Every job involves some degree of stress, but remote arrangements provide multiple ways to ease the pressure and increase productivity.
1. No commute.
The average one-way commute in the U.S. stands at 26.1 minutes. Gaining back this time by telecommuting—and eliminating the hassles associated with traveling back and forth —definitely can increase well-being.
You won’t have to commute anymore, which is huge. Not only would that spare you from sitting in rush hour twice a day, but it would give you more time in the morning to wake up, grab a coffee, and enjoy the morning without having to run straight out the door. Working remotely also would also save hundreds of dollars a year on gas and vehicle maintenance—which will definitely lower your stress.
2. Control over work environment.
Whether working in comfortable clothes or being spared interruptions from chatty coworkers, telecommuting promotes individuals developing a space that enhances productivity and happiness.
Working remotely allows you to create the environment and habits that maximize focus and flexibility. For example, @firebarista had her own space,a scenic view, alone, and quiet—the latter two aren’t as possible with coworkers around.
Your office would be 100% your own space, you’d be able to arrange and personalize it in a way you wouldn’t be able to anywhere else. It’s comfortable. The familiarity makes sitting down at your desk welcoming.
Also note that a home office eliminates stressing over distractions like petty office drama or who is looking over your shoulder.
3. Better work-life balance.
Lastly, telecommuters tout their arrangement as helpful to handling whatever comes their way and promoting positive behaviors that support mental health.
The flexibility of remote work makes it easier to manage stress. If a family member needs help, one just needs their laptop to work from home. Most remote jobs do have set hours, but some only require a certain number of hours per week, making it far easier to schedule personal appointments, take days off occasionally for self-care, and make time for the things you love to do outside of work.
1. Work in 3D: delegate, discard, and delete
- Delegate means that if you can diplomatically hand off a task to a colleague who’d be better equipped to handle it, do so. (Don’t invest further time if you’re not the right “owner” for it simply because it’s something you can do.)
- Discard refers to any tasks that have become obsolete or are no longer priorities that ought to fall off your list—and anyone else’s—entirely.
- Delete is just as it sounds—those stray email requests or unnecessary files can get the electronic boot as you purge your inbox of the excess that doesn’t belong.
2. Group similar items together.
Yes, this rather obvious approach likely strikes you as intuitive. But are you putting it into practice? If you need to respond to emails, batch your responses into a specific time of day (emergencies aside), and let your colleagues know of your plans. If you’re sending PR pitches or making sales calls, do them in a bundle. Block time for code fixes and website troubleshooting so that you’re concentrating on that type of task alone. Try it: you’ll breathe easier and will get more done!
3. Tackle ultra-brief tasks in a certain window.
Have a bevy of miscellaneous tasks that require yes/no responses, a quick sign-off, or a lightning fast update? Work them into an abbreviated window in your workday (of no more than say, 10 to 15 minutes), and you’ll have a much shorter list before you know it!
4. Mind your circadian clock
Schedule your most critical discussions and important presentations during the parts of the day when your energy levels are at their peak. Don’t tap into emotional or cerebral reserves to pull off an amazing exchange or think on your feet if you’re not at your best in the early morning or just after lunch. While the timing won’t always align with your personal high performance rhythm, leaving it to chance means that it likely rarely will.
The study by PGI, a leading provider of software services, found that 80% of workers reported higher morale when working from home, while 69% reported lower absenteeism and that’s a good thing not only for remote workers, but for the companies that employ them.
Remote work is a trend that’s here to stay.