Imagine: Your office chair is your comfy couch. Your commute is the length of your hallway, no traffic delays or crowds. A flexible schedule complete with power naps. No dress code – stay in your cozy clothes all day if you feel like it. Working from home sounds appealing right?!
Over the last few months, many of us have had to shift from “office life” to working remotely. While it can seem like a dream for many individuals, it can also present its own set of challenges.
Here are a few examples of challenges you can face working remotely and how you can conquer them:
Managing your own schedule
Without some from of structure, many at-home workers find themselves in big trouble. They sleep in, they procrastinate and tell themselves they will get to it later on. Suddenly, they look at the clock and realize they didn’t do what they had intended for the day. That leaves the choice to work through the evening or just procrastinate further.
Set your workdays and hours. And stick to them! Either maintaining regular business hours or basing your schedule around one maintained by your spouse or kids. The concept of “normal business hours” remains in use across the globe because it works as an efficient time management tool. A conventional schedule can make you more productive and additionally, allows you to spend more time with loved ones.
The line between professional and personal life
When you work from home, there is no longer a clear environmental division between workspace and personal space. Emotionally, your home is a place of relaxation and safety. It can be a place where you subconsciously feel calm and easygoing, putting the stresses of the workday behind you. Many remote workers complain that they feel like they’re never “off the job” while working from home.
Set aside a physical space for working that is separate from the rest of your home. For many, that could be a home office with a door that closes and even locks. If you don’t have the space, it could be converting another area such as a den, kitchen or dining room. Ultimately, you want to set up rules with your loved ones so that you’re not constantly interrupted throughout the day. The clearer the boundaries you draw – in space and time – between work and personal life, the better you will be at keeping the two comfortably distinct.
Distractions, distractions, distractions
Even if you set a schedule and create a dedicated workspace, staying productive can prove difficult when you are working from home. It can be hard to focus with distractions like your favorite tv show, books and reminders of daily tasks such as laundry calling to you. You can often find an excuse to break for an early lunch or get interrupted by a spouse or children.
Physically having a separate workspace helps. Also, make sure to remove any distractions from your work area. With no tv or books around, you succumb to them less easily. Noise cancelling headphones can help you avoid auditory distractions, like your kids playing or spouse watching a movie. Find tips and tricks that work for you to limit distractions and increase productivity.
Not everyone has the ability to work remotely. And not all individuals enjoy working from home. Whatever the challenges may be for you while working currently, there are always options, including shared office spaces.
Some business centers offer virtual plans and casual hires. If you need a slight change of scenery from your home office or kitchen table, a basic monthly plan can often include boardroom hours and a quiet space to get your work done. The Guinness Business Centre offers hourly or daily rentals of hot desks, meeting rooms and day offices at very competitive prices for non-members. This allows you to experience the ‘office life’ without making that big commitment and you may even benefit from meeting new like-minded people around the shared office space – expanding your network is always a good thing!