Working from Home: 7 Biggest Challenges and How to Overcome Them

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Global Workplace Analytics recently reported a 159% increase in the number of people who work remotely. That number has surged even higher over the last few weeks. Telecommuting is becoming increasingly popular as it reduces negative environmental impacts.

The benefits of working remotely have long been discussed, but not much mention has been made about its challenges. These can range from fewer social opportunities to a lack of work structure. Isolation, career stagnancy, micromanagement, and burnout are some aspects of working from home, proven to be the most challenging.

1. Miscommunication

Some business leaders feel that the transition should be as simple as equipping a worker with a to-do list and a laptop but that it’s not quite that simple. If policies and procedures don’t exist to support remote employees, there can be horrible consequences. There must be systems in place and employees must be properly equipped to have success while working remotely. Slack is one of the best productivity tools to help businesses keep communications organized.

2. Technology

Often times there are issues with technology that are not as efficiently resolved as they are at the office. This makes working remotely very difficult from a productivity standpoint. Perhaps the issue is conference call quality. ATR offers an affordable line of microphones for home and office such as the ATR2100. The Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB is a handheld microphone with a USB output designed for digital recording. It connects right to your computer and can greatly improve sound quality. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are also great for ensuring that you hear clearly.

3. Distractions

It is very easy to become distracted in an at-home environment. Often, people who work from home have difficulty being as productive as they would be in a traditional workplace. There are no coworkers around that might hold you accountable for staying on task. Pets, kids, and household chores can all be distracting.

4. Lack of Motivation

Remote workers often report that it can be easy to become lazy and less productive in an environment where you are not required to focus as much as you are in the office.

A great way to limit distractions and lack of motivation is by sticking to a dedicated schedule. Don’t take personal calls in the middle of your workday. Set an alarm to wake up and get ready as you would if you were going into the office. Schedule and block time on your calendar. This includes work tasks, breaks, and self-care.

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5. Loneliness

Not having coworkers around can be somewhat lonely. It is challenging to socialize when you are physically by yourself. You can just turn to your coworker or say hi on the way to the breakroom. There are zero daily face-to-face interactions with your boss, co-workers, or even clients. Surprisingly, introverts have the most difficulty since they are most unlikely to make any extra effort to engage with people during breaks or after work hours.

6. Team Building Issues

A lack of interaction that comes with working remotely can be emotionally and mentally detrimental. It can also negatively impact team building, which normally occurs as a result of lunchtimes, meetings, or even gatherings around the water cooler.

Even if you are an introvert or practicing social distancing, you can get clients while working remotely and combat loneliness and negative effects on team building by interacting online via chats, emails, and video calls.

7. Work-Life Balance

People who work from home often report problems keeping a healthy work-life balance. Therefore, it’s important to clearly define your work timings and stick to them. Stop working, and refrain from checking messages and assignments after your workday is over.

There can be a number of challenges, but with proper planning, your workdays can be structured to make a smooth transition.

By Aniyah Wicks

Married to a computer geek and raising 2 future nerds, Aniyah is a passionate DIYer and gardening enthusiast. When she isn't wondering if she has had watered her indoor plants, she writes short articles so that, in due time, she can write a book one day!