The stress of moving to remote work is more significant than most realize. A sudden, unwanted change is enough to throw any leader off their game, but managing the stress from the change is a must. Using the strategies below to help you cope will, in turn, help to make you a better leader.
Delineate Your Work Space
One of the toughest parts about managing stress as a remote leader is that it is difficult to keep your home and work lives separated. Dedicate a single space in your home to work in and try your best to use it only for that purpose. When your workday is done, leave that area – and your work – behind. If possible, physically leave your home long enough to take a walk, breathe the fresh air, and reset your mind to a post-work mode.
Stay in Contact
It’s vital that you keep up the kind of contact you had with your peers and subordinates when you were all in the same workplace. Schedule times to have chats with your teams not just to deal with the day’s needs, but to make small talk and get a bit of face time. It’s not quite the same as having a conversation around the water cooler, but having an informal conversation can do you a world of good.
Learn to Give Yourself a Break
If you’re just learning how to lead from a distance, there will almost certainly be problems. Efficiency will be down as you adapt, and you might not be able to be quite as effective as you were in a traditional environment. Schedule times to take breaks and to reward yourself for the progress that you do make. Holding yourself to an impossible standard will only impact your productivity negatively, so allow yourself the room to grow into your new role.
Remember, a good leader needs to maintain equilibrium for the sake of his or her team. Learn how to separate yourself from your work and make connections to keep yourself centered while still allowing yourself a reprieve from perfection to avoid burning out. If you can deal with your stress productively, you’ll be in a better position to be a reliable leader.