Chapter One: Making Remote Work, Work for You
Whether you’re a freshly acquired member of the remote workforce or a seasoned remote employee, you embark on this journey with a similar mindset: What can go wrong?
No commute. You’ll save time and money, but will you prioritize work over a social life?
No officemates. You’ll face less distractions day to day, but will you become lonely over time?
No office hours. You’ll have ample freedom, but will you know how to enforce boundaries between working hours and personal hours?
The truth is, remote work does work. But, it might not work for everybody.
Burnout is real, and it can strike when you least expect it.
For remote work to fit your lifestyle, and more importantly, feed a positive headspace, it’s time to navigate and normalize burnout.
Burnout: A Remote Worker’s Biggest Challenge
There’s a massive misconception about remote workers that they either:
A) Have no routine,
B) Aren’t actually working,
While there might be some truth to not adhering to a set routine, it’s certainly false that remote employees aren’t working.
Statistically, remote employees do not enforce boundaries when it comes to their working hours. Those working from home frequently do not know how to disassociate from work, therefore, their “home hours” bleed into their “work hours.” So, even if a remote worker is awake by 7:30 a.m. each morning and hops straight on their computer, the concept of a “routine” is flawed—”routine” implies there are set hours to stop work, and for many remote workers, down time doesn’t exist.
“Technology makes it easier than ever to connect with others, especially work colleagues. This opens the door for remote workforces, but it can be a double-edged sword,” explains Naveed Ahmad, Co-Founder.1
“In theory, remote-work technology means you can get work done on your own terms, leaving you with more personal time and flexibility. In practice, this rarely works. Instead, the ‘always-on’ nature of technology means most people allow their work to creep into their nights and weekends. We respond to emails and Slack messages from our bosses first thing in the morning, right before we go to bed, and even on weekends.
Along with each of these messages come surges of stress and dopamine, and a hijacking of our thought processes that make it increasingly difficult to find time where we’re not doing work or thinking about doing work. As a result, our lives become boundaryless.”
If you read the above paragraph and thought, “Wait, am I burnt out too?” you’ll want to keep reading.
- Ahmad, Naveed. “A Deep Dive into How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation.” LinkedIn, Flourish, 29 Mar. 2019, www.linkedin.com/pulse/deep-dive-how-millennials-became-burnout-generation-naveed-ahmad/.