The calendar is turning to 2021, but one auld acquaintance we’re not forgetting just yet is our trusty webcam. Working from home will continue through the winter for many workers, and while our perception of how time passes has been a little off lately, the definitive beginning of a new calendar year just might jolt us back into our routines and keep the days from running together the way they did in 2020. A few of these New Year’s resolutions for remote workers may help you bring a fresh start to the same old Zoom calls.
New Year, New Hair
Working from home has been a time for low-maintenance hairstyles. But now that a return to the office may be on the horizon, it’s time to start giving your hair the proper attention on your video calls. Volume and moisture are the keys to perfect hair when working from home.
Fix the Lights
You have a personality that can light up a room. Why can’t your webcam see that? Cameras are notoriously temperamental when it comes to lighting, and even shifting in your seat can upset your camera’s exposure levels. One inch can mean the difference between blowing out your entire face with light and making it look as if you’re calling from an exquisitely decorated cave. In 2021, it’s time to invest in either proper lighting or a better webcam. You’ll do your best when you know your camera is making you look your best.
Be a Team Player
Aside from wanted and unwanted visits from kids and pets, you’re alone in your office. That can weigh on you socially and emotionally. It’s not a perfect fix—nothing about working remotely is—but take full advantage of all your opportunities to build working relationships with your co-workers, whether that’s blowing off steam in the Teams chat or finding safe ways to gather in person. Doing the work is as important as ever, but knowing you’re not truly alone can make a big difference in your approach.
Identify and Eliminate Distractions
One of the biggest hindrances to working from home is the lingering feeling that you’re not truly at work. Whether you’re working in your spare room, your basement, your kitchen, or even your own bedroom, all these spaces have their own purposes that you simply can’t shake off. Do your best to psychologically partition your work and home life in 2021 by keeping your smartphone just out of reach or working on an explicitly work-only laptop that’s free of all your usual bookmarks and social media accounts.
One of the most important New Year’s resolutions for remote workers should be not to let working from home wear you down. Did the stress of working from the comfort of home lead you to do too much idle snacking throughout the day? Resolve to cut that out. Don’t forget to get your exercise in each day, even if a hard winter keeps you indoors. And most of all, don’t sweat the small stuff—unnecessarily high stress will only make you sick.