this feeling of being available around the clock all day/everyday, create and maintain a strict work schedule of when you “clock in and out”. That way you do not feel pressured to constantly check your emails or slack messages after those hours. Give yourself a chance to disconnect from work mode and go on with your life as you would if you were in office. When you are finished up with your day, leave your workspace and unwind. Whether that is a nice walk in your neighborhood, cooking dinner with your roommates or enjoying a nice beverage after a productive day of work.
Never underestimate the power of what a little bit of exercise can do for you. For many of us, our routine around exercise has changed just as much as our office commute. With gyms closed, in-person classes paused, and peers not around us to ask “how sore are you from that class last night?” we may be at a bit of a loss to feel motivated to get a work-out regimen started. If all you can do is start small, then start there. Give 15 minutes a day, then 25, then 30.
Whether you have a great work-life balance or you are learning how to juggle it all, make sure you do what is best for YOU. With everything that is happening not only in your life but in the world around you, it is crucial that you find what works for you. Be kind and give yourself grace as you are learning how to find this work from home balance.