Elizabeth Gilbert, a best selling author based in New York, shared on Instagram a helpful tip for us all. She said something that resonated with us and the remote work situation.
Instead of spiralling into panic mode, take a moment to account for your surroundings. Check-in with your sensory feelings and count things that you can see, hear, feel, smell and taste. This will take away your attention from the overwhelming influx of information we are being bombarded with by social platforms and media, and centre you in the ‘now moment’.
The most challenging aspects that remote workers and digital nomads face are isolation, depression, anxiety, stress and pressure.
In order to combat the possible negative effects, we advise you to do the following:
Be open, communicate
It is hard to keep your spirits up when physical contact is something we are advised against. If you are a social person and living alone, you might take #StayAtHome and #FlattenTheCurve a bit harder than the rest, but remember that we are all in this together. So, when feeling isolated, Skype with your friend. If you are having a hard time adjusting to the remote work, communicate this with your boss and colleagues – they all are going through the same things as you are. To adjust your working habits, have a call instead of typing a long email or Slack message.
Now is not the time to withdraw yourself. Be open, communicate and, if feeling lonely and isolated, combat the disconnectivity with regular check-ins with your coworkers, family and friends.
Relax and Unplug
Keeping all the tabs might be somewhat harder now, with the overwhelming number of messages, emails and calls swarming in from all the sides (read: applications and platforms). The pressure of staying on top of things might rise now, but remember to take a moment every now and then to relax and unplug. Do a mini yoga session in your living room, or watch a funny video, and then go back to your workday.
When working remotely, it is likely that notifications will pop up more frequently than you are used to. People will tend to over-communicate in order to make sure everyone is on the same page. It is pivotal you schedule in some mini-breaks and do something that relaxes you.
Ask for Help
It can feel irritating to have to adjust to the new way of working even for a short period of time. Perhaps the situation is temporary and not permanent, so we are quick to disregard making adjustments and accepting the remote work. This attitude might lead us to feel stuck and enhance the anxiety and stress for not hitting the ground running.
Although the remote work is temporary, if you feel the anxiety rising, it is best to reach out to an increasing number of services and governments that are offering free counselling. You can check the list of some of the apps here.
These are challenging times. Don’t hold it in, reach out, ask for help and talk to people. You just might help them conquer their own demons as well.
It’s OK to End Your Working Day
Ending your workday seems like the most natural thing to do, after all, there’s nothing more to it than swiping your ID card at the company’s checkpoint when your working hours end. When going to the office it is clear that your day begins once you arrive to work and ends upon you leaving the office premises.
But, when working from home, the work hours may blur and ending your workday may invoke a slight feeling of guilt. Remote working by no means should incite overworking. Upon completing your tasks and finishing your working hours, feel free to block your calendar with personal time. It is important to set healthy boundaries in order to maintain the work-life balance you normally would have, were the circumstances different.
Remote Work and Effective Self Management
One of the hardest things to do when working remotely is effective self-managing. Many remote workers to some extent struggle with working from home, as no one is looking over your shoulder directing you what to do next. If your company is not using any type of project management tools, it would be wise to choose one for yourself in order not to lose out on your productivity. There are plenty of free versions to choose from.
With a project management tool, you can set your deadlines, mark which tasks are in progress, backlog, in review, or the ones you’ve already completed. Staying on top of things, will not only ease your mind but also help you not fall behind with your work in the early phases of getting adjusted to the remote work.
Suggest Daily Status Updates
Unless your company is already employing this method, daily status updates can save you from a lot of headaches. When working remotely, we don’t get a lot of chance to meet up with everyone and update the entire team where are we at with our progress. The remote situation also limits the possibility to have a fresh point of view on any problem or issue you might be facing. That’s where daily status updates can help save the day. Take five minutes to state what you worked on that day, what you’ll focus after you finish the ongoing tasks, and where you are stuck.
This simple method will have everyone on the same page with progress, and any issue or a problem will have a chance to be looked at with a set of fresh eyes.
One Last Thing
Now is the time to take care of ourselves and others, by taking precautionary measures issued by health organisations to heart. But this also means that we need to stay on top of our mental health, and make sure we take measures to well adjust to the newfound situation of working from home. Remember, everyone is learning how to adapt to remote working, we are all in this together!
.ME wishes that you and your family stay safe and take care of yourself and loved ones during the Covid-19 outbreak. Take preemptive measures and play your part by staying at home and socially distancing yourself.