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How to Overcome the Remote Working Guilt

How are you finding working remotely?

Have you felt guilty for not getting dressed up in the morning? Or found yourself overexplaining how productive you were during the week?

This is what you call remote working guilt. And it's very much a real thing.

Person learning how to overcome the remote working guilt

Despite recent studies showing that remote employees work more hours and are more productive and efficient, there's many people out there that can’t help but feel slightly shameful for doing it while in their pyjamas.

But What Causes Remote Working Guilt? 

Your working from home guilt is connected to people’s perceptions of what you are supposed to be doing. You may worry that others think you're contributing less or being less productive than if you were in the office physically. This can result in employees feeling like they need to work longer hour to prove how hard they are working.

You should aim to focus your energy on your projects, communicating effectively with your manager and the rest of your team and producing quality work.

Have trust in yourself, after all, you were assigned with a remote work task because you can get the job done from home. Let's dive into some ways you can start to overcome the remote working guilt.

4 Ways to Overcome the Remote Working Guilt

1. Think about the environmental benefits of remote working

If you find yourself feeling guilty for working from home (WFH), remember that there's endless environmental and cost benefits of remote working. Not commuting to work has led to less air pollution as well as  a reduced amount of fuel usage which contributes to a greener environment.

Want to learn more about the benefits of remote working? Here's our top three.

2. Maximise your time and set weekly goals

Even if you manage to finish a project earlier than expected, you can use the spare time to organise your calendar, check on your colleagues and clear your inbox. Try to avoid distractions such running errands or binge-watching Netflix.

Also, don’t feel the pressure to work through your lunch breaks because you are at home. Try to take healthy breaks that feel different from your work such as going out for a walk, meditating or preparing snacks.

3. Stay connected to your colleagues

Being connected to your colleagues while working from home will make you feel part of a team – no matter where you are. Schedule virtual coffee and lunch breaks and encourage group chats.

4. Organise a work from home set up

Start adding daily “rituals” that can put you in the right work mindset. Small things can really affect your day such as getting dressed as soon as you wake up, drinking coffee, having breakfast and setting a to-do list. After your job is finished, It is important to leave your working area and put a barrier between work and leisure.

One of the reasons why you may feel guilty when WFH could be because you find it challenging. Don't worry, here's three quick tips on how you can be more effective when working from home to help you get the best out of it. 

How to be More Effective When Working From Home

1. Create a routine you'll actually follow

It is very easy to associate the idea of working from home, with lounging around in your pyjamas and taking long leisurely breaks. But it is important to understand that, while remote working offers more flexibility, it is still a professional job that needs to be taken seriously.

Making a daily routine which can involve simple things like getting dressed, making a schedule and going for a walk in your lunch break, will allow you to avoid procrastination and increase your productivity.

2. Be clear on expectations

One of the biggest issues proposed by remote working is miscommunication, with misinformation often interpreted differently than intended.

To avoid this, follow up after meetings with an outline of the actions you plan on taking. This will ensure that you understand what is expected from you and show that you are taking initiatives, rather than waiting to be assigned a plan of action by your manager.

3. Set boundaries that you can stick to

One of the easiest things to do when working from home is to let your work life merge with your home life. This can be a huge problem and often make you feel as though you’re constantly working. This is why you must keep the two distinct. This can be through using a different room for working and your own personal time or setting clear boundaries with friends and family so you can truly focus and get the work done. 

Get Involved in the Conversation

How do you get over your remote working guilt? We’d love to hear from you. You can tweet us using @UModernGov

Or, if you'd like to view our latest courses, see the full list here and discover what you could learn.