Let’s face it, sometimes it feels like we need permission to stop working. For years we saw working from home as the coming virtual revolution. We’d have more free time without the commute. A virtual world meant long walks with the dog, less need for childcare, and an improved work life balance.
With the increase of virtual workforces, we’ve come to realize how naive we truly were.
Working from home is new beast that needs to be tamed. In other words, the challenges of being remote are just as disruptive to our lives as a physical working environment.
You have traded your commute for unlimited accessibility. Therefore, you are always available to those that need you. While you are saving money on gas, you are losing your sanity to work that is no longer constrained to working hours.
Chances are you are working more hours than before. According to recent studies, remote workforces are working and average of 5-15 hours more per week. See the article on SHRM here.
You have to create boundaries for your work. This means, that while flexibility is fantastic, you need to give yourself permission to stop working. Most work is ongoing without any clear completion. This makes working a few more hours here and there so easy. You work is never done!
You’ve put the kids to bed, grabbed your glass of wine and then you see the glow of your company issued computer. It is easy for you to justify jumping on and responding to a couple emails. Without realizing it, a couple hours of your down time gave slipped away.
This happens more often than most of us would like to admit. You need to provide yourself with better boundaries and permission to stop working.
You’re now in more control of your working life than ever before. You have the power. Do not work yourself too hard now that you have this freedom! You can fight the temptation to be always available. You are the new workforce and you set the new rules.