Working from home has a lot of advantages. For example, you can eat homemade food. You can have more free time for spending it with your family and friends. You can have time for your hobbies, health, sport. On one hand, you don’t have to spend your time commuting to work so you have at least 2 more free hours per day. On the other hand, the COVID-19 outbreak shows us that work from home has serious disadvantages. Some of them could make people hate this kind of work. Let’s see what the problems may be and how to resolve them when possible.
The main benefit of working at the office is that you can keep a life-work balance. You finish your workday at 5 or 6 pm, get out of the office, and can completely forget about your work till the next day. You don’t have this getting-of-office process in the working home jobs. You don’t need to go home because you are already at home. Time flies so fast that you can overwork very easily.
A limited number of working hours can solve this problem. Set time you have to work and track it during the day. Finish your work when the time is over and switch your attention to something else.
Working from home can be very demotivating. Without anyone working around. Without a working atmosphere and the office routine. This can be challenging but it resolved by time management.
Sadly you have to forget about sleeping till 11 am or scrolling Facebook instead of working. Try to set an alarm on the time you always wake up and schedule everything you have to do during the day: tasks, calls, meetings, etc. Don’t forget to write down housework tasks, sports, beauty procedures, hobbies tasks, time for family and friends.
The schedule will keep you on a working rhythm. Use it when you find yourself procrastinating. Check what’s next on your schedule and do it. Time tracking and scheduling are essential
when working home and maintaining a good work-life balance.
According to Buffer’s report, 10% of people working from home called interruptions the main struggle of the remote work. This problem is familiar to people with kids, pets, housemates, and others who stay at home. All of them want attention. Especially kids and pets who don’t understand why you can’t play with them. Of course, during the COVID-19 outbreak, this problem doesn’t have a proper solution because most people have to stay home, including kids. But even if you don’t have a household, you can be distracted by a doorbell, messenger notifications, unscheduled coffee breaks, etc.
You have to know that planning a working home includes the planning of the workspace. You have to decide where and when you will work. It has to be your permanent space with a comfortable chair and desk. It would be great to have it in a separate room. Otherwise, try to zone your room and fence of interruptions. Work in time when your household isn’t at home – kids in school or kindergarten, others at work. Scheduling and tracking tasks will help you get rid of a waste of time.
It’s the next problem of work from home jobs. For some people, remote work can be an opportunity to be more socially active and flexible in meeting friends and colleagues. For others, this kind of employment can be a real torment. The latter suffer without everyday conversations and networking. They don’t have anyone to share routine and discuss ideas with.
To resolve this problem, you have to resolve three previous challenges. Without strict scheduling and limiting your working hours you wouldn’t find free time for socializing. Remember, that you have one big advantage of working from home — you don’t have to communicate with people you don’t like or have different interests with. As soon as you find the free time — try to also make it quality time. Find a community of people who have the same interest you do such as sport, foreign languages, art, music, board games, and so on. Try to meet them regularly. Change your workplace sometimes. Go for a walk, speak with people, work in a café, or a coworking space.
Collaboration can be very difficult with a remote team. You can’t easily ask someone about tasks. Sometimes you can’t understand what you and your team are working on. It’s hard to get a point when you are discussing a subject. Also, it’s difficult to know if anyone listens to you or not on the online meetings. Tasks that can be done in a day can become a weeklong process.
Considering all this, how can you collaborate with remote coworkers? The main initiative must proceed from the team manager. He or she must use different workplace communication tools and must be always in touch. The main tools for remote teams are web conferencing programs such as Skype and Zoom, project and task management software such as Jira and Trello, various types of messengers, and so on.
Besides, communication by messengers and emails can be a little embarrassing. You must think twice before writing to your colleagues or clients. Using the wrong tone of voice can cause misunderstanding.
Remote work can be far from the work you’ve seen on the glamorous Instagram photos with palms on the beach and cocktails in the coconuts on them. But it gives you a lot of freedom in your life. With good time management, awareness of what, and when you have to do, you can have a much better life with time for things you love. It isn’t easy to learn to manage yourself but it’s definitely worth it.