Working from home offers a great deal of benefits (flexible work schedule, reduced travel time and cost and working from the comfort of your home), but it also comes with a lot of clearly visible as well as hidden challenges.
This article will discuss the top ten challenges remote workforce encounters while working from home and quick ideas to meet these challenges.
Let’s see what these challenges are and how to overcome them.
1- Time Management
We all love the idea of “flexible working hours”, but the biggest challenge that comes with this flexibility is poor time management and it may be the number one reason for work from home burnout for the people working from home for the first time.
Creating a healthy work from home routine from day one is your best bet. Set your work days and working hours and stick to them. A proper schedule not only help you avoid work from home burnout and make you become more productive, but also helps you achieve work life balance.
Even if you have an awesome work from home schedule in place, there can be distractions to hinder your productivity. These can be physical distractions like family members interrupting frequently, undone laundry or messy living room or digital distractions like social media.
Noise-canceling headphones can be a great help to avoid distractions like kids playing or your spouse watching TV while you are working, but that’s not a long term solution. Having a separate home office greatly helps. If you cannot have a separate home office, turning your bedroom into an office for work hours can serve the purpose.
Moreover, set rules with your family not to disturb you and learn to reduce digital distractions during work hours.
3- The “Work in PJs” Trap
It feels great in the beginning to work in your PJs, but as the time passes, your productivity is affected significantly, because sleepwear is compelling you to be lazy and you no longer feel like being at the workplace.
Getting dressed for work puts you in the working mode mentally. Of course you would not want to sit in the suit all day long, but you must pick some neat and clean comfortable clothes to wear for work every day.
4- Low or No Motivation
With no co-workers around, no chit chats and no real discussions about work and career goals, you may find yourself unmotivated and not driven at all. As a fact of the matter not everyone is self driven and so the absence of motivation can be a common challenge.
Set long term goals, share them with your supervisor or a friend and review and assess your performance monthly or quarterly.
5- The Battle Between Personal & Professional Life
Work from home doesn’t seem much attractive when you realize that the workspace and personal space are in collision. Home offers relaxation, safety, and security, while the workplace has too much to push your mind to the limits. You might have a schedule in place, but still you feel you are working the whole time and still things are not fully done and deadlines are approaching!
While a proper home office in a separate room can solve a lot of these issues, not everyone may have a full fledged home office. Co-working spaces can be a great solution to resolve the battle between personal and professional life and help you effectively meet the deadlines while working from home.
If you do not have access to a co-working space, you might want to consider working from a cafe/coffee shop once or twice a week or as needed.
6- No Direction
Bosses may be horrible, but they play a key role in providing direction and supervising your work. Though companies are working tirelessly to improve supervision of remote workers, still there can be times when you do not receive as much guidance as needed and it can quickly put you off the track.
Do not hesitate to ask your boss for guidance. If you are working in a role where you do not have an immediate supervisor, consult the employer or relevant person in a senior position.
7- Social Isolation
No matter how introverted someone is, there’s always the need to interact with other people. You feel lighter expressing yourself, listening to other people’s stories, jokes, etc. Feeling isolated while working from home is very common and can take a toll on your overall health.
Talk to the people you feel comfortable with through phone or videoconferencing. Invite friends for a movie night or go out. Plan for at least one social interaction in two weeks. Sign up for a gym or yoga class.
The Bottom Line
Working from home is not always as attractive as it sounds, and it may come with a lot of challenges. The only way to overcome these challenges is to have proper work from home schedule and structure and not to hesitate to seek help when you need it.