Tips for Managing Frustration as a Remote Worker
There are so many personal and professional advantages to working outside of a physical office that covering all of them in a single post would be unrealistic—if not altogether shoddy blog writing.
One of the more impactful changes that’s less frequently covered is the ability to create the ideal work environment for you, down to the most granular of details. Sound, light, layout, ergonomics, refreshments, climate, etc., are all up to you. You can head to a local cafe, or if you’d prefer to fly solo but still have the coffee shop ambience, listen to Coffivity’s soundtrack.
Lording over my own professional existence has come with its own setbacks, however. It seems that all of this control over my environment has magnified my pet peeves when working outside of my home office.
If I have to attend a meeting across town, for example, signs of traffic congestion become a big obstacle. Public transit is uncomfortable; eavesdropped conversations are annoying. It pains me that Wi-Fi remains inconsistent and unpredictable. Even the more minute changes in temperature or noise can seem grating. Unforeseen tech issues raise my blood pressure disproportionately.
After enduring too much of my own (pathetic) suffering, I had a realization. Stopping dead in my tracks, I wondered, what on Earth is wrong with me? What of adversity, resilience, tolerance, and patience? These are things I have experienced and/or are traits I do indeed possess; they’ve simply become muted by a more self-centered workstyle.
If you’re not careful, remote work can turn you into an anti-social, irritable, and altogether unpleasant person to be around.
Here are some tips for managing frustration as a remote worker:
There are many proven psychological benefits to being part of a community. Remote workers are especially susceptible to burnout and feelings of isolation—a double whammy when it comes to mental health. Seek out virtual and face-to-face groups where you can share, support, and exchange ideas regularly.
Put your experience and expertise to work by helping others develop themselves professionally. As a remote mentor, you have the rare (and rather enviable) opportunity to engage with people of all backgrounds; don’t squander it by sweating what’s unimportant in your daily grind.
Bolster team culture.
Instead of zeroing in on those things happening around you that aren’t going well or according to plan, consider how you can make a positive impact on others. Look for opportunities to strengthen the culture of your remote team, and you’ll have less time to dwell upon extraneous issues.
Grow as a professional.
Focus more of your time and attention on the ways in which you can hone or broaden your existing skillset. If external stimuli are proving to be a distraction, take a hard look at the trajectory of your career and determine how you can reach your lofty goals.
If you embrace the above tips and mentally extricate yourself from the minor frustrations at hand—whether those involve waiting in traffic, riding that crowded train, or dealing with overcompensatory A/C—I’m confident that you’ll have a healthier outlook and a more fulfilling work life.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
By Kristi DePaul | September 29, 2017 | Categories: Work Remotely