Let’s admit it. Working from home is not for everyone. And despite the convenience it gives us, it is much harder than working in a traditional office space because of some challenges of working remotely.
It takes a lot of time to adjust from the regular work routine we have. And it’s even harder if it’s the situation that made you work at home and not something that you wanted. You might not have been able to prepare for everything yet physically, mentally, and emotionally.
We are all aware of this, and we are happy to share some tips on dealing with these challenges of working remotely with you. If you want to know those, keep reading.
Maintain a Morning Routine
Now that you’ve started working from home, it’s tempting to stay in bed longer instead of getting up at the usual morning call time. However, we don’t recommend this. It’s still best to maintain your daily routine as if you’re still working in your office.
For example, if you used to get up at six in the morning, take a bath, get dressed, eat breakfast, then go to work, stick to that. Don’t extend your sleep hours just because you can, and that you no longer need to give an allotted time for travel.
Separate your workday routine from your rest day routine, so your body still knows how to differentiate between them. What would you do with your extra hours? Well, you can spend these into doing something that you haven’t done before when you’re at work.
Read a book, exercise, stretch, call your colleagues, or just prepare your mind for work. By maintaining a morning routine, you’ll be able to manage better the challenges of working remotely.
Follow a Strict Schedule
Now that you’ve established your morning routine, it’s time to develop your whole schedule. That means taking note of what times of the day you will work, and waking up and sleeping at the same hours each day.
The main advantage of working remotely is flexibility, but make sure to use it wisely. Work at those hours you said you would work. Schedule your breaks, when you’ll eat, and make sure you still get enough sleep each day.
Consistency is essential here. It might be hard the first few days, but if you just follow your schedule, your body gets used to it as time goes by.
Create a Better Environment
Another challenge of working remotely is distractions. Office spaces are usually designed to make employees productive – air-conditioned room, soundproofed areas, comfortable desks, etc. On the other hand, your home is the exact opposite of this as it’s supposed to be the place of rest.
So, it’s best if you create a better working environment. Here are a few things you can do:
- Clean-up your space
- Organize your things
- Set-up some plants
- Have a calendar in place
Anything that you think would help you feel that this is no longer your home, but your workplace. Keep phones away if possible, and minimize the distractions.
You can even get a maid service NYC if you need help with the cleaning and arrangements. It will also be less work for you.
Designate a Workspace
Now, creating a better environment is only the first step. The next thing you need to do now is to have a designated workspace or a home office. If you have a separate room inside your house, that would be perfect as your home office.
If you only have a room, that’s fine too. Just make sure to keep your desk away from your bed, so you don’t easily get distracted to sleep. This should help trick your mind that you’re there to work once you’re in that area.
Keep everything non-work-related away from your workspace so you can concentrate better. If you think you need to soundproof your room, do so, especially if it helps you focus.
By having your workspace, dealing with the challenges of working remotely tend to become easier. It also helps you concentrate better, which allows you to finish more work in the process.
Give Yourself a Break
There are two types of people who work remotely: those who find it hard to get into work mode and can’t stop working.
If you belong to the latter group, let us keep it straightforward and tell you that what you’re doing is unhealthy. Let yourself breathe from all the work and stress. Even if you find working fun, it’s essential to take some time off. So you continue to stay productive.
If you don’t rest, there’s a huge possibility that you’ll get too tired and won’t be as productive anymore. This may also sacrifice the quality of your work.
Track Work and Productivity
One of the challenges of working remotely is not only experienced by employees but also of the owners and managers. One of these is making sure that work is indeed done at home.
Working at home means you get to handle your schedule. However, because of the many distractions encountered, finishing work can be much harder than usual. Because of this, managers sometimes make sure that there is work done by tracking work and productivity.
There are several ways to do this, such as setting up metrics of how much work is expected to be completed in a day. Of course, metrics should remain realistic and should be based on the employees’ performance.
Daily check-ins are something you can do. This is when your employee sends you an email daily about their tasks and what they have finished by the end of the day. This will also keep the communication going.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
One of the biggest challenges of working remotely is that most employees experience being alone. Regardless if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, we all need social interaction.
As we mentioned earlier, learn how to take a break and go and meet your friends. Grab some coffee with a friend or have a lunch date with your colleagues.
If it’s not advisable to go out, make use of the advances of technology. Schedule a friendly meeting with your friends in zoom or skype. Managers can even schedule a once a month meeting where you don’t talk about work but more on checking up how everything’s going.
Keeping yourself happy is very important in working productively. And sometimes, colleagues or friends can help you with that.
Stay in Touch With Your Team
Speaking of communication, this is one of the most important things to maintain at work. Running a company outside an office setting is much harder, and having excellent communication is key to keeping everything intact.
With the right communication, there will be better coordination between teammates and team leaders. This is especially important if you have employees working in a different time zone. Another advantage is that communication helps better the relationship between every team member.
Set Boundaries Between Work and Home
When you’re working remotely, separating work from personal life can be hard. Two things might happen. One, you can’t stop working, and two, you lose interest in working.
It’s highly essential to keep the balance between these two, and everything above can help precisely with that.
Create hobbies that you can do outside work, such as reading a book, yoga classes, or writing a story. Then, block some time to do this hobby. This will help you stay away from your work desk for a while.
You can create a schedule to take a break in between work. For example, work for 4 hours straight, take a break for 2 hours, then work for another 4 hours. If you can finish your tasks earlier (without sacrificing quality), that means more time for your personal life.
Follow Security Protocols
It’s undeniable that having your employees work remotely can be riskier in terms of cybersecurity. The number one reason is that they’re already bringing company information outside of work.
As companies, it’s best to set security protocols to help counter any security attacks at homes. You can do this by doing security and privacy training that tackles different types of security threats, such as phishing.
Have your employees install a software in their system, and create a designated email they can reach out to if they feel a security threat.
On the other hand, employees should follow these protocols as this will protect the company and you as well.
If you’re working remotely, you’re usually the one to note your progress or how you’re doing better. This is why it’s essential to request your employers’ feedback regarding your productivity and improvement in your skills.
Doing so will make you more aware if there’s more you can improve on, and you can start work on that. Take criticisms constructively instead of personally as this is most likely for your good. Besides, hearing what your employers have to say is better than guessing how you’re doing.
Update Your Technology
Software and technology are two important things that help counter the challenges of working remotely. As we all know, office technologies are usually updated every day, making it ideal for work.
Your home technology, on the other hand, may not be as updated. Some common problems are internet connection problems and slower computer processing. These two combines can be very frustrating and stressful, especially if you need to hit a quota. You might also end up working more hours than you should.
This is why it’s essential to update your technology. Upgrade your home computer or upgrade your internet to a faster speed. This will help improve your working from home experience. Plus, it helps in making you more productive.
Avoid Cabin Fever
Staying at home is nothing but very convenient. However, staying at home for a long time can be exhausting, affecting your productivity. Sooner you’ll probably recognize that the quality of your work is decreasing.
This is why it’s crucial to take a break from working. And this is not only by doing your hobbies but by stepping out of your home. Try gardening, walk around a block, or run errands – anything that will bring a change in your environment.
Co-working spaces are great to try. You not only have a new environment to work from, but you might also get to meet other remote workers too. Not to mention, there are free wifi and coffee for you.
Take Care of Yourself
All in all, this is probably the most essential way to deal with the challenges of working remotely is by taking care of yourself. It’s not easy managing house chores and work, plus all the distractions can become overwhelming.
But despite all this, always put yourself first. Make sure you get complete sleep, exercise, and eat healthily. If you can take some vitamins, then do so.
Health should be your number one priority. Because, if you get sick, you also won’t be able to work well.
The bottom line is, keep your work life and personal life balanced. Don’t spend so much time working and you shouldn’t spend so much time resting too. Discipline yourself by staying true and consistent with your schedule.
If you can create a to-do-list with task priorities, the better. This will help your mind stay focused on what you need to get done first.
Working remotely should be fun and give you the feeling of being able to handle your hours. However, if you’re feeling the exact opposite of this, you might be doing something wrong, and the list above should help you with that.