More than a year ago, industries have forcibly been open to the idea of the remote work lifestyle. This is the result of the exigency to keep the economy and labor rolling despite the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic. With this at hand, people have been obliged to try the digital nomad lifestyle where they can work from home full-time. This idea has been lauded by a lot of employees. What is not to like about this lifestyle? You get to drink your morning espresso and check your emails in your pajamas. You can also attend work using two screens: one for your report and the other for the new season of your favorite Netflix series.
However, in the long routine run, working remotely can pose a few challenges. In our informal survey about how employees feel about this trend, some expressed minimal concerns like limited availability of office equipment and seating comfortability like with a non-ergonomic dining chair used as an office chair. Others’ answers are much more serious, many expressed they find it hard to demarcate work and family life. Some also expressed that they experience concentration and motivation issues. It even came to a point where they have to question themselves if their job is still rewarding.
These could be because the “office feels” are missing at home. That is of course one thing that the digital nomad lifestyle will not be able to provide. The inexplicable vibe the physical office brings gives our brain the signal to start working and keeps us in this mindset the entire day. This is why even if you spent the whole day at work doing nothing, you still go home feeling tired.
Workers from home also do not give efforts to projecting and grooming themselves anymore since their physical appearance can already be enhanced using webcam filters. These problems shed light to the importance of mental health when the concept of living as a digital nomad is being talked about.
So how can you enjoy this kind of lifestyle while staying on top of your role in the virtual office? Here a few suggestions to get you going:
- We know how cliche this would sound to you but trust our word that it is still true: choose hearty meals over and over again. The remote work lifestyle requires you to have healthy habits since what you eat directly affects your performance and mood. While a bowl of pasta or a quarter pound cheeseburger is fulfilling, it does you more burps than feeling great.
- It does not hurt to splurge, celebrate and live a little. You have worked hard enough and you are surviving three things: your job, this pandemic and your transition from real to virtual office. For today, you can recline and enjoy a glass of wine while playing your favorite song or reading a book. If that is not your personality, you can instead do some online shopping and take advantage of discounted shipping offers. Make yourself feel good with a new dress or a pair of shoes. Reward yourself if that is how you can make yourself fulfilled and feel motivated all over again.
- You can also bring out your best self with an aid of an online life coach. A life coach, in general, is a wellness advocate and professional who empowers people to make advancements in their lives so that they can attain a greater sense of self, fulfillment and life satisfaction. They uplift their clients in improving relationships, character, career and daily life. These coaches analyze your game and help you clarify your goals, identify your strengths, weaknesses and fears and then help you come up with coping strategies to overcome them. If the challenges of the digital nomad lifestyle are too hard for you to take, get in a conversation with an online life coach. It will be an enlightening and illuminating experience for you.
- Despite the distance, be sociable. Humans are social beings and it somehow eases our troubles knowing that we are heard and listened to. A small chit chat would certainly make you feel better. You may not notice its importance at first but casual social interactions can make you feel less lonely and can provide for a little break when the tasks get too heavy or dull. Make a 5-minute call to your best friend or someone you are looking forward to going out with after the pandemic and exchange simple ways on how to overcome stress.
- If of interest, practice community involvement by joining an online social advocacy. Most of these are on social media nowadays, you just have to find which group you belong in. This way, you can make new friends and be part of a small community which has the same interests as you. Share with them your insights on world hunger, poverty or even the simplest climate change issue. Discussions of these timely and relevant concerns can facilitate both subjective and objective conversations in a friendly and intellectual manner.
These tips are beneficial to those who are currently in or fascinated by the promising digital nomad lifestyle. While it seems like the younger generation, more so the fresh grads, can find this the ideal setup as they have the time, energy and enthusiasm for learning new tricks and getting by, people from all walks of life should at least give this a try.
Surely, living as a digital nomad can be monotonous at times. However, with activities that are good for your mental health, you will be able to counteract the boredom and tedium. While it is true that there can be a lot of challenges, it is also true that there are more pros than cons in the remote work lifestyle.
Bash Sarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila. He writes laconic pieces in the education, lifestyle, and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and traveling are translated into his works.