Remote work has always been out there, in one way or another.
While plenty of managers have had to take a call from home, plenty of content and tech creators have had the freedom to work from studios, cafes, parks – even vacation spots. Not all kinds of jobs could be done remotely – but in our daily lives, all of us have experienced, at least once, pleasant restaurant-based business meetings or laid-back negotiations over a cup of coffee.
Over the last year and a half, remote work has shown its advantages, the foremost being more flexibility in time, task, and space management for both employers and employees. So why hasn’t it been the option before? Why have we not considered it? A common opinion says that because besides being the status quo – it is no easy feat.
Offices serve a purpose. They bring teams together and organize their flow, providing physical and mental structure to jobs that have to be done. Coming into the office, you know immediately where and when to go, what to do, and how to approach it. And when you don’t have the workspace designed for you, you might have a more challenging time creating it from scratch – since you never had to before.
On the other hand, your home, as well as a coffee shop next door are full of distractions, significantly less equipped, and don’t have your team around: so you must push through a messy and unmotivating atmosphere to get something done. As a result, you feel isolated and frustrated. You have less energy for quality time with the family or for hobbies.
Is there any way to make it better? Sure is.
Separate your work and private life – in terms of time, as well as space.When you have to work, you should work, not worry about whether your kids might want some orange juice in the other room. If you are focused on the task at hand, then everything will be finished on time, and you won’t feel overwhelmed with seemingly never-ending work later when you want to relax. Get out of the house whenever you feel like you need space to concentrate.
Reflect on your habits and work patterns. Learn what makes you most productive and how to achieve this state. What time of the day do you work best? Do you need quiet, light, your table perfectly clean? Do you work best on your own, or would you be more productive if you had someone else working on their tasks across the table? Should you time block your calendar for the day, or is it best to work without check-ins and reminders? Ensure the space you occupy satisfies your needs – be it a home office, cafe, or coworking space.
Experiment with different workplaces until you find ones that suit you – and use them to get some variety from time to time. Get some coffee at that little shop across the road, where there are tables in front of large windows and baristas play chill music. Sit down in your backyard, under an oak tree, and see if the chair is suitable for your back. Travel to the center of the city to book an office in a skyscraper with the view of the busy city streets and software engineers working around you.
Connect with your team – get together physically in a conference room. Seeing your coworkers will remind you of the atmosphere in the office and bring you motivation, with your mood uplifted, in a way that Zoom meetings can’t. Biologically, face-to-face conversations – simply being in the presence of others – can make us engaged beyond belief.
Use the flexibility to your advantage while choosing when and how to work thoughtfully. On the day you have to be in the office, use it as an opportunity to reconnect with your boss. Shake hands with all of your colleagues, enjoy your perfectly decorated workspace and adore the company’s rhythm. On the day you can be somewhere else, travel to the place you always wanted to visit and find where to work there and see new city corners.
Companies in highly competitive industries believe that working remotely can make employees more creative and productive if the flexibility in choosing a workspace will help them tailor their work to their preferences. Try it out, and let us know how it goes!