You wake up when you want and work when you want. No manager snooping over your shoulder to see if you are working, or if you are on social media. You take breaks when you want. You get to play with your kids or pets all day.
Sounds great, right?
Working from home is not all that glorious though. People who have never worked from home before are finding it to be quite challenging. The good news is that there are ways you can cope with these challenges and still be productive enough in your work. I have explored some of these challenges of working from home and rounded up a few tips on how you can tackle them!
10 Challenges Of Working At Home and How To Deal With Them
1.Loneliness and isolation
You wake up, shower and head to your office, located just a few meters from your bed. Some might just roll out of bed or work in bed. There is no physical human interaction with co-workers and some people may find this to be very challenging.
To tackle this, try to have short social breaks and visit the mall or parks where you get to interact with real people. You may also work from a coffee shop or a co-working space where you can meet and interact with other people.
For times like now where quarantine is mandatory, join a slack with coworkers or hop on a zoom call or face time once a day. Trust me, it helps.
2.Differences in time zones
It is frustrating when you are trying to connect with team members who are scattered in different time zones. Communication becomes a problem. Someone is going to sleep when you are waking up, ready to go! To avoid this, it would be advisable to find a time overlap where you can work together for at least an hour or two to smoothen the workflow.
You will be interrupted all the time when working from home. Your kids will be vying for your attention now and then. It can be challenging to keep working optimally in such conditions. When this happens you need to have a little chat with your family members.
Let them understand that you are trying to get some work done and would appreciate a couple of hours where they do not interrupt. Find a schedule that works for everyone. If you have a baby, make sure he/she is well fed and well taken care of before you start working. For my family, my husband takes the morning shift and I get the next one that way we can work a few hours at a time.
4.Lack of motivation and drive
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is the fact that there is no one to push you to do your work may leave you with no drive. You will procrastinate a lot, rushing to do the work when the deadlines loom. In an office environment, it’s easy to be motivated because you can see the effort your colleagues are putting into their work. At, home, create a routine, and follow it religiously. This routine will focus on the tasks you set out to accomplish for the day.
5.Poor time management
As there is no scheduled time you need to report to work or clock out, time management might be an issue. You will find it difficult to separate personal matters and time from your work. A good way of tackling this would be the use of accountability partners. If you do not have one, use productivity apps such as Toggl which track down the time you spend on a task. Kanban Flow is also good or join or use a fun timer.
The workplace is well equipped with everything you need to do your job properly. At home, you will find that small issues such as internet lag irritate and prevent you from working efficiently. They also hinder good team collaboration and communication. When deciding to work from home, make sure you have all the right gear to make your work a success.
7.Trust and productivity issues
Is your manager not trusting you to deliver when working from home? There are no clear metrics to gauge the performance of remote workers. Managers find it hard to trust that you sat behind a computer and worked for a certain number of hours because they cannot see you.
Some companies have devised systems that show when a worker logged on and when they stopped working. You can also use time tracking tools available online for free.
8.Poor remote collaboration and communication
Emails, video calls, and phone calls do not have the same kind of impact when communicating with a team as a direct face-to-face meeting does. There are many avenues and possibilities for misinterpretations. There’s nothing much you can do about this except to learn how to use the communication tools at your disposal better so that you can enhance the interactions you have with your team.
9.Security risks and threats
When you are at your workplace, your company has established security measures and firewalls that keep off potential hacking threats. When you are working from home, you become more vulnerable to attacks as your servers are not well secured. This could pose a security threat to you and your company.
To prevent this, work with your technical team and they will assist you by creating a hacker-proof system that allows you to work from home without any anxiety.
10.Lack of avenues for skill development
Employees working from an office set up can easily get access to learning opportunities that can help them advance their careers. How do you get the same chances when working remotely? One of the best ways to learn new skills is by searching for online skills and opportunities online! There are numerous places (Youtube for instance) you can learn anything you want, for free.