To succeed at remote work, we need to know what we need and how to communicate it.
I have three kids and the best kind of support from Lauren. Remote work would be impossible without her being a great friend, taking care of the kids when I’m having meetings and listening to all my silly ideas.
This post was a draft for a while and I’ve tried to make it as universal as possible, though, I realized that I could only share my viewpoint on the type of support one would need and so I’ll touch on practical and intangible support.
My workday starts at 8am. I have a separate space where I can lock the door to stop the kids from running in. I’m not too fond of interruptions and any other task or requests while I’m working. I’m most productive in the morning and try to schedule my deep work between 8 and 12. Since I became team lead I have more meetings in the afternoon. I take a break every hour and regularly go outside to see my family.
To think about what you need to help you with, consider these questions:
- What kind of space would you like to work in? Should your space be open and accessible to those around you?
- What are your preferred work hours and when are you most productive?
- What can others do to make your work easier and how can you return this favour?
After answering these questions or thinking about your own practical needs, consider the intangible needs that are equally important.
I need to talk about disappointments and let go of stressful situations. Similarly, I love speaking about the joyful work moments and having some quiet time to write and think fills me up. Reflecting on the positive things and practicing gratitude allows me to face life with a fresh perspective. There are days where it’s impossible to be entirely focused, where I am distracted by family responsibilities or life. You will face similar situations.
For the intangible support consider these questions:
- Do you have good separation between work and life? Are you taking enough time off?
- What makes you truly happy and how can you create a space for this in your life?
- Do you take time to acknowledge and celebrate your successes, regardless of how small they are?
When we disconnect from work we need to return to space where we are loved, respected and cared for. In this environment we can more freely share how work affects us emotionally. Remote work situations differ a lot and we all have our own unique context, but despite the varying contexts taking your loved ones on the journey with you is crucial.
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