How to Balance Remote Work and Summer Fun
Summertime brings special challenges for remote workers. And for working parents, with warm weather beckoning to kids at loose ends without the structure of a school schedule, the summer months can wreak havoc on work-from-home productivity if you don’t have a plan in place to address common issues.
Here are some tips to balance remote work and the summer.
Incorporate Summer Weather Into Your Workday
One thing that’s hard for workers in the summer season no matter where they work is dealing with the temptation of sunny blue skies while attempting to stay focused on the task at hand. Remote workers have an advantage in this department, though, if they’re intentional about leveraging it.
Working from home means you don’t have to stay stuck at your desk. As long as you can work from a laptop and have a Wi-Fi connection, you can take your work outside and enjoy the summer heat.
If it doesn’t interfere with your ability to concentrate, relocate your workstation to your backyard, or find a secluded beach or quiet park to set up shop for the day. If needed, invest in a hot spot and take your internet connection wherever you go.
Rely on a Schedule to Stay Focused
Distractions are ubiquitous, and this is truer than ever in the summertime. To avoid getting sidetracked by a million other options for how to spend your limited time this summer, don’t leave your working hours to chance.
Create a weekly schedule to map out when your projects will get done, carving out specific hours for team availability, focused deep work, calls, and videoconferences, as well as the essentials of meals, breaks, exercise, family commitments, and other nonnegotiables that will take place during your workday.
By committing each event to your calendar, you’ll increase the chances of meeting your daily professional goals in the summer.
Parents: Plan Ahead to Avoid Interruptions
Working parents must consider not only their own work and personal schedules but must also manage the tricky business of their children’s summer schedules.
With no school instruction or classwork to keep school-age kids busy, the key is to find ways to create structured, engaging fun that won’t interfere with your own remote work commitments. But if you don’t plan ahead, you might be forced to figure out what those summer activities are on the fly—or worse yet, when a Zoom call is about to start with colleagues.
Instead, research and select kids’ options in advance so you’ll be ready to set them up with everything they need before you start work. One smart solution for work-from-home parents who need to keep kids absorbed in a worthwhile pursuit during workdays is to schedule some online classes for summer enrichment and skill-building. For example, sites like Outschool and Wanderschool allow kids to learn anything from coding to cartooning to fashion design.
Incorporate a Summer Trip or “Daycation”
If you work for yourself as a remote worker, then it’s up to you to carve out your own vacation time—or else you might work year-round without a break! Many remote employees hired by a single employer also have been known to forgo their allotted vacation time, even in a “use it or lose it” setting.
To keep this from happening in either scenario, use the welcome excuse of summer to give yourself a respite from the daily grind. If your clients or commitments make it hard to disappear for too long, at least treat yourself to the brain break of a “daycation.”
Make this more than just a day off to do laundry. Instead, use your daycation to do something that rejuvenates and restores you, even if it’s just reading in bed without working toward deadlines.
Treat Weekends Differently Than Weekdays
Another way to balance your remote work responsibilities with the rest of your life during the summer is to create separation between working days and relaxation days. One way to ensure this happens is to give yourself two true days off every weekend, rather than creating a work-life blur with no boundaries between your personal and professional life seven days a week.
Depending on the type of remote work you do—whether you report to someone or are your own boss—you might be able to flex which days you call your weekend and/or extend your weekly reset beyond just two days. Whichever days you choose, by giving yourself solid recurring dates to enjoy the summer beyond your work, you’ll be able to focus better on your workdays.
Remote Work Summer
As a remote worker, you have some advantages over your in-office counterparts when it comes to enjoying the summer season. To ensure a balance of productivity and fun all summer long, you should maintain a schedule that includes breaks, plan ahead as much as possible, and establish boundaries between work and home.
And if you’re still on the hunt for a remote job, check out the remote job listings on Remote.co!
By Robin Madell | Categories: Work Remotely