Take Better Control Of Your Day While Working Remotely Or On-Site

Take Better Control Of Your Day While Working Remotely Or On-Site

The TIPP Poll found that most Americans think working remotely is less stressful than working on-site. Dr. Deb Bright gives tips on taking better control of your day while working remotely or on-site.

Dr. Deborah S Bright

Since many workers have now had the opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to work remotely and compare it to being physically on-site, it’s good timing to look into which work setting is believed to be more or less stressful.

To do this, we surveyed workers as part of the national TIPP Poll and discovered that most survey respondents (63%) claim that it is less stressful to work remotely than to work on-site. It’s worth noting that 25% disagreed and another 12% were unsure.

chart 1

Who are these people who find it less stressful to work remotely?

  • Most earn over $75,000 per year
  • College-educated
  • Live in urban areas
  • Typically, between 18 and 44 years old
chart 2

While the survey did not explore factors that attributed to making working remotely less stressful, various articles on the subject over the past few months mention that when working remotely, there is less hassle of commuting and it’s a breeze to get ready for work. Notably, both are great timesavers. Working remotely seems to be especially appealing to working mothers who appreciate the flexibility to attend to family matters throughout the day.

Working remotely gives individuals a greater sense of control. That underlying factor is important in today’s times. Just as Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc., and other CEOs are saying, we need to respect that in today’s changing world, employees want to have some say in where and how they work.

So, whether working on-site or at home, consider capitalizing on your situation with these opportunities for taking greater control of your day and positioning yourself to perform at your best:

Map Out Your Day

  • Take control of how you approach your daily work tasks by mapping out your day. Start by building a to-do list for the next day. You’ll be interested in knowing that findings from our 7-year experimental/control study, Strategies for Enhancing Performance, revealed that “building to-do lists” is the most effective skill for enhancing workplace performance and directing stress positively. It works great as an actionable end-of-day pledge. When creating your next day’s to-do list, be sure to identify those tasks that “must” get done from those that are optional. You never know what may pop up on any given day!
  • If having some uninterrupted think-time is essential, consider finding a quiet space within your office building and reserving it. If that’s not available and you need to remain in your designated workspace, try visibly displaying a red sign to indicate to anyone who may be dropping by to talk to you that you need some uninterrupted time to concentrate - unless there’s truly an emergency! Then again, some of you can just leave the premises and go to a coffee shop to do your thinking.

Create Your Own Mental Health Breaks

  • Granted, there is more freedom for mental health when working remotely because you are not exposed as you are when in the workplace. But you can set your own pace and stay energized in either setting by permitting yourself to take breaks throughout your workday. It doesn’t have to be 15 minutes…it can be a brief walk around your work area. Findings from the Strategies for Enhancing Performance uncovered that taking breaks was a great way to redirect stress positively! For example, have you ever found yourself stuck and unable to find the right words when writing an email or report, and then after taking a short break, you return to that email or report, and the words just seem to flow! So, go ahead and do take occasional breaks throughout your day.
  • Our research also found that going out to lunch with a co-worker or friend is also a great way to come back stronger for the rest of the day.
  • Deciding when to exercise is easier when working remotely. However, many organizations today have a fitness center on-site. So take advantage! If none is available, try doing what doctors do. Since it’s very difficult for doctors to work out consistently each day, many take short exercise breaks periodically throughout the day by climbing the hospital steps. If you have stairs where you work, try climbing them for exercise when going from one meeting to another. Then again, leverage your breaks by turning them into “mini-exercise breaks” – lift weights, take a short walk - to really disconnect…leave your cell phone at your desk.

Incorporating these tips into your day, positions you to perform at your best. Keep in mind just knowing these tips won’t work…it’s putting them into practice! Now you are truly accepting control of your day!


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