The internet offers many surprising advantages to the people of today and has been responsible for the advent of entirely new ways to make money. Remote work is a relatively recent development, but current events have accelerated its widespread adoption. Remote work offers workers the ability to work from home, an arrangement that benefits employees and employers alike. However, there will be some growing pains to work through in order to make the most of this kind of job. Here’s what you need to know about making your online job work for you.
Talk of the harmful effects of sitting all day has proliferated modern health discussions, so it’s no surprise that remote work can have a detrimental effect on your health if you’re not mindful about the needs of your body. One solution to this problem is that of a standing desk. By simply standing instead of sitting for several hours each day, you’re giving your body the leg and core workout it needs to stay in tip top shape. An adjustable standing desk is the best of both worlds, however, because it gives you the option to spend most of your work day standing while still being able to sit down and relax periodically. Posture is another area in which your body can suffer when you work a desk job. It’s easy to punish yourself accidentally by assuming a comfortable position, but maintaining a baseline of proper posture will help you to avoid back pain, for example.
Staring at a computer screen all day also presents a few pressing issues that need to be addressed. For starters, the constant exposure to predominantly blue light can cause you to have trouble sleeping. In fact, blue lights are employed in some locations to prevent jet lagged airline passengers from falling asleep on the go. One way to address this problem is to give yourself a few hours without exposure to the blue light of your monitor before bed each night, although this isn’t always an option. You can also order a pair of Blue Free Optical glasses that can filter out the blue color of your LED monitor in order to block the sleep disrupting effects. There are also numerous tools for reducing the blue light emitted by your display.
Spending hours on end starting at a computer screen can also cause eye strain that can have its own ramifications. This strain can cause your eyes to feel tired or sore, for starters, and it can also contribute to headaches. Giving your eyes a break periodically throughout your workday is a great way to abate these symptoms. Likewise, taking a step away from your computer for a stretch every now and then can relieve tension and keep you from experiencing those aforementioned back pains.
You might be tempted to assume that working from home is a blessing. While that’s largely true, it can present an invisible hurdle in the form of mental health problems. Humans are inherently social animals. While some people are introverted and thrive in isolation, some may find themselves feeling the effects of working without the company of their coworkers. It’s important to note that matters of the mind are often difficult to perceive, and you may be suffering under these conditions without even realizing it. Practicing mindfulness is a great place to start where mental health is concerned, because it can help you to detect these invisible problems when and if they arise. By staying vigilant and being aware of how your mind and body are reacting to your situation, you can observe changes in your behavior that might otherwise go unnoticed until it becomes a problem.
An important way to offset potential loneliness is to make up for the lack of interaction with your coworkers elsewhere. Spending more time talking to friends and family can be incredibly helpful in giving you the social connection you need. Current events make even that more difficult, but adopting the use of online messengers and teleconferencing apps like Skype can help you stay in touch with loved ones in order to get your daily dose of human contact.
It’s also important to understand the interplay between the mind and the body. Poor posture, sitting for prolonged periods of time, and a lack of exercise can contribute to a decline in your mental health, so you need to be sure to take care of yourself in a holistic way in order to make the most of your work from home. Compensating for the sedentary nature of this kind of work with a new workout routine can do wonders to protect you from yourself.
One of the biggest hurdles many remote employees encounter is the lack of productivity that results from the lack of structure in your personal environment. It can be difficult to stay on task when you’re surrounded by temptations and distractions, for example, and you may start to miss the supervision of a manager or the routine of your nine to five schedule. Offsetting these problems can be deceptively simple. All you have to do is decide to address these problems in order to eliminate them entirely. For starters, create a dedicated office space within your home in order to keep yourself from giving into the desire to do anything else but work. Isolate yourself from family members, if possible, in order to remove distractions.
Sound can be a major distraction for some, especially when you start a new remote job. One way to address this problem is to play some instrumental music on some headphones. This can help you tune out the world around you without creating a new distraction like the lyrics to your favorite song might. Even muffling the noises in your home with headphones without playing any music can help, and playing some white noise is also a valid option. Once you’re comfortable with your job, the need to block out the world around you may very well disappear, but finding ways to do so can help you adjust much more easily.
Creating a formal routine can help immensely, as well. When you get to make your own schedule, it can be easy to do without the structure that a schedule provides, and that can negatively impact productivity. Designating a time in which you can commit to your job fully will help you stay on task much more effectively than simply doing the job when the mood strikes. Likewise, some people may be compelled to spend too much time working, and that can result in burnout. By far the best way to approach making your own schedule is to mimic what has worked for you in past jobs, typically an 8 hour work day with an hour or so for lunch.
Working from home can be a dream come true, but it can also present its own problems if you’re not careful. Remote work offers workers new ways to earn a living, something that is sorely needed right now. However, you’ll need to adjust to this more relaxed version of earning a paycheck, and these tips can help you overcome the challenges of making a living from your living room.
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