One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has now become the norm. Today, millions of workers across the globe are telecommuting. Unfortunately, some workers are battling the challenges of working from home.
For one, some have a hard time adjusting to remote work. For instance, they become unmotivated and unproductive. Some feel even more isolated since they don’t have colleagues to interact with.
I see you nodding your head. Can you relate to these struggles? Here are some of the biggest challenges of WFH. Plus, tips on how to overcome them.
Biggest Challenges of Working From Home
Challenge #1: You Have A Hard Time Managing Your Schedule
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is the many distractions – from your family to the laundry to the dishes that need to be washed. And since no one is looking over your shoulder, you might end up checking your social media more often than necessary.
It’s so easy to get sidetracked.
One of the ways to overcome this challenge is to practice self-discipline. For instance, you can use a time tracking software where you can log your time spent on certain tasks.
Don’t want to go that far? Then maybe start imposing a time limit for distraction. For example, allow yourself a 5-minute break from tasks to check your social media accounts. Or you can set aside time after lunch to wash the dishes.
No matter how you choose to manage your time, it’s important to build a schedule. This is especially true if you have flexible work hours.
Challenge #2: Staying Organized
For some, working from home means working in the bedroom. Or working on the kitchen counter. But this isn’t the most ideal.
For one, it sets you up for more distraction. Secondly, you will not be able to separate work from your day-to-day life. Lastly, it prevents you from staying organized.
To overcome this challenge, you need to set up a proper work area in your home. Try sectioning off a part of your living room or bedroom for work. Make it feel like a separate space.
In this work area, you need to keep all the necessary folders and files within easy reach. It’s also crucial to keep this space clean and organized. In doing so, you can easily switch your work brain on and off.
Challenge #3: The Line Between Work and Personal Life Becomes Blurred
Are you one of those people who just can’t seem to stop working? Well, you’re not alone.
In fact, burnout has become a common mental health problem during the pandemic. One of the most common reasons for burnout at work is an unhealthy work-life balance. Some of those who work remotely are suffering from this.
So how do you overcome one of the biggest challenges of working from home?
Try to separate your work and personal life. It can be hard to do so, especially when working from home. But you need to exercise some self-discipline.
Learn when to stop.
For example, you can check work emails and chat with co-working on Slack during office hours. If you’re working a 9-5, then stop checking emails after 5pm. Don’t be tempted to work into the night, well past the time you should’ve finished up.
Unplugging is important. If you don’t, you’ll end up exhausted and unproductive.
Challenge #4: Collaboration Between Teams Became Challenging
When you work onsite, it’s easy to ask for updates from your colleagues. You can just walk right up to them and ask. You can’t do this when you’re working from home. All you’re left with is email correspondence in which you might end up waiting for hours for a simple response.
Thankfully, there are plenty of communication apps such as Slack. These business apps can help you communicate with your team and organize projects. Additionally, you can use cloud platforms for sharing documents where team members are collaborating on.
Video conferences are also a good strategy. However, try to keep Zoom or Skype calls to a minimum. If an issue can be solved with a simple chat or email, then send a message instead.
Challenge #5: The Temperamental Internet Connection
In the office, you can enjoy a business-grade internet connection. But when you’re working from home, your internet connection may not be as stable or reliable. This becomes a source of frustration.
That said, it’s best to check if you have a good connection at home. Check whether your internet provider has good coverage and internet speeds from your location. Run necessary tests before settling on your remote location.
Lastly, always have a backup. This is especially true here in the Philippines. If one internet provider is down for maintenance, it’s best to have backup mobile data. This will prevent you from having to take an unplanned day off from work.
Ready to Take On The Challenges of Working From Home?
From saving money on your daily commute to a more flexible work schedule, there are plenty of advantages to remote work. But it also comes with a few challenges.
Thankfully, there are quick remedies to most of these challenges. Since you don’t have to follow the structure imposed by a traditional workplace, you need to create your own. Set your own rules, regulations, and routines. Since you have the freedom to work from anywhere, you need to take on additional responsibilities as well.