Over the past week, you have probably stopped, taken a deep breath, and shockingly realized that 2018 is almost a month and a half away. Not only is the new year on the horizon, but the holidays are also in full swing. For you, this likely means family dinners and visits, traveling, and holiday shopping. When including your working schedule, this is a lot to manage. Before you hyperventilate, know that there are some steps you can take to make the holiday season run smoothly. Check out my tips for working remotely during the holidays:
Let Immediate and Visiting Family In On Your Schedule
To your family, the holidays are a vacation. They are here to enjoy their non-work (and non-school) time. However, as we all know, the schedule of a remote worker (whether employee or freelancer) could be different. Before any family begin their trek to your home, or before you travel to theirs, ensure they know your schedule. Explain to them your working hours as well as what your work time will look like; if this means no interruptions until noon, or you leaving to go to a coffee shop until early evening, be sure they know. This step will prevent any hurt feelings, confusion, or misunderstandings.
Augment Your Hours – Even If You Don’t Think You Need To
I get it. There is a lot to be done before the end of the year. You may have projects you need to finish up, reports to turn in, and meetings to hold. However, it still is the holidays. There are going to be times where you want to chill and enjoy spending time with family. Guess what; this is entirely normal! What other time during the year do you get to spend uninterrupted time with family and friends? So, even if you think you don’t need it, talk to your manager, clients, and the team about taking time off or augmenting your hours. You may end up finding that you had more time to work after all. However, you would rather plan to take off instead of having to shift your time at the last minute.
Find a Coffee Shop, Library, or Coworking Space As a Backup
We can all acknowledge that the holidays are great. However, it is likely that more people are going to be in your home, or you are going to a crowded location. Either way, a lot more individuals are going to be around. This situation means that whatever Wi-Fi signal they have is going to move a lot slower with more people on the network. You will also be more prone to interruptions and distractions. So, if you know you have a project you need to hammer out before Thanksgiving or Christmas, find a location to work. Places like libraries and coworking spaces may have shorter hours during the holidays, so well-known coffee shops may be your best bet as they are typically open longer (except for a holiday itself). Always have a backup location for work.
The holidays are meant to be a time of rest and relaxation, so plan accordingly. You don’t want to return to a full schedule at work more tired than when you left. Take time to enjoy your family and friends while getting those last hours in before the new year.