Importance of Taking Time Off When Working Remotely

06 Oct 2022

A professional woman sits on a desk, engrossed in her laptop. Balanced time off and a hybrid job to avoid burnout and increase productivity.

You've just finished a challenging project at work, and you're feeling exhausted. You've been working nonstop for months and want to take some time off, but you know that's not an option.

You'll have to push through it.

We've all been there. We work hard, we put in the hours, and sometimes we're left feeling like we don't deserve a break because our job is so important or urgent.

But one thing that's even more important than your career: is your health and well-being. Suppose you don't take care of yourself, your health will suffer. Unfortunately, so will your productivity at work, and nothing ruins productivity more than feeling burnt out. When you're overworked, lonely, or feel like you're not living up to your potential, it can be easy to get into a cycle of negative thoughts and emotions.

Remote working doesn't mean working all the time. You must take breaks and disconnect to stay healthy when you work from home, in a coffee shop, or anywhere else outside of an office.

Take a time out

Remote work can be a great way to have more control over your schedule, only if you know how to. It's easier to take breaks throughout the day. If you're feeling tired or stressed, you can take a nap or go for a walk around the street instead of getting nothing done at all. This will help keep you focused while working and make you a more productive remote worker and a happier person overall.

Asking for time off

Asking for time off can be a tricky thing to do, primarily when you work remotely. But it doesn't have to be. Here are some tips for how to ask your boss for time off:

  • Be clear about what you need. Before asking for time off, ensure you know what you need and why it's essential. Let your boss know if something specific or urgent is going on in your life. If they ask why they should allow this request of yours (they probably will), have an answer ready!
  • Make sure they understand how much work needs doing while away from the (virtual) office so they'll feel confident handing over responsibilities to someone else while they're gone. It's best if this person doesn't leave their desk unattended until another employee is ready to do the job accordingly. Otherwise, there could be chaos.
  • If you can't work because of an extenuating circumstance, such as needing to take care of the pets during a family member's trip out of town, explain this to your boss. Hence, they are aware. Even if the situation is temporary, make sure it doesn't become permanent by informing people early on (such as HR). These extra precautions can help set up policies moving forward.

Remote doesn't mean alone

It's essential to have a work-life balance. You should be able to enjoy your free time and spend it with the ones you love. On the other hand, working from home can be isolating—especially if you don't have any coworkers nearby with whom you can connect over lunch or happy hour. To make your remote job more social, you can:

  • Work out at a gym with friends who also work remotely.
  • Take walks around town after dinner or before bedtime (or both!)
  • Have dinner parties so you and your friends aren't sitting alone on their respective couches all night.

Work at the Right Company

Another essential thing is to work at a company whose culture supports your mental health and work-life balance. This could include paid time off (including sick days), flexible schedules, and telecommuting options. If you have kids or other family responsibilities, for example, having a flexible schedule can help ensure that you don't feel overwhelmed by work and can maintain healthy relationships outside of work.

In Spiky, we, directly and indirectly, support our teammates' well-being by offering them the freedom to choose any time they want. We respect our boundaries and support each other’s needs. All of those fundamental aspects of maintaining good mental health in the company!


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