Staying connected WHILE WORKING REMOTELY

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The rise of remote work provides flexibility but can also lead to feelings of isolation. With some creativity and intention, you can have the best of both worlds.

 

Set boundaries

Tracy Ries Behm, remote graphic designer, explains that setting boundaries is crucial when working from home with kids. “You have to be able to ignore ‘home chores’ during work hours in order to be productive at work. Do not empty the dishwasher! It will lead to another task, and you will soon have cleaned your entire home and suddenly be behind on your project deadline.” She recommends making your work hours clear to family and friends to respect your time.

 

Avoid monotony

Have a separate workspace to have better control over work-life balance but know that working from the exact same spot daily can quickly become monotonous. Shake up your routine by working from different locations like cafes or coworking spaces for a change of pace. Some variety in your workspace keeps things interesting. Embrace spontaneous encounters with neighbors or others in line at the store.

 

Get back out there

Consider joining an activity class like cooking, painting or crafting where you can chat while being hands-on. Visiting a trivia night or board game cafe are other fun ways to interact. Look for volunteer opportunities related to your interests to meet like-minded people as well. Shannon Lynch, who has been remote for more than a decade explains, “When you don’t commute, not only do you not share an office, but you don’t have your favorite barista, you don’t run quick errands on the way home, you don’t have a reason to wear anything but yoga pants. So run an errand or meet up with someone for a lunch break—eating in front of your computer every day is bad for the soul.”

 

Leverage video chat

For Bailey Miller, a remote writer/editor, keeping cameras on for video calls has been key for connecting with coworkers in a remote setting. “You get so much more meaning when you can see their expression, and it was a good way to feel connected to coworkers when we were all apart.” She was able to really get to know her marketing team through frequent video chats after starting a new job right before the pandemic began. Also, consider video chats during breaks or shared lunches and online games with coworkers to bond.

 

While working from home has perks, human connection remains vital. With a little thoughtfulness and effort, you can integrate connection with others into your remote work life. ::

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Gina is a writer and author living in Rochester with her husband, two entertaining children and whoodle pup.

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