Tips for Working Remotely for Therapists
It’s clear the landscape of the workplace is changing, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated that change. Employers and employees have spent the past year and a half trying to find the right setup, and it appears remote work is here to stay. Telehealth options have made it easier for therapists to offer services from any location. While the flexibility and benefits of working from home are numerous, there are also unique challenges. If you’re a therapist working from home, try these tips for a balance between your work and personal life.
3 BENEFITS OF WORKING REMOTELY AS A THERAPIST
There are challenges to working remotely but there are also huge perks! Some of these are listed below.
- You can help a variety of people! Whether your clients have transportation issues or they’re traveling, they will still be able to meet with you on a regular basis.
- Flexibility in managing work-home life balance. You can throw dinner in the crockpot between sessions or fold laundry on your lunch break. You also gain the time you used to spend commuting.
- Save money. You won’t have to rent an office space, and sometimes the expenses incurred in working from home can be tax-deductible.
3 CHALLENGES IN WORKING REMOTELY AS A THERAPIST
You can’t solve challenges if you aren’t aware of them! Facing these things head on can reduce potential issues.
- It can be difficult to maintain client confidentiality, especially if you’re working with other family members at home.
- It can be difficult to maintain your own privacy. Your home is your own safe space, and you will want to consider what’s visible to clients in sessions.
- It can be difficult to connect with certain clients remotely, especially those that are very young, very old or not used to connecting online. It can also be difficult to read body language when online.
WORKING FROM HOME TIPS FOR THERAPISTS
You may have to be creative in coming up with solutions to meet the challenges of working remotely but it can be done!
Create a Space in Your Home That’s HIPAA-Compliant
HIPAA compliance has to be a top priority. A dedicated room is ideal, but you can also set up a quiet part of your home away from family members. When setting up your space, consider using a noise machine to prevent conversations from being overheard. Earbuds are another great tool to insure client privacy. Make sure that client information is securely stored so that family members cannot access them, and choose a HIPAA-compliant telehealth software for your sessions. Finally, make sure that family members know that they cannot interrupt you when you’re in a session with a client.
Keep Personal Items to a Minimum
It’s ok for your clients to see you in your own home, but you will want to limit some personal items from your clients view. These personal items could include personal family pictures, items that indicate information about your religious or political affiliation, and anything else you don’t want a client to see. Be aware of what’s in your background and make changes before starting a session with a client.
Create (and Stick To) a Routine
Create a schedule just like you would when going to the office and try to stick to it every day. Have a morning routine before turning on your computer for the day, build breaks into your day, and stop working at a set time each day. Experts recommend having a ritual to “end” your work day like a walk around the block, changing your clothes, or taking the time for a personal task you enjoy. Make time to go outside during the day even if it’s just a quick walk down the street.
Stay Connected to Others
Working from home can be isolating! In-person interactions can’t be exactly replicated when you’re working from home but you can still build a supportive social network. Make time to connect with peers on Slack or another platform. Schedule weekly social events in your work life and your personal life. Set up an online lunch or coffee date with some coworkers and make time for happy hour or a meal with a friend. Healthy connection to others is important for mental health and can make working from home feel less lonely.
NEED HELP WORKING REMOTELY AS A THERAPIST?
You can successfully help your clients while working from home! And if you need HIPAA-compliant, telehealth software to make working from home easier, please consider Exym EHR Software.
Exym is a leader in behavioral health EHR software for behavioral health agencies. We proudly serve agencies across California with our intuitive, robust behavioral health EHR system. 45,000+ clients per month are served by clinicians who use Exym’s cloud-based EHR software to simplify their billing, documentation, and case management needs. As a behavioral health EHR company in California, Exym is built to meet California’s unique needs and regulations.