Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has become commonplace in some industries. Studies predict that by the end of 2021, 25-30% of American workers will be working from home many days per week.
Working remotely has its laundry list of pros and cons, but it’s lifechanging if you’re able to make it work. Most employees are more productive and less distracted when they’re able to work from home.
If you’re new to remote work, you may encounter challenges that you wouldn’t in an office setting. Keep reading to find the top five challenges and how to solve them.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is isolation.
Let’s face it; most humans are social creatures. We need social interaction for our mental and physical health. People without strong relationships in their lives increase their risk of premature death by 50%.
Just because you’re working remote jobs doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself. You can still create strong bonds with your workmates even if you live across the world from one another. Make a point to reach out to your coworkers daily to see how they’re doing and to catch up with one another.
You might also consider spending your workday in a co-working space. Co-working spaces provide an area for remote workers to work in a typical office environment. Though you may not be coworkers with the people you’re sharing your space with, it can boost your social activity.
2. Backfiring Technology
We’ve all been in a tussle with technology before. Whether it’s your printer refusing to print an important document on the day it’s due or your computer glitching during Zoom, we’ve all been there.
Technology fails sometimes, and the sooner we all realize that the easier remote work will be. Our best advice is to give yourself time to fiddle with the programs that stress you out.
Practice well in advance techniques like how to share screen to avoid any mid-meeting embarrassment.
Watch videos on YouTube or read tutorials before trying to learn a new app or program. The more you know about it before you start fiddling with it, the less hassle you’ll run into during your workday.
There are thousands of apps and software types, but try only to use technology that you have to.
3. Time Management
A great aspect of remote work is choosing your hours. Many employers allow their staff to start and end when they please so long as their work gets done. This may mean you’re tempted to steer away from the typical 9 to 5 workday.
It can become a slippery slope if you’re giving yourself allowances with your time. Sleeping in until 9 or 10 means you’re starting your workday later than you would be in the office. Allowing yourself to fall victim to distractions from family members, pets, or Netflix may mean you’re not as productive as you could be.
Use a Pomodoro Timer to help you manage your time better. This technique uses a timer to help break your workday down into more manageable chunks. This will help make you more productive and less frazzled by the end of the day.
Stick to working the same hours every day. You don’t need to become a slave to the 9 to 5 lifestyle, though.
If you’re a night owl, start your workday a little later. Don’t be afraid to play with a routine that works best for your lifestyle and needs.
Ensure your family and friends know your new work hours. Even though you’re at home, they need to respect your time and give you privacy to work.
4. Never Switching Out of Work Mode
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is learning how to separate work and play. When you’re sharing your personal and work life under the same roof, it can be challenging to switch off.
It’s easy to leave work behind at the end of the day when you work outside the home. Once you leave the office and your desk behind, your work problems are out of sight and out of mind. If you’re working at home, it may feel like you can never escape work since your desk is in your living area.
Change out of your work clothes as soon as your workday ends. The simple act of doing away with that clothing can help you sever those work ties.
Do something that you enjoy, like a strenuous workout or a yoga class to help reinforce the end of your workday.
5. Falling Into Unhealthy Habits
In an office, you’re unlikely to spend any significant portion of your day standing around the company fridge. When you’re at home, though, it’s easier to fall victim to the tempting call of your leftovers or a bag of chips.
You may also find yourself less active, with only steps to go from your bed to your office. Your posture may suffer from sitting at your desk all day long.
The best way to combat unhealthy habits is to set a schedule and make your wellness a priority.
Once you’ve set a work schedule, figure out where you can fit in physical activity. If you’re a morning person, set your alarm an hour earlier to sneak in a workout or pre-work walk. If you prefer to sleep in, plan to be active once you’re finished work for the day.
Stock your fridge full of healthy snacks. Keep foods like chocolate and chips out of your home if you have no willpower. It’s easy to allow yourself to shove chip after chip into your mouth until you’ve mindlessly eaten the entire bag.
Make Working Remotely Work For You
Working remotely can be a challenge, but it can also be freeing and rewarding. If you’re nervous about making the leap, don’t be. With our helpful tips above, the challenges of working remotely will be a thing of the past.
Keep reading our Wealth blogs to find more tips on business, productivity, and making money.