It is no longer a trend. It is no longer a privilege. It is here and happening. It is remote work.
At least 66% of companies allow remote work and more than 16% are fully remote. Remote workers form the majority in the US. yet, they are no different from ordinary workers who have a regular routine. As a matter of fact, remote workers face even more dread in their daily line of work. There are several stressors that remote workers undergo that can take a hit on their well-being.
One of the biggest fears of remote workers is the impending loneliness. Working remotely gives only a handful of opportunities for personal interaction. It takes away opportunities to talk to team members, even if it is a casual banter.
Understand that you are not alone
Sure, remote work is going to make you feel lonely. One-fifth of remote workers in the US do cite loneliness as the biggest struggle with working remotely (Buffer State of remote work 2018). However, don’t let that get to you.
The feeling of loneliness is something that can be brushed off, albeit with some effort. The first step towards that begins with understanding that you are not alone. As a remote worker, you could be working in a secluded space that helps productivity. But, it sure does not mean you are alone. You can always sync up with your colleagues regularly with virtual conferencing systems. All you need is a VPN to keep your official conversations confidential.
Recall the entire day when it is time to hit the bed
The trouble with remote working in an isolated environment is that, your mental chatter can touch a crescendo. There will be so many questions that will make you lose sleep or even given an impression that you are not progressing.
“What am I doing?” “Where am I heading?” “Is this right?” These and so many other existential questions are bound to pop in. The only way to save yourself from falling prey to these questions is by taking stock of the day, at the end of the day.
You must have seen and heard several self-help gurus and even productivity coaches suggesting to keep a journal. Well, journal writing is definitely therapeutic. You can use the same technique with a twist to ensure your emotional well-being when you are working remotely.
Keep a journal or a work diary where you record all activities you did throughout the day. Make sure you don’t turn it into a to-do list. That will only backfire rather contribute to your well-being. The point is to make a note of all achievements or activities that you did throughout the day. That should help calm your nerves as you will know for sure that you are making progress, even if it is slow.
Find an emotional anchor whom you can confide in
At times, work can get emotional. A barrage of corrections from superiors, a few snafus here and there or a conversation with an irate customers can throw your emotional well-being in the gutter. Accept the fact that these scenarios are part and parcel of life.
However, when they become too overbearing for you to handle on your own, stop holding it back. Find an emotional anchor with whom you can confide in. Don’t be misled by the thought that asking out for emotional support is weakness. Even the strongest need support to stay strong.
The emotional anchor could be someone from work or even from your personal circles. They should be able to understand what is going on, put them in your shoes and pick pebbles in the shoe that could be making your life difficult.
Truth be told, it is not easy to find such people. It is indeed a stroke of luck to have someone with maturity and the willingness to listen to your woes. If you find one, make sure you do give it back to them as well.
Try meditation to strengthen your focus
When it comes to taking care of your well-being, especially mental well-being there is one practice that never fails to give results. It is meditation. Time tested for centuries and suggested by everyone from saints to CEOs, meditation is a proven way to calm the stormy seas in your mind.
There are several techniques of meditation that will help you in the long run. Basically, every technique would want you to sit in silence and focus on your breathing. Be assured that it is an easy practice and you should be able to find fifteen minutes every morning to meditate. Think of it as a way to cleanse the clutter in your mind, just like showering is for the body.
The right way to well-being
Of all things in mind, sustaining your mind and body’s well-being is easily said than done. Especially if you are a remote worker, your well-being can definitely take a nosedive as the days turn into weeks and weeks into months. These practices can help keep your well-being at healthy levels and not let you fall into a never-ending despair.