6 Ways to Improve Your Remote Lifestyle
by Krista Bugden
A remote lifestyle comes with tons of perks. It’s flexible, allowing you to create your own schedule. And you can work from almost anywhere, depending on your position or line of work.
It’s no secret as to why more and more people are leaning into this way of life and ditching the old 9-to-5 lifestyle. However, if you’re new to remote work life, you might run into some challenges at first. After all, self-motivation and discipline are half the battle when you’re no longer heading into the office each day.
In this article, we’re going to explore how to improve your remote lifestyle and get the most out of each and every day. How can you overcome any current remote work challenges? Keep reading to find out!
Create a Comfortable Workspace
Your comfort should always be a top priority. If you’re feeling stiff and achy after a day’s work, this is a clear sign that you aren’t doing it right. But don’t worry. There are loads of ways to improve your workspace and ensure you don’t end up with chronic aches and pain down the line.
Whether you’re traveling or working from home, you’ll want to dive into the world of ergonomics. Surprisingly, there is a “right” way to set up your computer so that you avoid pain that might occur from sitting for long durations.
Ideally, your screen should be raised, so that you can view it at eye level. For travelers, this might mean investing in a laptop stand, an external keyboard, and a mouse to avoid any muscle strain. Additionally, whenever you’re working for long durations at a desk, it’s important to plant your feet on the ground and keep your shoulder down and back, with your back against the chair’s backrest.
If you’re at home, you may want to invest a little further, such as purchasing an ergonomic chair or maybe a stand-up desk. No matter where you’re located, you’ll also want to take lots of breaks to give your body a break from sitting.
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Set a Work Schedule
Work-life balance is extremely important, especially for remote workers. And when you don’t have a set work schedule, it’s really easy to slide into working all hours of the day, without breaks and without time for you.
This is where the magic of planning comes in! You can do this week-by-week or day-by-day. Basically, the goal is to plan ahead and have set times for work and set times for other activities, so that your life doesn’t end up being all-work and no-play.
It can also help to have separate environments for working and relaxing. This may mean investing in an office space, a co-working space, or heading to coffee shops for a change of scenery, which leads into our next tip!
Change Up Your Location
A remote lifestyle means you aren’t tied to one place. You can work from almost anywhere, depending on the time zone you need to be in and the type of work you do. This means you can go to a new city, if you so choose, or find new places for inspiration to work from.
Just because you’re “working from home,” it doesn’t mean you have to work from home. There are plenty of co-working spaces, coffee shops, and even outdoor spots to explore and get work done. So, switch it up! Not feeling inspired? Get inspired by finding that new spot where you feel productive and focused.
Ensure You Take Time for Self-Care
This tip goes hand-in-hand with setting up your work schedule ahead of time. All work and no play might lead to serious stress and serious burnout. Not worth it.
Instead, plan your work time, but also plan your self-care time. What will you do to relax? What activities offer fun and adventure? Find those activities and self-care tactics for yourself. They are so essential to the work-life balance equation.
This might mean planning your mornings so you have space and time for yourself before jumping right into work. It might mean scheduling breaks throughout your day to ensure you aren’t sitting for hours upon hours at a time.
Sure, remote work is flexible. But it doesn’t mean you have to start working 24-7. Make sure you still take those lunch breaks. Don’t let your fitness or health fall to the curb. And if you’ve got kids, plan your schedule around them! This is the beauty of a remote lifestyle. Leverage it. Use it to your advantage.
Communicate With Your Co-Workers
When making the switch from the office to remote work, it can be easy to lose track of what projects your co-workers are working on or when others are working. In contrast, it’s easy for others to lose track of what you’re doing too.
Stay in the loop via regular communication. Platforms, like Slack, are great for this! But good ol’ email works just as well.
Usually, in any work setting, it’s better to over-communicate, rather than under-communicate. Even though you’re no longer at your desk, you’ll want your co-workers and boss to know you’re an asset. So, schedule meetings. Take initiative. Reach out when you have a question. Update managers or your bosses on your recent progress. If you don’t, it’s easy for things to fall off the bandwagon, and easy to lose track of important milestones.
Communication can also foster community. This is something that can feel like it’s missing when performing remote work. Maybe having weekly or monthly check-ins with your team can help you all get to know each other a little better. These can be kind of like “virtual coffees” or “monthly kick-off” meetings, just to ensure everyone is in the loop and to make sure relationships are being built.
Try Out Different Work Styles
Do you like background noise? Heading to a coffee shop or throwing on some lo-fi music might help you stay focused. If you hate the noise, alternatively, you might want to invest in some solid noise-canceling headphones.
Other options you might want to consider include work styles like the Pomodoro method. This involves 25-minute work sessions, with 5-minute breaks. For every four rounds, take one longer break, spanning 15 to 30 minutes. There is also the option to shorten these work and break sessions or lengthen them, depending on your preference.
Or maybe you prefer to work in the mornings and get most of your work done then. Plan for that. Or perhaps you’ve realized you’re more productive in the afternoon. Again, plan for it. Try out different work styles and find which works best for your ideal remote lifestyle.
All in all, a remote lifestyle is pretty awesome. Yet, sometimes, especially at the beginning, it might take some testing and measuring to figure out what works best for you, your productivity, and your performance. And don’t forget, there’s always more to life than work!
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Krista Bugden is a professional freelance writer, with an Honours Bachelor Degree in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa. Before pursuing a full-time writing career and the digital nomad life, Krista worked as a Kinesiologist at a health clinic in Ottawa, Canada for many years. When not spending her time writing, Krista enjoys hiking, camping, trying new foods, and planning her next adventure.