Working from home suits many people’s way of life. They can often work the hours they want, avoid long commutes to an office, and spend more time attending family events during regular work hours.
However, being a remote worker can also have its fair share of disadvantages. You can feel lonely, isolated and may even struggle with productivity and setting barriers for your loved ones. Below, you will find some of the most common problems remote workers face and what you can do about them.
Feelings of Isolation
Even though working from home involves working with other people in a remote capacity, it can be quite isolating for those who thrive in social environments. Working and living in a single structure can take its toll, even when you’re able to break up the working day with conference calls.
While there may be no way to change your working situation without changing your job, you may see the value in using your breaks throughout the day for social engagements. Invite a friend or family member over for lunch, or go out in public for lunch at a local café.
You can also use your weekends as opportunities for social get-togethers so that you’re in the right headspace to start the working week once more.
Maintaining a Work-Life Balance
Many employees love working from home because it allows them to set their own schedules. They can go to their children’s school and sports events and attend appointments without any hassle.
However, achieving a work-life balance can be challenging for some people. You may find that there is no defining line between your home life and work life, which can lead you to work greater hours than you’re scheduled for.
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be a permanent problem. You can enjoy more of the benefits of working from home by setting a few rules for yourself.
Avoid working past a specific time at night, and try your best not to work more than your scheduled hours. You may even see the value in only checking your work emails during your working hours.
Not everyone is a self-motivated go-getter who can focus on their work without being distracted. When you’re working from home, distractions can be a significant problem for some people. You might decide to do chores around the house, watch TV, and do anything other than the work that has been assigned.
Rather than working in one of the most distracting parts of your home, set up a dedicated work area. If you have a spare room, turn it into a home office with a desk, chair, and a few pieces of décor to make it a space of comfort. With a dedicated place for work, you may be less likely to distract yourself with unrelated activities.
Setting Boundaries With Loved Ones
When you work from home, it’s easy for friends and family to assume that you’re available for them to visit any time. While it’s true that you often get far more flexibility with remote working than an in-office job, that doesn’t mean you’re always available.
Dealing with interruptions from visitors is not a massive problem, but there’s no harm in setting boundaries. The next time someone calls in unannounced, be a courteous host but ask them to phone or send a text message in advance so that you can make sure you’re free for visitors.
If your work hours are fairly fixed, let your loved ones know the times of the day you’re free. You may even like to initiate lunch dates so that you can catch up with them on your terms.
Without your boss walking past your desk, or a co-worker checking in with you about deadlines, you may not be in as much of a hurry to get work done. You might sit at your computer in your pajamas or loungewear, browse social media, and flit between tasks without really giving any of them your full attention.
Motivation can undoubtedly be tricky to find, but you can make a few minor changes in your working day to assist with everyday life. For example, you can turn your larger work tasks into smaller, bite-sized ones to tackle one piece at a time.
Some people also gain motivation from exercising and eating a healthy breakfast before starting the day. If you find that you are more motivated at some parts of the day than others, arrange your work schedule to match your motivation levels. Given how flexible most remote workplaces are, you may not have much trouble setting the hours that work for you the best.
Many people who have transitioned from office life to remote working have loved the freedom and flexibility it brings. However, even if you’re struggling with motivation, isolation, or something else, you will be pleased to know there are solutions out there to make your remote working experience as positive as possible.