My story around Remote Working
Managing your life, time and energy can be difficult at times.
I would argue that now in the era of Remote Working for many of us, it has become even more difficult to balance your work and personal life when everything happens in one place.
My story with Remote Working
I count myself both luckily and truly grateful, that over the last year I had the ability to work from home. I had friends and family who were not so lucky, for what has been a challenging year in one way or another for a lot of us.
In the beginning and even largely so now, the benefits of remote working outweighed the negatives. No more long commutes to work, and more flexibility and control.
For me, it was a match made in heaven. Throughout my life, I have always enjoyed my own space. I have always found it difficult to interact with others. I have always felt a little out of place, in one way or another, all the way from school.
Especially over the last few years, I have always tried to push myself outside my comfort zone, both in work and in my personal life. To not just be better at communicating with others but better in social environments.
Even as someone who enjoys time to themselves, even I have to admit, we all need human interaction, both in work and outside of it. That has been one of my biggest lessons over the last few years.
This has especially been apart over the last few months, with no longer seeing work colleagues in person, and having very little human interaction outside of my family, which has started taking its toll.
Introverts also need human interaction
I honestly never thought I, of all people, would say this. I miss people. There I said it.
Don’t get me wrong technology is great, and having the option to almost work from anywhere in the world and still connect and work with others is fantastic. But it just isn’t the same. Have you ever been in a face-to-face meeting and had to stop someone just to let them know their mic is muted?
Even as someone who tries to avoid human interaction as much as possible, when it is almost completely taken from your life, it can start to take a negative effect on your mental health.
I know for me, and although hard to exactly put into words, my own personal happiness just doesn’t seem to be as strong as it was, which I out largely down to having far less human interaction over the last year.
It’s important to just switch off your work brain, in order to tackle tomorrow’s challenges more effectively.
Even when you get to do what you love and enjoy every day, it is nice to shut off and spend time with your family, friends, and yourself, without always thinking about work.
This may be more of a personal one for me, and may not be true for everyone, but I feel I need a little time to decompress after work, even just 30 minutes. To slow down and really relax and be there for those around me and to really listen to them.
With Remote work, it has become a little more challenging, in less than 30 seconds you can finish work, and BAM, you are already home. Well, you have always been home, but you get what I mean.
Balance can be different for everyone, and you really need to find your own. Some might feel more comfortable spending 70% of their day working and the other 30% having some down-time, it can vary from person to person.
It can be very easy to let your work-life balance slip, when you are working remotely and let one creep over into the other. No matter who you are, we all need to have some time just for ourselves. To slow down, and not to push ourselves too hard.
It’s not all doom and gloom
Yes, life can be difficult, and now more than ever it has become more apparent how important it is to look after ourselves and our mental health so we can be there for others.
Life is also great, filled with fantastic moments, meeting great people, and exciting challenges waiting to be conquered. (I will eventually remove the old shed from my garden… one day)
Although in the last month or so I have felt trapped within the walls of my home. By speaking and getting it out in the open, and also by just taking some time to myself, going for walks, has helped, to put me back on the right path.
Is Remote working here to stay?
I don’t think it should be one or the other. A balance depending on you, between working remotely and working in collaborative spaces with others, will more than likely be the future.
A future I am excited to be a part of.
Giving each individual the flexibility to do what works best for them, I believe can help to provide a more sustainable work-life balance for everyone.
I would also urge if anyone reading this, like me, at any point feels trapped, alone, or in any way down, to please reach out to someone, whether it be a friend, family member, or colleague.