With the development of the internet, many businesses find it more practical to hire some working from home employees, in departments that don't require physical presence of employees, to save space in the office or to cut some expenses.
Sometimes also employees use the work from home option at times of emergency like sickness to stay at home and still meet their deadlines. Recently this option has been used by a huge number of companies to avoid gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For most of the employees, working from home for the first time found out that working from home is not as they expected. Working from home is not as easy and fun as it sounds. Companies and employees that newly decided to use that option often face some challenges.
In this blog we will talk about the working from home employees’ challenges, and how they can overcome them.
The first thought about working from home is that you won’t have to wake up as early, get dressed up and sit all day on your desk at work until your working hours are over. After a couple of days you might feel like you can’t manage your own schedule, you feel lazy in your pjs, you are not productive, then you work for more hours than you did at work. You don’t know when to start or when to stop.
To avoid falling in that trap:
- Define your working hours.
- Start working early, drink your morning coffee and get started
- If you have a team at work, set a daily meeting at the beginning of the day to review the plan of the day and an end of the day meeting to give a daily briefing. The main purpose is to stick to the start time and the end time of the working day.
If you are working remotely means that you still have working hours to respect, online meetings you have to attend and deadlines to be met. But the fact that you are at home causes many distractions from your family or the line between personal and professional life if not clear giving you the feeling that you can run some chores and errands around the house during working hours, which leads to wasting work time.
To avoid those distractions you should:
- Set a specific corner or room at home where you can work, mentioning to all your family members that it’s your work time and they shouldn’t cause any interruptions.
- Don’t give up to temptations that you can work outside the house in the presence of friends or family. You can take your work outside but make sure that there won’t be any distractions.
- If you have any family commitments such as school meetings or social events, it should be reported to work for taking an excuse or a day off for it, not dealt with casually.
When you have the feeling that you have the freedom of choice what to do with your time, you might prioritize work and other days you might choose social or family commitments. After a while it gets confusing and ends up prioritizing work most of the time.
To avoid that:
- Limit the number of tasks you have everyday according to deadlines.
- Have a plan from the beginning of the day for your daily tasks, even if you have a couple of family commitments there will be a room to compensate that work time in the same day or the next day.
Difficulty in communication with colleagues
Some tasks require the interaction of several employees from different departments, for example when a marketing task requires designs to be done by a graphic designer. A difficulty to communicate the full picture to the designer especially if it is an outside of the box idea.
Avoiding this situation might require some extra effort from both parties:
- Try to find something close to what you have on your mind to make interaction easier or to have a common ground to build your conversation on.
- You can set a meeting with your colleagues whether an online video meeting or outside.
- You can make a fixed meeting at the beginning of every project to give each other a briefing about the ideas you have for the project.
Lack of human interaction
Working remotely makes you miss daily work interactions.In situations such as Covid-19 quarantine, all family members will be around at home working or studying, but if you are living alone or if you have to complete working from home after this quarantine situation is over and all your family members start to leave for work or school daily, you can get the feeling of loneliness and isolation.
To avoid this feeling of isolation you can:
- Try the co-working spaces where people can be present around you and can have some human interactions on a daily basis.
- Try to fit some meetings within your schedules with clients of colleagues
- If you have friends who are working remotely you can work together on some days.
- Fit a coffee break in your work schedule and meet someone for it.
Working remotely is not as easy as it looks and sometimes it is mandatory and not by choice. Define your challenges and try to solve them in order to have a work environment that is satisfying and motivating.