For the first time in history, there are more people working remotely than in traditional offices.
That is the new normal during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Most employers and employees weren’t prepared to make the transition to this new normal and, as is anyone’s guess, that has precipitated many challenges especially to employees.
Work from Home Challenges
Some of the challenges that most first-time remote workers are experiencing include those listed below.
- For workers who live alone, social distancing has left them feeling isolated and unhappy, and that has had tons of negative implications on their productivity.
- Staying motivated has been a challenge to many, particularly for employees who are used to working in groups as team members.
- Time management is an issue for many. It is very hard to differentiate office hours from family and social time when all you do is stay indoors.
- Some employees are working too much at the expense of their health and social life, which has led to many getting fatigued and unproductive.
One way of countering these challenges would be to move your workstation from home to a co-working space.
There are tons of benefits that come from working in co-working spaces compared to working from home.
For starters, working in a shared workspace helps you to keep the balance between work and home life, without having to go to your office. Achieving that balance is important for your productivity and mental health.
The other option would be to continue working from home but to avoid these remote work habits:
Remote Work Habits to Avoid
Working from the bedroom
It is almost impossible for anyone to work from the bedroom without feeling drowsy or getting the urge to nap multiple times in a day. In the same breath, you should avoid working from the couch because it it can easily tempt you to watch TV while working.
It’s essential to have a dedicated home office where you can mentally separate your working time from your leisure time. This office space should provide you with ample desk space, have a comfortable office chair, and enough natural light, given the benefits of lighting on worker productivity.
There are dishes to wash, kids to supervise and care for, laundry to wash and fold, a garden to attend to, and many other household chores.
Those chores are always there, of course — it is only that you are always at work, so you don’t see them as much! Don’t let them bother you now that you are working from home, though.
If it is difficult to ignore them, it is best that you create a workable schedule that will allow you to attend to both work-related and household tasks without needing to multitask.
Multi-tasking is known to impact productivity negatively. Instead, focus your brainpower and mental energy on one thing at a time. You’ll do your work much more effectively and perform at your best.
Not respecting coworkers’ boundaries
Working from home means different things to different people.
Some people interpret it to mean that they can work any time they feel productive, the time of day notwithstanding. Others interpret it to mean working in the morning hours and saving the rest of the day for family. Others work through the week, weekends included. There are also those who feel like they need to compensate for lack of social life with constant video calls to colleagues.
Whichever type of remote worker you are, you should know that some of your co-workers are different. Respect their boundaries by not imposing your schedule on them. Don’t send your boss an email in the middle of the night and be upset when he fails to respond in “good time.”
Working all day, every day
Working for 7 days a week will get you fatigued and lower your productivity.
For that reason, you should always avoid the temptation of working on weekends if you hold a traditional Monday-Friday job.
Work-life balance is essential to effectively managing stress, recharging your mental batteries, and helping you achieve optimal wellness and happiness.
If you find you’re not getting all of your work done during the traditional workweek, it might mean it’s time for you to develop better time management tools so that you can better organize your work day as a remote worker.
Refusing to adapt to work from home technology
You need to adjust to new tools and technology if you are to succeed in remote working.
You probably need a better phone or computer as well, or better Wi-Fi.
Refusing to adapt to these technologies will make things a lot harder for your team.
Not prioritizing tasks
Your schedule is a little more flexible now that you’re relegated to a home office, but that doesn’t mean you can disregard the importance of keeping consistent work hours.
During those hours, it is imperative that you prioritize tasks so that you work on the most urgent/important tasks when your productivity levels are highest.
As a remote worker, it’s imperative to always organize your work days so that you have clearly defined working hours each day and an efficient work structure that allows you to efficiently move your projects down their pipelines.
Eating junk food
While under quarantine, it’s easy to fall into the habit of eating quick snacks to sate a craving.
However, foods high in sodium can negatively impact your productivity, because while you might experience a brief sugar rush, you’ll always experience the ‘crash’ that comes with it, leading to the notorious afternoon slump when a nap sounds more appealing than more work.
Rid your fridge of all unhealthy foods and stock up on nutritious alternatives like nuts, hummus, fruits, and vegetables. You also want to set aside time to exercise regularly, as the endorphin rush from moving your body can energize you for the rest of your work day.
Remote Work Habits: The New Normal
Avoiding the 7 remote work habits above will help you remain productive when you work from home.
Remember, it is very likely that you will be working remotely longer than you initially imagined, so by developing healthy habits now, you’ll better position yourself to be a productive and efficient worker who can get things done no matter what environment you’re in!
Rachel Eleza is a marketing director at Upsuite and a writer for various websites. She loves reading and traveling. When she’s not writing, she’s usually baking up a storm or trying to find new ways to get inspired.