You can’t just get used to the distance

6 min


The transition to remote work saves time on the road to the office and eliminates the problem of traffic jams. However, a change in the working paradigm entails difficulties associated with physical and psychological adaptation. We tell you what to do with all this.


Photo – Charles Deluvio – Unsplash

Your “office”, your problems

Remote work has many advantages, so many “remote workers” feel happier and work more efficiently. According to the statistics of the company RescueTime, which develops the eponymous time tracker, specialists on the remote control give 4% more time for the main work – this is 58 additional hours per year. However, the advantages have a price, and the employee has to independently solve problems that simply do not exist in the office.

Workplace arrangement. Usually this task falls on the shoulders of the employer – he acquires furniture, table lamps, office equipment and so on. But with the transition to udalenka all this needs to be done already by the homeworker. Partially, the problem was solved in organizations that allow corporate devices to be taken home or practice the BYOD (bring your own device) strategy – when they use personal laptops, tablets and smartphones for work. But even in this case, the issue of arranging the labor space in the apartment remains open.

Obviously a comfortable workplace capable of improve well-being and increase productivity. Back in 2003, specialists from the Institute for Employment Research named after William Upjo with colleagues from the University of Texas establishedthat employees sitting in good office chairs with a lot of adjustments work 17% more efficiently. Given that the situation with the удал remote ’will continue for some time, investing in comfortable furniture can fully justify itself. But in addition to equipping the workplace, one has to think about creating the right atmosphere.

Office atmosphere. During the day, usually a large number of meetings, meetings and conversations over a cup of coffee. The situation is different in удал ен ке – – – – – communication 100% went into chat rooms and video calls, but such communication often causes negative emotions. Back in 2014, specialists from the Berlin Higher Technical School establishedthat a pause of 1.2 seconds during a video conference is already creating an uncomfortable environment. Given the large number of “ringing” within the day, this aspect can adversely affect work processes – for example, 57% of millenials considersthat video calls only complicate the work.


Photo – Charles Deluvio – Unsplash

But “remote conferences” will have to be put up with for some time. Many employees are in no hurry to return to offices and continue to work from home, which creates their problems – household chores sometimes make it difficult to concentrate on work tasks.

Work-life balance. If you are a homeworker, it is rather difficult to separate “office” and “home” duties. This fact is back in 2019. confirmed A survey of Airtasker (a marketplace for outsourcers) among 500 Americans employed on distance learning. Because of this, working capacity and concentration fall, professional burnout occurs. A study of one of the cloud providers is talkingthat more than 66% of developers working remotely notice signs of emotional fatigue. One of the reasons is that family members distract with conversations: no, no, and they will ask you to help with some trifling question, knocking the “stream” out of state.

“Udalenka” has become a trend for many years to come, so it is important to be able to switch between work / home modes in order to perform tasks efficiently. Fortunately, the level of comfort and productivity on a remote control depends not only on external circumstances, but also on personal skills. Further, we will give some tips from the “inveterate remote workers” and the companies in which they work.

How to adapt

Pay attention to the workplace. A rare employer will agree to provide you with a table and chair for working at home, so you will have to purchase them yourself. But this has its advantages – you can choose a good office furniture that is right for you. However, it’s not enough just to buy a decent chair. According to engineers at Red Hat, important create a near-office atmosphere at home. On the Internet you can find a large number instructions from specialists in ergonomics and video with manuals on the arrangement of the working space in the apartment.

One of the main rules is that “household” things should not lie nearby: children’s toys or scattered clothes. Thus, the number of distractions is reduced, it becomes easier to maintain concentration and focus on tasks.

Establish asynchronous communication. By given Harvard Business Review, over the past two decades, we began to spend 50% more time on all kinds of mitaps. We have to plan a day around several meetings, and in between, be distracted by mail or Slack. But on a remote control, the on-air communication format does not work well – colleagues may be in different time zones and not be able to participate in meetings.


Photo – Prateek katyal – Unsplash

Increasingly, the solution to the problem is asynchronous communication. This is a communication format when you send a message to a colleague without waiting for an immediate response from him. In this case, he is less distracted and can safely complete the current tasks, and you get the opportunity to spend time waiting on other matters of value to the organization.

In order to build effective asynchronous communication, in messages you need to clearly indicate what you need from another person and in what time frame. When answering questions, it is worth giving comprehensive comments – this approach can save everyone time when communicating in an asynchronous environment. For a better understanding of these aspects, it is necessary to upgrade soft-skills. You can start by studying the subject literature.

Often enough in such collections gets into book “Difficult dialogues. What and how to say when the stakes are high“. Among its authors Kerry Patterson is listed (Kerry Patterson) – he wrote four bestselling books of The New York Times and was honored Prizes for the development of the science of organizational behavior. Also worth paying attention to “Remote Office is optional“From the developers of the Bacecamp project management system and e-book”The Art of Async: The Remote Guide to Team Communication»With best practices for implementing asynchronous communication.

Maintain work-life balance. Scott Dawson, author of The Art of Remote Work, recommends determine the time when it is easiest for you to concentrate, and devote it to solving the most important tasks. For example, it may be earlier in the morning when the whole family is still sleeping and will not be distracting. In addition to working time, it is worthwhile to decide on time for personal communication – with family and friends – since correspondence in chats with colleagues is not able to fill the psychological need for communication. The user of Habr @pishukad recommended in his article to think about how to arrange leisure time associated with communicating with people – even if you are an introvert by nature.


Photo – Jake nebov – Unsplash

Switching to a remote location always implies stress – it is likely that for some time it will be difficult for you to concentrate, and it will take more than one day to arrange a home office and negotiations with children. But in the end, you can experience all the benefits of telecommuting. In any case, the tips that we have given today are not universal – you should always adhere to those strategies that work for you. Tell us in the comments about your life hacks and methods that help you work remotely, stay focused and be productive.


More of our materials:

Work on a remote control – a well-forgotten old

Participation in open source projects can be beneficial for companies – why and what it gives
Why developers are more expensive than money, how to save and increase them
Cloud for remote work: from theory to practice



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