Remote = Always Working ?

Kuty - 12th March 2017

One of the challenges that I hear from my team and others who are working remotely is that there is a tendency to stay at the computer and work throughout the day and night.

This need for a constant connection and interaction may be a symptom of our times. Just the other day when I was out on a date night with my wife, we both noticed a fellow diner who was at a table for one, with a laptop on the table and a headphone in her ear. When we spoke to her, she admitted she was a consultant and was always connected.

Historically, we have always been slaves to the cycles of nature. When the sun went down, the number of potential activities shrunk dramatically. It was also why farmers woke up at the crack of dawn. It was the only way to get the maximum productivity out of the day. And candles were expensive.

Today, nature no longer controls our environment, we control it. Sun went down? We have artificial day. We even have daylight bulbs that mimic more nuanced features of sunlight. With all this control, we also must take responsibility for ceasing the creative activity.

I notice that when left to my own devices, it appears that I am like Pavlov’s dogs and simply react to the stimulus. The non-ceasing dings for attention and requests for attention are exciting! I must be important! Yet, to truly be creative, we also need time away from creating.

At we have a running conversation about how to do that. And I’m glad to share some of the tactics that we use to create separation between work and non-work.

  • Taking showers. Work starts and ends with a shower. The ritual cleanse allows me to create space between declaring a start and an end to work
  • Dogs! Having a routine to walk the dog allows me to get a few good breaks and the physical activity also helps unlock the brain
  • Changing locations. When I don’t feel that I’m operating at full speed, I change a location. Whether it is in my own space or going out to local coffee shop, the changeup of location helps me jumpstart
  • Power Naps. A short 10–15 min nap is super reviving
  • Small breaks (for me, I’ll admit, short smoke breaks)
  • Having kids requires you to have a routine and it certainly requires me to get off the computer in time to pick them up from school. Funny to think of kids as a excellent routine enforcer

Whatever your personal method to work sustainably, it is one of the amazing features of being human that allows us to over-work but also gives us the ability to create methods to cease work, recharge .

Working remotely is also working with more personal responsibility.


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