RWL180: Finding Harmony in Remote Work by Letting Go of Perfection with Alex

Striving for perfection in the remote workspace can be like chasing a mirage—exhausting and ultimately fruitless. I’ve been there, setting the bar impossibly high and watching my well-being plummet. That’s why I’m inviting you to join me as I tackle the  topic of mental health and perfectionism . Through my own trials and the wisdom of industry giants, we’re unpacking strategies to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life, all while nurturing a culture of continuous improvement over the relentless pursuit of perfection.

. I’m not just preaching theory; I’m sharing the actual steps I took alongside my team to shift from a state of constant overwork to a more sustainable, productive workflow. Let’s step away from the unattainable and into a space where excellence is a journey, not just an endpoint. 

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Speaker 1:
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Hey, it's Alex from the Remote Work Life podcast, and today we're gonna try something a little different. So, as well as the long form podcasts, I've been sort of playing around with the idea of doing, I guess, shorter versions, shorter bite size versions, to kind of create podcasts that highlight salient points of things that I've either learnt myself or I've learnt from other people. So, essentially, tips of the day, essentially thoughts and insights that I've sort of used myself in order to improve myself, either while working remotely, working from home or just as an individual. On these insights, these tips, these thoughts of the day can be around or I intend them to be around things like job search, general personal development or, as I said, nuggets of information that I've learnt from the many CEOs, executives, leaders that I've interviewed over the years in the podcast, but even as an exec recruiter. So I hope that you can, I guess, get something from these insights, hope they can help you to improve in any small way. And, of course, as ever, I always encourage feedback because I always want to know it's all well and good, me sitting here in this studio recording things and putting it out to the world, but I always want to know what you want to hear. Who do you want to hear from? What do you want to hear about? All those different sorts of things. So I want to make the show as aligned with your needs as possible and just to kick things off then, in terms of the tip of the day and I intend to post a tip of the day every Thursday, so look out for these every Thursday. Today, I'm going to talk about the importance of prioritising mental health and reducing perfectionism in a remote work environment especially, and I want to share a little anecdote and provide, hopefully, some insights that you can act upon if this is something that is close to you or something that you feel is relevant to you. I set unrealistically high standards for myself, leading to increased stress, a decline in my overall well-being. It took a toll on my productivity, my morale, and I realised that something needed to change. Now. This experience prompted me to re-evaluate my approach to remote work and prioritise mental health of myself, but also I wanted to get my team involved people in my team involved with that as well, just to make sure that they were also, I guess, looking after their own mental health as well. So here are a few things that I did, and I encourage my team members to do as well, and there may be things that you could also do. So one of the things is encouraging open communication, so fostering an environment where team members feel comfortable discussing their mental health and well-being. You can achieve this through Check-ins, so at an agreed point. So you're checking in either by phone, you're checking in via a Text message you know text messaging or you're checking in via video call, whichever suits you and suits that the people that you're checking in with, and creating an open space for dialogue. So that's the first thing, so encouraging open communication. Second thing is setting realistic expectations, so striving for excellence, but Recognize that perfection is Undertainable. You can't be perfect in everything, or there's very few things that you can be perfect in, maybe the things that you can't be perfect in. Nothing is ever perfect, and who wants perfectionism anyway? So encourage your team and also you as well, focus on continuous improvement and learning from mistakes, rather than always hammering the the sort of drum of perfectionism with yourself. Don't be, you know, having yourself with perfection of perfectionism all the time. That's number two. The three is promoting Balance in work and life. So some people call it work, life balance and each person's perception, idea of what work life balance is different. I know that, but Emphasize the importance of disconnecting from work and taking breaks. Encourage team members, and also yourself as well, to set boundaries and avoid Overworking, because that could be a symptom of perfectionism that overwork. I used to that quite a lot. Used to work and work and work until I got to the exact point that I wanted to get to it. Even then I was still finding things that I could polish. So that can lead to burnout, and I think that did with me a few years back and I think I wrote a post about that some point ago On LinkedIn. But yeah, promote Balance in work. I'm low to say work life balance, but promote balance. So number four my list is provide resources and support. So, especially if you're a manager of a team, offer access to mental health resources and support services and Make them accessible, make them, make it known where they are, make it known that Any member of your team can access those resources when they need need them. So this can include Employee assistance programs, counseling services and educational materials on stress management and resilience. So make that known to your team and obviously, use those as you need. So another one is leading by example. As a manager, you need to demonstrate healthy work habits yourself and openly, openly discuss your own experiences and managing stress and prioritizing mental health. This can help reduce the stigma associated with mental health discussions in the workplace. And I know there's a particular team I used to work on. We we would discuss that openly, would openly discuss not only On a one-to-one basis, but we were so, I guess, tight knit as a group that we would discuss that Together as well, and that that works really well. So you got to figure out what works for you and what works for your group, what works for the team that you're managing. And I just end by saying, by prioritizing mental health and reducing perfectionism, remote managers, especially, can create a supportive and thriving work environment for their teams, and it's essential to recognize that well-being of team members Directly impacts their performance and overall satisfaction in their roles. That's really all I wanted to give today in terms of my tips for the day. I hope you've Gained something from that. You've got any questions? Of course, reach out to me and thank you for tuning in. I'm. You can reach out to me via LinkedIn. My link to my LinkedIn profile is In the show notes below and one final thought. I just encourage you to reflect on your own approach To remote work management and consider how you can prioritize mental health with yourself and within your team, and I just want to wish you and your team Continue success in your journey with remote work and I look forward to sharing more hopefully valuable insights with you in the next episode.

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