In the last year and a half, remote work has become the norm for millions across the globe… and one by one, companies big and small are announcing that work from home is here to stay. While the news has largely been greeted with enthusiasm by those affected, it’s no secret that remote work comes with a unique set of challenges. A few months after the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the internet became flooded with articles warning about the dangers of Zoom fatigue, depression, and productivity decline in remote workers.
Here at Treehouse Partners, we’ve been working from home since our inception over a decade ago, so we like to think of ourselves as experts when it comes to remote work/hybrid models. Over the years, we’ve figured out some tried-and-true tricks to help combat work from home fatigue, and one of the most important things you can do as a remote worker is to change up your environment! Studies show that switching up your location, in general, stimulates positive brain activity and promotes overall well-being. You don’t have to visit a whole new location every day; simply working from another room in your house or apartment can be enough to combat the remote work blues. It’s all about perspective!
Here are a few suggestions we’ve come up with as a jumping-off point:
Work from another room in your house. The slightest change can give you a whole new perspective! If you usually work from a home office, try setting up a small desk or table in the living room. If you spend most of your time working from the couch, bring your laptop out to your balcony on a nice day. The possibilities are endless!
Find a work from home buddy. Chances are you have at least one friend who’s also working from home. Consider setting up a weekly “work from home date” and trade off working at each other’s houses or meeting in outside locations (coffee shops, bookstores, etc.) You’ll get some company on top of a change of scenery! Just make sure your work from home buddy is someone who knows when it’s time to cut the chitchat and focus.
Explore your city. Coffee shops, libraries, community centers, and the like usually offer free WiFi and are a great option for getting out of the house… Plus, in some instances, you get to support a local small business! Just bring a pair of headphones in case you need to hop on a call and you’re all set. Psst… We won’t tell on you if you want to bring your laptop to that new wine bar down the street on a Friday afternoon (wink wink!)
Check out your apartment building’s lounge or business center. Many city-dwellers are renters, and apartments these days have some incredible amenities. If you live in an apartment with a resident lounge, business center, or even a cool lobby with some comfy furniture, try bringing your laptop to one of these sites for a few hours a week. Who knows, you might even strike up some new friendships with neighbors who also work from home!
Consider a shared workspace. This one won’t be financially feasible for everyone, but coworking spaces like WeWork offer a place to both work and network. Membership costs vary by city, but you can also book day passes with access to amenities if you’re not ready to commit to a full membership. Most cities now have quite a few coworking options – it’s worth checking out if you’re missing the social aspects of working in an office!
Keep in mind that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home every day – sojourning out for a few hours at a time can do wonders for your psyche. Changing the location you work from improves mental functioning, allows opportunities for social interaction, and generally helps to keep things interesting. Give it a try today!