How to work remotely and not go nuts?

12 February, 2021 / Mateusz

The compulsory home office shift has fulfiled our visions of working in pyjamas, with legs propped up on a coffee table and pleasant walks whenever we feel like taking a break. Fortunately, we quickly shook off these utopian fantasies and began to face the reality of working from home. Home is where we live, rest, work, learn, and play at the same time. Unfortunately, it is not easy to reconcile these realities, and in the long run, it requires a lot of effort from us. So how do we do it? Here are five simple steps!

1. Get out of bed

How do you think our brain distinguishes between hours of activity and sleep? In addition to melatonin, which is produced when it is dark and changes the way our nervous system works, a lot depends on our habits. It is similar in children – first bedtime cartoon, then bathing, and then bedtime. The repetition of this process creates a pattern, a ritual by which our brain knows what to do at any given moment. When you work in bed, you break that pattern, disturbing the natural rhythm of day and night. And this is a simple recipe for problems with sleep deficiency, insomnia, and being able to wake up. An alternative? You can cover yourself with a weighted blanket while sitting at your desk, which will help you put your body into a state of relaxation while maintaining focus and mental performance.

2. Get dressed

The bed is a place to rest and calm down, while work requires focus and generates tension – but we already know that. According to scientists, that’s not all. Wearing pyjamas all day causes the inability to “mentally change” to task mode. Because of this, we are more distracted, and our productivity decreases. If the situation doesn’t require visual contact (e.g. official video conference), you don’t need to put on a dress or suit. However, try to wear something between an official outfit and a tracksuit. By putting on such clothing, you get into the rhythm of work better. You will feel the difference right away!

3. Have a schedule

A schedule is one of the keys to success, especially when working remotely. In order to fulfil your professional duties, you need to plan for both work time and breaks, as well as what time to switch off the computer and “leave” the office. Set yourself a time frame and try to stick to it as closely as possible. The lack of boundaries will result in frustration and a work-life balance disorder. Of course, the schedule must be in line with the arrangements with your employer. And although nothing will happen if once or twice the boss asks for an email in the evening, if the situation persists, it is better to calmly talk to him about the rules of remote work.

4. Stay in touch

Specialists sound the alarm – remote work negatively affects our interpersonal relationships. Home isolation deprives us of the opportunity to meet our colleagues in real life, drink coffee together, or chat in the hallway. In the long run, this will affect our mental condition. To avoid this, try to call a friend or colleague from the office from time to time and talk about something other than the new project you are participating in. Use Zoom or FaceTime for private purposes, not just work – just seeing someone’s face and body has a stimulating effect on your brain.

5. Home rules

We’ve considered plans and schedules. Now it’s important to discuss them with your family. If your partner also works remotely, you should synchronize your calendars and try to have a separate working space. Set up desks in different rooms, and do not be distracted by conversations or performing household chores. It’s a real challenge, but if you can overcome it, the relationship will benefit. After all, even under one roof, you can miss each other.