Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have found value in allowing their employees to work remotely, at least part of the time. As with anything, there are pros and cons, and remote work is no different. As beneficial as it is for both employer and employee, there is a darker side to working from home. Everyone’s heard of the advantages, including flexibility and money savings, so let’s take a look at some of the challenges of working from home.
1. Lack of Collaboration and Teamwork
Someone once said that isolation kills collaboration, and this can become a problem with the work-from-home model. While many employees are excited to work independently at home, the reality is that it usually doesn’t take long for the isolation to take its toll.
If loneliness is becoming a problem for you, consider opening your preferred search engine and typing in “serviced offices near me.” If you work with a team – whether they be employees, colleagues, or freelancers – you can use a serviced office whenever collaboration and teamwork are essential. At other times, you can enjoy the sense of community these places provide. The best-serviced offices offer both quiet and communal areas in which to work, along with break rooms, gyms, and other support services.
2. Lack of Motivation
It’s easy to become unmotivated when working from home, especially when you can hear family members, housemates, or neighbors going about their lives. People who work from home must be highly self-motivated or risk becoming unproductive.
Keeping a regular schedule when working from home can help you stay motivated and on-task. If you’re easily distracted by the noises around you, invest in a good quality set of noise-canceling earbuds or over-ear headphones, depending on your preference.
When employees are in the workplace, they are constantly reminded to stay on track and keep working. At home, these reminders are typically absent. Indeed, our homes are often filled with signals to relax or enjoy our hobbies, which can lead us to put off tasks or take extra breaks.
Self-regulation is the key to work-from-home success, so again, stick to a regular schedule. While you need your home to be a relaxing and inviting environment, it may be a good idea to compartmentalize your space as much as possible. This means ensuring your gym equipment, musical instruments, TV, and other fun distractions are out of sight when you’re in your workspace.
4. Lack of Security or Equipment
Not everyone has the ideal setup to work from home. Outfitting a home office with the right equipment can be expensive, so find out if your employer is willing to foot some or all of the bill. Also, security is often an issue when employees work remotely, so measures such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN), secure cloud access, and a firewall may need to be implemented.
Many remote workers have trouble drawing the line between their work lives and their home lives when their work lives take place at home. This can lead to working more, which can cause burnout rather quickly. Remote workers must find a suitable work/life balance with a clear divide between the two.
Burnout can cause a cascade of serious issues, as can the other points on this list, if they’re not addressed early on. The good news is that there are ways around the pitfalls of remote work. Now that you’re aware of the most problematic challenges of working from home, you’re a few steps closer to overcoming them.