Recent years witnessed an increase in the number of people working from home. While this may have numerous it does not go without challenges. When people choose to work from home, they can foresee, and are better prepared to handle, the situation and overcome challenges. However, these challenges are more critical and far more impactful for those who are asked to stay at home and get their work done due to several reasons including disease outbreaks.
Regardless of the reason for which a person works from home, clear and continuous communication with team members as well as supervisors helps to overcome most challenges. However, it is the responsibility of individual employees to know exactly what’s expected of them and then they should prepare executive plans to get things done. The following recommendations are supposed to help remote workers, in general, to be productive.
- It is a real job – the first thing to do it to try to allocate space for your home office, where you can avoid distractions. Try to make this place equipped with the tools you have in a physical office. Do not wear your pajamas of work on your bed because this tends to make you less efficient at getting work done.
- Keep distractors away – it’s easy to get distracted by different several things. You need to be firm in setting barriers especially if you are not very good at dealing with schedules. You will be surrounded by your loved ones, but you need to set up a kind of signal that lets others know when you're in focus mode so they won’t disturb.
- Know your priorities – when you work at home, you may lose focus on the things that need to get done before others. Therefore, it is essential to create a strict schedule and time management plan that keep you on track. Try to design your schedule along with your family so that you could maximise the time you spend together.
- Don’t isolate yourself – being alone at homemay influence your socialising skillswhich in turn makes you lonely and can be reflected in your performance. Therefore, you need to set certain times in your schedule to connect with other people including your work colleagues, friends and family members.
- Stay connected – in particular, you need to keep communication channels open with your coworkers, supervisors and clients. This not only makes your job easier but also encourages you to keep going and be noticed for the work you are doing. You may use video chat for both professional work and social interactions.
- Technology is key – problems with technology, especially when it comes to connectivity, may not get resolved as quickly as they would in the office, and can make it difficult to work remotely. At the same time, several platforms are available to make it easy for remote team members to communicate effectively, but this may need some investment.
- Stop when you have to – with no commute or way to leave the office, it can be hard to separate your work and personal life. Here comes the importance of having a schedule to follow and a designated place for work which you should leave when it is time to stop working. Overworking can cause health and social problems.
- Believe in yourself – more often, people who work from home feel they are left out and that other people don’t really think you are working and this can be frustrating.As a responsible employee, you can fulfil your tasks and communicate the outcomes accordingly, based on your own plan. Beyond that, do not care what people may be thinking.
- Take care of yourself – a lack of movement and exercise is the effect of some of the other challenges described on the list. In your daily schedule, you need to set times when you have to move around and do a simple exercise.Not only will it help with your physical health, but it will also help you focus more on your work. This applies to office work as well.
- Keep spirits high – especially when working from home comes due to emergent conditions such as disease outbreak, people get nervous and worried and this negatively impacts their self-esteem and motivation to work. Continuous communication between the team members and regular check-ins by managers to avoid isolation and depression.
Generally, it may be a good idea when you are faced with challenges like natural disasters or disease outbreaks to work from home. However, it is not normal for a business to operate from home forever. It can only be an intermediarystage to keep things moving but a healthy business should eventually move back to its own “home”.