4 Distance Work Practices We Learned the Hard Way
Remember when the phrase “distance work” didn’t mean much to us? As we approach our 3rd year of the pandemic, this phrase likely needs no introduction.
Distance work seems like it’s here to stay, so it’s best to welcome it with open arms.
It’s safe to say, for those who had never experienced distance work before, it didn’t come without unsettling periods of adjustment. Nevertheless, with some feng shui and the right desk supplies, almost everyone eventually figured out a setup that would keep them productive and sane.
While there are many people who returned to the familiar confines of an office when it was safe to do so, many are still working happily from home. Another thing is for certain: most people will forever have the flexible option of distance work if they feel like it on any given day.
As we said, it wasn’t always foolproof. But here are some of the many ways we learned to make WFH work to our advantage.
Whether it’s a purpose-built desk, or just your kitchen table, sitting upright in a comfortable position is far more conducive to a functional workday than trying to field calls and emails from your couch. Or worse, your bed! If your space is limited, consider a Murphy desk or a foldable option.
Which leads us to our next point: forego the pajamas during your 9-5. When doing distance work, it’s always tempting to wear something you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing in your office cubicle; sloppy t-shirts, holey tracksuit bottoms, or a sweater you fished out from the laundry basket. We’re not insisting you wear jeans or a suit when it’s not necessary, but donning something that makes you feel professional and put together lends itself to a far more efficient workday. Trust us!
Particularly in the winter months, when it’s dark in the mornings and in the early evenings, it’s easy to fall into a trap of getting zero sunshine. Make a conscious effort to get your recommended 10,000 steps in before or after your distance work shift to make sure you’re still reaping the benefits of fresh air and exercise. Pick a podcast series to obsess over; it’ll make this daily ‘task’ something you look forward to.
When your whole existence starts to revolve around the same four walls, the boundaries between what constitutes work life and personal life can become irrevocably blurred. To limit this, attempt to place some kind of structure and rules around what you’re willing to accept. For example, just because an email comes in at 10 p.m. or on a Saturday morning, decide whether it’s in your best interest to respond. On the other hand, some people might actually prefer flexible or irregular hours as it gives them time to engage with children, pets, etc., during traditional office hours.
With distance work here to stay, it will become increasingly important to work in some healthy habits as you get your to-do list done in the comfort of your own home.