Working from home? Here are times that you should sign off

Posted on Posted in 2016 Business Opportunities For You, What's Trending Now


As a remote worker, it’s easy to feel like you need to be available and online at all hours of the workday. After all, if you’re not “present” on the web, how will your boss know you’re getting your work done and continuing to be a valuable part of the team?

You must realize that there are times when it’s perfectly acceptable to disconnect as a remote worker. If you find yourself getting anxious every time you step away from your computer, just remember these four times that you can, and should, sign off.


1. When you need to commute
While your colleagues are driving into the office and home each day, it’s likely that you’re online, working. So, whether you have a midday meeting across town, are going to a lunch outside of your remote office, or just need to move to a coffee shop for a change of pace, it’s okay to sign off for a bit while you get there. There are still plenty of ways you can make that time personally or professionally productive without being present online. And if you’re really worried about your boss or team wondering where you are, shoot over a quick note letting them know where you’re headed and when you plan to be available again.


2. When you need to do focused work
It’s natural for remote workers to always give the “green light” — after all, we want people to know we’re available for quick questions or requests for help. But, there are projects that you really need to give your full, focused attention to in order to get them done right.

In a traditional office, you might have the option of shutting your door to signal to your colleagues that they should come back later — but as a remote worker, you should shut your (virtual) door by turning that “available” status to “busy” when you need to be uninterrupted.


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3. When you need a break
You have to take breaks as a remote worker if you want to preserve your sanity and be more focused on your work. Real breaks. Regular breaks. Away-from-your-computer breaks.

In a traditional office, when you need a moment to clear your head, it’s likely that you’d stop by a co-worker’s desk for a chat, head to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, and so on. Allow yourself to do the same at home. As long as you’re not away for more than 10 or 15 minutes, no one should question why you didn’t answer a request immediately. So every few hours, shut your computer, and take a few minutes to walk around, get outside, make a snack, or call a friend.


4. At the close of business
While it’s great for your colleagues to feel like you’re available anytime, actually making yourself available 24/7 is unhealthy. So, when you’re done with work for the day, sign offline and start fresh tomorrow.

It’s important to be available as a remote worker, but you shouldn’t feel guilty on occasions when you need to be checked out. Remember, there’s a difference between being on and being on and providing value. Do your work and do it well, and no one will question you, whether you’re on or offline.



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