Amidst the current health crisis, many people have now shifted to a remote work setting. This set-up is an attractive option for many, but for the 14 million disabled people in the UK, working remotely opens the door to so many great opportunities.
What’s remote work?
Remote work essentially means that you can work from anywhere, as long as you have a computer and an internet connection. You can head over to a café or a coworking space if you want to shake things up.
The flexibility that comes with remote working can do a world of good for disabled workers. First, it takes away the struggle of unpleasantly commuting every day to work. And the skills needed for most remote work jobs are very attainable. For instance, we previously shared on our list of the ‘Top 5 Skills Students Can Develop Online‘ that key skills like cloud computing, programming, and copywriting can all be cultivated online.
Most importantly, it makes it easier for you to balance your workload and caring for your disabilities. Although there’s a still long way to go for disabled workers, working remotely is a big step for growth.
Top tips for remote working
While remote work may be more convenient, it’s important to remember that it’s a still job at the end of the day. If you’re taking on your first remote job, here’s what you need to know in order to succeed.
1. Stick to a schedule
Although remote work often comes with the perk of flexible hours, it’s important to be smart with how you use them. After all, life at home can get rather busy as well — whether it’s interacting with other household members or making sure the larder is well-stocked. This is why you should consider crafting a schedule for your workdays. It’s a great way to keep yourself organised and focused on getting your work done.
But of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all routine, since we all carry different roles and responsibilities. Productivity expert Elizabeth Larkin points out that you should write down all your daily duties to help you structure your day. From there, figure out what time of the day you’re most productive, so you can properly schedule the other tasks around it.
2. Have a separate workstation
The trouble with being a remote worker is that there’s literally no separation from where you work and where you rest. It’s essential to simulate a work environment as much as possible, which is why Pain Free Working’s wellness team recommends having a dedicated workspace in your home. This allows you to gain momentum and put you in the zone, while also setting boundaries for work and play. Even if you don’t have a spare room to set up an office space, something as simple as choosing a specific desk or spot to work can help you get settled into your new home office. To paint a clearer picture, here are some ways to build a productive workspace:
• Pick a spot that invites light.
• Have a chair that provides support.
• Use a laptop stand to prevent neck and back pain.
• Keep your desk clutter-free but make sure files are within your reach.
• Add a plant to breathe more life into your space.
3. Know when to unplug
As we mentioned, the flexibility of remote work can be tricky to navigate. And one of the most common challenges that remote workers face is that you can quickly feel burned out since it’s so much easier to overwork yourself. While going the extra mile is a great display of dedication, don’t forget that stress isn’t synonymous with success. In fact, the London Hazards Centre’s David Hardman reveals that overworking yourself could result in major health problems like stroke, heart disease, and mental health issues. To avoid burning yourself out, here’s what you can do to unplug:
• Once done with your work tasks, avoid your workplace and just relax in the comfort of your home.
• Set more boundaries by having a go-to activity you can revel in, such as cooking, exercising, or even listening to a podcast.
• Make sure to take breaks in between tasks to keep yourself grounded.
4. Have a support system
When it comes to remote work, your social interactions with your colleagues will be done merely through online channels. This can feel isolating at times, and even affect your overall disposition at home. Thankfully, you can always lean on your family and friends for emotional support. Think about whom you can turn to for different problems that you may encounter — from struggling with your disability to feeling anxious with your workload. Alternatively, why not try to befriend a coworker? Overall, having a support system will help you build the confidence you need as a remote worker.
After working as a human resources manager, Gemma Groves now devotes her time as a freelance writer based in Cheshire. When she’s not busy reading up on the latest business trends, you can find her tending to her indoor garden at her flat.