Almost everyone has experienced some form of remote work and study over the past few years, due in large part to the pandemic. And while it seems like it’s a great setup, there are a lot of things that change when you primarily work remotely - and some of them might be a surprise! Just like with any change, there are pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some:
It can be hard to log off
You could love your job more than anyone else in the world, but who wants to be working all the time? When you work remotely, it’s easy to work late hours or check your email on weekends: if your entire home is your office, setting boundaries becomes almost impossible.
Ironhack’s tip: as hard as it might seem, try to pick one place in your home to work from and once the work day is over, put your computer away and respect your time off just like you would if you were still working from the office.
Lots of independence…like, a lot
There’s no boss breathing over your shoulder and no coworkers interrupting you with questions every few minutes. You’re basically on your own and wow, that’s a lot of independence. Some might benefit from more space and freedom, but others may miss someone keeping them in line.
Ironhack’s tip: If you’re having trouble staying focused at home, try setting small and attainable goals to help you manage your time and tasks. It can seem like an impossible task, but part of remote work is learning how to be efficient and productive even outside of the office.
Your responsibilities expand…but not work ones!
Does being at home all day mean that you’re the new building doorman, picking up everyone’s packages? Or are you asked to be the community dogwalker, adding a walk into your daily routine? It can be hard to create a solid boundary between your work and personal lives, but it’s a necessity.
Ironhack’s tip: set clear boundaries with your housemates, neighbors, and anyone else who is asking you to take on additional responsibilities during the day. While receiving a package for someone else seems easy, make sure it doesn’t become a regular request that can interfere with your day-to-day; even though you’re at home, you’re still working.
Zoom fatigue: yes, it’s real!
There are four major parts of zoom fatigue: seeing yourself in meetings for extended periods of time (something that simply doesn’t happen during in-person meetings), seeing everyone in the meeting at the same (in the office, we usually focus just on the speaker), we feel obligated to stay in the exact same spot for the entirety of the meeting (it can feel strange to get up for a glass of water or bathroom break and leave your camera on), and communication gets more complicated (it’s harder to read non-verbal cues online).
Ironhack’s tip: if you find any of the four parts of Zoom fatigue familiar, try to turn off your camera periodically or use the “hide self-view” feature so you don’t see your own camera. And if you notice it’s an issue that other colleagues are dealing with as well, establish team rules where some calls don’t have cameras on and are simply run through the audio.
The social aspect
You probably think we’re joking, but we’re not; you may actually start to miss your co-workers! Especially if you live alone or are the only one working remotely in your house, it can get quite lonely just sitting in front of your computer all day.
Ironhack’s tip: just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean that there’s no in-person interaction available! Reach out to your local colleagues for an afterwork meetup or if you’re not located close to your co-workers, try scheduling “coffee breaks” during the day for you to hop on a video call and catch up.
If you worked primarily in the office, you spent the vast majority of your time away from your house and what happens in your neighborhood or building from 9 to 5. Now that you’re working from home, a whole new world has opened up; did you know that the stay at home mom takes an at-home aerobics class every Wednesday morning? Or that your neighbor mows his lawn every Monday afternoon? Now you do.
Ironhack’s tip: if there’s a constant habit that’s making it hard for you to get your work done, make sure you plan accordingly. Avoid scheduling meetings during your neighbor’s Zumba class and make sure you’re being a good neighbor as well! Keep your music or podcasts at an appropriate volume and if it’s getting impossible to work at home, don’t be afraid to make a friendly comment to your neighbors.
Commuting time, saved!
Did you have a tough commute, adding an hour or two to your workday? Now that you’re at home, not only can you get up later and still be on time for work, but you also have lots of extra time once the workday is over. And if you are lucky enough to have additional flexibility, you might be able to fit in some errands or a quick workout during your lunch break.
Ironhack’s tip: it may be tempting to try to squeeze more into your day with the time you saved commuting, but you don’t want to overextend yourself and cause burnout. Just like if you’d take a lunch break in the office to clear your head and rest, it’s important to do the same at home. Take advantage of your saved commuting time but don’t get carried away: you’re only human!
Lots of people complain about having to pack a lunch for work or the added expense of eating out with co-workers but few mention the added weight of having to prepare a third meal every day! It seems minor, but facing another meal to prepare or cook, especially with the pressure of being home all day and having time to cook, can be overwhelming.
Ironhack’s tip: when you’re doing your weekly grocery shopping, take into account this extra meal and if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, consider a meal delivery service, trying out new recipes, or finding a simple and tasty option that doesn’t result in added stress to your day.
The office (or lack thereof)
The world is your office
This depends on your role and company policies, but many remote roles can be carried out from practically anywhere! As digital nomad visas become more popular, you can even take your adventures overseas and continue to make a living while exploring.
Ironhack’s tip: if you’re interested in becoming a digital nomad, make sure you check out your company’s remote work policies before planning your adventure. Some companies have restrictions on the countries from which you can work or may expect you to be online during a certain timeframe.
You can work from anywhere
If your neighbor’s HIIT workout is messing up your Friday mornings, head to a café or a local coworking spot to grind out some work. If you like sitting in the sun, hotspot internet from your phone and sit on a park bench, soaking in the sun while you complete tasks.
Ironhack’s tip: figure out what works for you. If working at home gets monotonous, shake things up and head to a local café for an hour or two. The beauty of remote work is the ability to make it work for you and your needs.
Do any of these sound familiar? Probably. Remote work can be a challenge at first, but the key is being flexible and figuring out what works best for you. And as many tech roles are becoming partially or completely remote, it’s time to make remote work a positive experience for you and your job.