Although it may appear like working from home brings only freedom and time-saving benefits, after 16 years spent doing so I now know fully well that it is not without its challenges. Leaving behind the cubicle has gifted me with unique experiences and introspection into what it really means to work from home, a reality for so many in today’s digitally-connected world. This article will discuss what I’ve learned in the past 16 years of my work life, and how I’ve adjusted to the remote lifestyle.

1. The Unanticipated Benefits of 16 Years Working From Home

In the era of the pandemic, the work from home lifestyle has become part of the norm. But for some of us, it may be that it’s been part of life for a much longer time. For 16 years, I’ve been an employee of the telecommuting persuasion, and I’ve found that there are more benefits – some expected, some unexpected – to this line of work than I initially anticipated.

  • Flexible Schedule: One of the biggest bonuses to this type of living is the flexibility it offers. Structuring your own schedule means there’s much more room for concentration on projects and taking mental breaks.
  • Eliminated Office Politics: Working from home also eliminates the stresses and games of office politics. The focus is on the work not office banter and drama.

Though it took some getting used to, remote working has allowed a level of efficiency and productivity in my life that I hadn’t anticipated. Knowing that I am doing my job well and seeing the direct positive effects of my work on my employer’s bottom line is incredibly rewarding. Whether it’s a newly discovered benefit or one you’ve been familiar with for years, there’s something special about the remote lifestyle.

2. Achieving Work-life Balance From Home

In the current climate, many of us are facing the additional challenge of achieving balance between work and home life while still, indeed, staying at home. It’s a tricky but incredibly important balance to get right. Here are a few tips on how to achieve work-life balance from home:

  • Get organized: Spend a few minutes each day (e.g. first thing in the morning) to organize your tasks, set clear boundaries and review your goals.
  • Create a comfortable workspace: Have a dedicated, well-lit area to work that allows you to relax in your job and then let go of it.
  • Set a routine: Create a regular work routine and stick to it; this helps you to stay productive and focused.
  • Maintain regular communication: Have daily check-ins with your team to discuss goals, objectives, and progress and exchange ideas.
  • Establish breaks: Take regular short breaks throughout the day to avoid burn-out. Use this time to do something that helps you relax and re-energize.

Working from home is a tricky balancing act, and it’s often a process of trial and error. Focus on getting organized and creating a comfortable workspace, and then remember to make a conscious effort to switch off from work during your days off.

3. Connecting With My Professional Network Remotely

In today’s digital world, there are multiple ways to establish connections with colleagues and clients from afar. Armed with a few essential tools, networking remotely is a breeze.

  • Video conferencing: Video conferencing allows for remote face-to-face conversations with colleagues and clients all over the world. Through platforms such as Zoom and Skype, you can have meetings, presentations, workshops, and videocalls with multiple contacts at once.
  • Social media: Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are great ways to connect with individuals and industry professionals. Platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat give a more personal approach to networking, while also allowing users to share their work portfolios with potential employers.
  • Blogging: Establishing an online presence in the form of a blog is an excellent way to showcase your expertise and talents while connecting with individuals online. You can write about industry trends, success stories, or any topics related to the professional field you work in.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or a newcomer in the industry, networking remotely is an integral part of career growth. Keep the conversations professional, yet personal, and make the most out of digital connectivity.

4. Setting Up an Ideal Home Office Environment

Creating the ideal home office environment is essential for staying focused and productive. After all, if your workspace isn’t comfortable and inviting, it’s hard to stay motivated and inspired.

There are several key elements you should consider when setting up a home office that will help you be productive:

  • Lighting: Proper lighting helps maintain healthy eye strain while working.
  • Organization: Make sure your desk is organized and all items have their space for quick and easy access.
  • Noise Level: Background noise helps produce endorphins that boost your creative thinking.

Of course, your home office should be in sync with your style, so go ahead and find the best colors and patterns that work for you. JavaScript plants, stainless-steel organizers, a nature-inspired wallpaper, a colorful lamp – whatever helps brings your office environment to life!

These sixteen years of remote working have been hard, but ultimately rewarding. I’ve certainly gained a lot of knowledge — both about working remotely and about life in general. So as I look ahead to whatever’s next, I’m grateful to have acquired these essential insights that will serve me — and perhaps you — well.

By Jordan

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