Challenges of a Remote Worker

Calling all remote workers! How many of you office out of your home and/or are self-employed and work out of your home? What unique challenges do you face and what have you found that works well for you in the area of productivity systems and processes?

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My biggest struggle is monotony - even though I have an amazing office at home that I work out of the majority of the time, I also have a Flextime membership (~5 days/month) at a local coworking space. I find I get much more done by breaking up the routine occasionally.

On the days I work from home, I also try to do the heavy lifting in the morning before lunch. I’ve found I am much less productive in the afternoons, so I generally try to avoid doing any writing or production work then. But finding your own biological prime time is a worthwhile exercise.

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I have found it very rewarding to block schedule my day. Especially this summer, since I am taking 4 accelerated courses at the “local U” and have lots to juggle. Otherwise during a normal academic year (which dictates my schedule as a professor), I find that having themes for each of the days helps me - knowing that Monday, for example, is my Admin day and Wednesday is my Creative day, etc. really helps me stay on task, this fall I will try to add block schedule to the theme days and see if that sticks.

I do get distracted from time-to-time however and that is my biggest struggle - staying focused…

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Great question! I work remotely but also have a co-working space. As Mike S said, the value of “changing it up” daily is key for me as well. One day, I might start from home but then do the afternoon at the coworking space. The next day, I might reverse that. As long as I’m not doing the exact same thing each day, I’m fine.

@erikely My own take here is to be intentional, as others have mentioned, about breaking it up.

My own approach is to use that “extra” time I would have otherwise used on a commute to do things like go on a hike, do a craft with my kids, or go on a walk with my wife.

This is likely more important than we realize. By working from home, you gain a lot of time normally wasted on commutes and errands on the commute. Unless you make a decision about what to do with that time beforehand, it’s likely to go wasted.

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