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How to Keep Your Sense of Purpose While Working Remotely

https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/how-to-keep-your-sense-of-purpose-while-working-remotely

insights.som.yale.edu

How to Keep Your Sense of Purpose While Working Remotely
Yale SOM’s Amy Wrzesniewski, an expert in how people find meaning in their jobs, says that working remotely can diminish our sense of community and structure—and offers suggestions for staying anchored.

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Working Remotely In A Meaningful Way

Working Remotely In A Meaningful Way
  • Working at home sounded great to many and the prospect of having no commute was seen as a welcome change (which it is).
  • This initial euphoria has now turned into loneliness and missing of those we work with.
  • Long-term remote work can diminish our chance to find meaning in our lives, with no sense of physical community or structure, making it hard to stay anchored.
  • Many also find the extraordinary challenge of balancing one’s professional and personal lives at the same place overwhelming.

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The Workplace: Fringe Benefits

Having a physical workplace facilitates interdependence, and promotes healthy professional relationships. There is a sense of belonging, collective focus and social interaction that helps people find purpose and meaning in their lives.

Without all the things people love at their jobs, plain work suddenly looks less interesting or meaningful, as the entire context that made the mundane work attractive or tolerable has now been snatched away.

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Effective Strategies Of Remote Workers

  1. Forging a connection in a particular space at home or at a cafe/library where one can work in peace.
  2. Create a ritual to differentiate your workspace and personal space. It can be just going to a different place for working, or even taking a short walk to set yourself up for ‘work mode’.
  3. Connect with people who help you manage your emotions and keep you on track.
  4. Make the main purpose of your work connect with what matters to you and to the world. If the work is ‘soul-sucking’ with no purpose, this can be a challenge.

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Tips For Managers Handling Remote Workers

  1. Set aside a quick morning check-in which is preferably audio-only to catch up with everyone.
  2. Ensure that the employees feel connected and at ease.
  3. Build a trust relationship with the remote workers so that they feel part of a team, and cared for.

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Separate Your Work and Home

Separate Your Work and Home

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Set An Agenda

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Disconnect From Work

Try to block some time off your workday to have a stroll outside, or to make coffee, or a midday lunch break. This brings the day under your control.

Extroverts Working Remotely

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Daily Morning Huddle with Coffee Chats

An informal daily huddle where everyone is face-to-face in a virtual meeting, holding a fresh cup of coffee is a great way to start the day with purpose and energy. It requires everyone to wake up early, get dressed and make a cup of coffee.

A morning routine is great for productivity too.

Dance Parties And Music Playlists

Infusing music and dance in your breaks can add a sense of pleasure in the otherwise dull and drab routine, enhancing the immediate virtual surrounding of the extroverts.