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Breaking Remote Work Habits Before It’s Too Late

As we prepare to close out the year and enter a new, there are many companies striving to do last-minute constructive practices to really improve remote working. Many companies are making remote work the standard way of work since the pandemic has slowed down. With a new practice and way of operating comes new (and potentially harmful) habits. Bad work habits are not just harmful to the employee themselves; they are harmful to the company entirely. New transitions typically come with risks and problems, but they don’t always have to remain this way. While breaking harmful habits may sound nearly impossible, it is in fact possible and extremely effective in the long run. Continue reading for ways employees can break bad habits in remote work.

Identify the bad habits

Before you can do any damage control, you must admit that there is work to be done. Many companies fail at repairing the bad habits occurring within the organization because they struggle to identify what the actual problems are. Sometimes it can be a case of denial, and other times some don’t know where to begin. Bad habits can be changed when you truly acknowledge what is occurring and shows a great example of accountability and self-discipline. Making notes when you notice a bad habit gives you time to correct it before progresses and becomes your norm.

Establish accountability

When working remotely it is easy to push things back a day or two because of the flexibility that comes with remote working. Believe it or not, studies have shown that many people miss important meetings and calls because they take naps during their workday. Others decide that getting properly dressed isn’t imperative and as a result, productivity levels are lowered. This proves how easy it is to create bad habits slowly over time by doing small things that don’t seem as bad in the beginning. The key to breaking this habit is by holding yourself accountable at home to do the same things you are expected to do in the workplace. A few things include arriving to meetings early, dressing in the proper attire, taking allotted lunch breaks, and staying on task and productive.

Not setting a work schedule

When you leave room for error, more than likely errors will occur. One of the biggest ways to prevent any bad habits at work is by simply having a work schedule even outside of your work calendar. While work calendars/schedules are effective, most people find it most efficient to add things in between those daily meetings to stay on track. Doing this allows you to find your work-from-home balance and over time, you can adjust and refine the schedule without feeling like you must readjust all over again. When you’re in control of your own schedule, you can factor in mental and physical breaks to refresh your mind and productivity levels.

Lack of communication

Unfortunately, many people tend to hide behind their computer screens. Since they aren’t physically in the office surrounded by their team and colleagues, it can be easy to feel like you aren’t obligated to communicate unless spoken to. This bad habit makes it easy to feel like responding to direct messages, emails, and even meetings, aren’t necessary. Over time, you can create a bad reputation for yourself and eventually be reprimanded. Communicating and making yourself accessible to your team is an important factor of remote working. Checking your email and touching base throughout the day is a good way to ensure successful communication and that nothing gets overlooked.

Working from home is an adjustment that takes time getting used to. Adapting to change can be more difficult for some than others, but once you find your rhythm, things can be smooth sailing. Whether you intentionally make efforts to establish a good remote work flow, or you’re forced to adapt, life is constantly changing and you must decide your next step. Recognizing bad habits before it’s too late can drastically change your remote working experience. Using the tips provided above, hopefully over time you will form more productive habits and barely recognize the difference.

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