Thanks to the development of digital technology and recent unforeseen circumstances, many people have found themselves no longer attending their usual places of work. Depending on your career, you may now work from home more than going into the office. While there are plenty of technologies out there that have made remote work a lot simpler and more accessible than it used to be, it is still not without its downsides. Here is a list of the most common disadvantages when it comes to working from home and how you can overcome them.
Motivation and Discipline
Without your colleagues and boss within the immediate vicinity, it can be challenging to remain focused on your work. Even those truly passionate about their career occasionally find themselves lacking motivation, which can become a much larger issue when working from home. While operating within a familiar, comfortable environment that your mind associates with relaxation, it is understandable that you might feel your concentration slipping more than usual. However, this doesn’t mean you should slack off. Motivation isn’t what you need when it’s time to push through the wall and keep working. While motivation is great to have, it shouldn’t be your only energy source. Instead, train your mind to be more disciplined. By creating stronger and more consistent habits, you can rely on yourself to get work done even when you don’t feel like it.
Attending the office for work has one significant advantage over working from home, and that is the structure it provides to your day. A regular routine for work is almost essential for most people to achieve maximum productivity. Even individuals who claim to thrive in chaotic and unpredictable environments can benefit from knowing in which direction their day is going. Working from home means you will have to adhere to your own routine that keeps you to deadlines. Your employer may have a system in place to help with this, such as a shared digital calendar or diary. Avoid the temptation to stay in bed for much longer than usual just because your commute only involves walking from the bedroom to your home workspace. Instead, use the extra time to prepare for the day ahead.
Lack of Social Time
One of the perks of leaving the house to go to work is socializing with coworkers and people you meet throughout your day. When you work from your home office, you will unlikely bump into anyone at the water cooler or see someone you recognize in the queue at the coffee shop. This can lead to feelings of isolation, so arrange a social time with friends and coworkers. Even just a phone call can help alleviate feelings of loneliness.
If you are looking for opportunities to advance or move within your organization, this can feel a lot more stifled and difficult when working from home. It is much easier to keep an eye out for opportunities when you have frequent interactions with many people in a busy environment. Although more effort is involved, you can find opportunities when working from home. You can make your intentions clear and pay attention to any relevant news with a proactive approach. Perhaps you are looking to retrain and start a new career path. You can do this from home too. For example, if you want to switch jobs and become a teacher, you can take a masters in education distance learning programme to qualify for a new position. Or even if you want to become an actor, you can pursue a distance program for that as well. It’s all about using your digital resources to seek out opportunities for yourself when you aren’t in an environment that offers them to you directly.
If you aren’t sharing a space with your coworkers and boss, it can be hard to communicate effectively and get your ideas across clearly. Video calls and emails can only help you if you are good at using them. Working from home, you might feel less inclined to reach out for support when you need it. Take advantage of any communication tools or video meetings where you can ask questions or share ideas instead of staying silent.
Unproductive Work Area
An office is designed specifically to be as conducive to productivity as possible. When working from home, you should do your best to create a workspace that helps you focus and complete your tasks. Working in your bed or front of the TV is bad for your posture and concentration, so find somewhere in your quiet and comfortable home, make it as professional as possible. It’s ideal to work in a room that keeps you away from distractions, or even better, buy a standing desk to work and exercise at the same time. Take frequent breaks for your eyes so they don’t become dry or tired looking at a screen for hours. If you share your home with family or friends, make sure this home office is somewhere you won’t be interrupted.
Some Advantages to Working from Home
Although there are downsides to working from home, there are plenty of benefits too. Here are just a few:
Being able to work without the pressure of your boss watching your every move can actually make you more productive. Most people are better able to focus when they don’t feel the burden of someone constantly checking their progress. You can also take breaks when you need to rather than waiting until designated times. The flexibility to work to your own schedule as long as you meet deadlines can be incredibly freeing.
2. No Commute
Not having to travel to work is a huge bonus for many people. However, the stress of allocating extra time in the morning and evening to the work commute can be worse than the stress caused by work itself.
3. Save Money
You can save money on gas, lunches out, coffee breaks, and other daily expenditures that only come with your office routine by working from home. You may also save money on clothes if you don’t need to dress smartly every day for video calls.
Hopefully, these work from home tips have show you how to combat the most common issues that arise when working from home and why remote working might be best for you.
Andrej Fedek is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called InterCool Studio. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment.