Below is an excerpt Handbook for remote workersa new book from Entrepreneur Press, available now at Amazon,entrepreneur, Barnes & Noble.
Miriam Groomeis an industry and organizational therapist and HR strategist, specializing in employee coaching and counseling. In this interview, she shares advice on how to overcome the most common pitfalls and challenges of being her remote worker.
What are the most common psychological or emotional pitfalls associated with becoming a remote worker from a traditional office job?
The experience of this transition will be slightly different for each individual. It really has to do with their personality type. The way people manage their time autonomously and the boundaries they set for themselves are her two main issues that can cause a lot of stress. “For example, people with the Perceiving personality type (who prefers a relaxed, spontaneous schedule, as Myers-Briggs explained) may find it difficult to control themselves without formal boundaries. These people may find themselves overwhelmed by too unstructured free time. People who do work may find themselves working overtime or on weekends because they cannot separate work and life. adapt to the work.
How can you handle the stress of having to separate your personal life from work after you start working from home?
Those who find themselves working overtime or on weekends can consider scheduling breaks for activities such as eating lunch, doing a 15-minute meditation session, or closing the computer for a few minutes. It may sound obvious, but turning personal time into a formal “to do” item definitely helps people feel more balanced. It’s one thing to tell yourself it’s time to stop working, and another to schedule it as an actual activity.
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What strategies can you share to stay focused and motivated as a remote worker without supervision from your boss or peers?
Again, strategy depends on the individual and their personality. People with the Perceiving trait tend to procrastinate and have a hard time staying motivated because they want to do fun things instead of following the rules and checking things off a list. You can stay on track by asking for regular check-ins at. Ultimately, it comes down to understanding your work style and personality so that you can identify an approach that makes sense for you. There are many tools for discovering how you work, such as psychometric tests and other assessments.
When someone starts working remotely, they often feel isolated from their peers and no longer part of the organizational culture.what to do to combat this
A sense of belonging is important for all employees, whether they are extroverts or introverts. Recreating a face-to-face environment is not always possible, but people should still try to bond. This includes a 15-minute “virtual coffee break” each day, as well as making plans to meet face-to-face when conditions permit. Businesses should encourage casual chats and virtual hangouts if they don’t infringe on workflow or take too long.
What are the signs that someone is not adjusting well to being a remote worker, from an emotional or psychological perspective? What should they do about this?
Without seeing the person’s face, it can be difficult to identify the signs. However, non-verbal cues can tell a lot, so it’s a good idea to have the meeting with the camera on. This allows you to measure people’s facial expressions and body language. “Signs of isolation include not only responding less to emails, but also appearing less engaged or engaged in meetings and other virtual activities. are clearly some of the most obvious signs that they need help adjusting to remote work.
If someone struggles to focus on their work as a remote worker, what are their strategies for regaining and maintaining focus?
There are different solutions to this problem, depending on the psychological profile of the person in question. Those with a judging personality may find themselves overwhelmed without the structure they were once accustomed to. Helping you create a roadmap and triage your activities to know where to prioritize your time helps you stay focused and on track. People with Perceiving personalities may lack the discipline necessary to perform tasks they are not interested in, so when tackling a large project, they identify outcomes that are easy to achieve and take small steps. Helping you step forward can help you focus and be more productive.
As a remote worker, what should I do to stay healthy from an emotional/psychological point of view if I take a break from work?
Meditation, breathing techniques, and exercise are all really important. Many of us generally lead sedentary lifestyles, but getting to the physical workplace usually requires more movement than waking up and opening a laptop. A person should be encouraged to stay up and move around throughout the day. Scheduled exercise can become a company-wide policy if these breaks are kept short so employees don’t skip them.
How can you overcome the anxiety associated with being a remote worker and having to learn new skills to meet your job obligations?
When anxious, it’s important to identify your stress triggers and work from there. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, as everyone has different reasons for anxiety. Working with a career counselor can help you understand why you feel anxious and how to deal with it. Some of the anxiety associated with remote work can come from having to learn different project management software, time tracking tools, and more. For example, a creative personality of her type might find it incredibly intimidating to keep track of her time and create productivity reports for her remote manager. She can talk to her manager to see if there is a workaround, or ask a colleague to take over these tasks if necessary. Finally, being honest is your best bet, and clearly telling your manager that “these new administrative tasks are making me uneasy” can be the best way to manage the issue. There is a possibility
Are there any specific scheduling techniques that you recommend for balancing work and professional life as a remote worker?
yes! Schedule downtime in your calendar the same way you schedule a meeting. These breaks can include lunch breaks, short breaks to run errands, or just 15 minutes to stretch and get back to your center. “People can get caught up in virtual meetings all day long, so it’s also important to book meeting-free times to allow for individual work. Consider scheduling it as a ~60 minute meeting, often unnecessary.”
How do you overcome the overwhelming urge to constantly check your work emails, voicemails, and text messages after hours?
People are as addicted to checking work email as they are to social media and other online distractions. Understand that screens can be addictive and consider turning off notifications in the evenings and weekends. It’s important that we take our lives and health as seriously as we take our jobs.
From a psychological standpoint, what are the biggest mistakes first-time remote workers make?
The list is long. Working late at night, not leaving the house, having no regularity (including hygiene habits), not taking breaks, and not practicing time management techniques are the most common. Working in a physical environment usually forces you to follow a rigorous routine that includes daily commuting, taking lunch breaks, and following many external cues and prompts. You can, but it takes self-awareness, intentional effort, and re-learning.
If you have to share your home office workspace with your spouse, partner, roommate, or even kids, what are your tips for maintaining sanity, privacy, and avoiding close contact outside of work hours?
As with most things, communication is key. It’s important to kindly let the people you live with know that you need some space and quiet time to work. For small children, we recommend using color-coded signs (red, green, etc.) rather than written signs so they know when you are free. It sounds repetitive, but planning a time to go for a short walk can really help you regain your focus and alleviate some of the stress that comes from sharing a workspace. Ring headphones are always a great investment.
What strategies can I employ to avoid burnout if I attend long virtual meetings?
Virtual meetings can be exhausting. The employee may be able to consider alternatives to video conferencing, such as a simple voice call, or agree to an email his template that makes it easy to exchange ideas without the need for a virtual meeting. Sometimes he doesn’t need a meeting, or he is booked for 30 minutes when 15 minutes is enough. My recommendation is to be strategic about video calling so that people don’t spend hours talking to their screens each day.
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