Like any other type of job, also remote work has its challenges. But ok, let’s think it over. No time-consuming commute. No manager looking over your shoulder. No one interrupting you while you do an urgent task asking you to go to the kitchen. Maybe except your hungry cat:) So what are these challenges you face while sitting home or e.g. restaurant or whenever you do your remote work? Although remote workers are considered to be more productive than onsite employees, they’re still vulnerable to many challenges. Here you can find 5 obstacles remote workers come across the most often.
Many offsite workers, no matter for how long they do this, still have problems with keeping the hard line between work and private life. When both your work and your life is taking place under the same roof, it’s much harder to switch off. It’s not that bad if you work for a company. Your manager may not allow you to work more than standard office hours and that’s really good for your work-life balance. But if you work for yourself, then you may never ”log out” to the after work life. There are some tips as how to avoid working too much:
- Set appointments on your calendar for the end of the day
- Set up reminders to take break
- Be clear with your team when you’re leaving
- Create physical boundaries between your workspace and the rest of the house
The benefit of not having a manager looking over you to see how your job is going, has also its drawback. Now it’s you who need to be self-motivated enough to be able to manage your time and tasks. Thus you have to be also well-organized and know what you should do now, what later, and what could be postponed to the next day. There are a lot of things waiting for you to be done, but not actually urgent or important. For example, watching the next episode of your favourite sitcom while you’re taking a break, or doing the dishes that gathered in your kitchen. Here I would encourage you to go back to the post ”Setting Priorities with Eisenhower Matrix”. Before you start your work day, try to group the tasks you have to do for the day and then start to complete them accordingly. All in all, it’s all about getting the most important thing done first!
You know how it is. Although you don’t need to deal with the coworkers dropping by at your desk to tell you something ”really important”, still there plenty of things interrupting you. Children, pets, your wife, in-laws dropping unannounced, delivery people needing your siganture, etc. The bad thing is that you’re home, and until your family understands that you’re actually at work and you’re not available till e.g. 4 pm, it will be happening everyday. You need to talk it over with family, set clear boundaries and explain why you’re not available. The following tips might be helpful:
- Set up a kind of signal that lets others know when you’re in focus mode
- For young kids, getting childcare might be inevitable
- Keep consistent work hours
- Escape – if everything fails, try to find coworking space, library or coffee shop
This matter has been raised a couple of times already in my previous posts. Thisis about nothing else than the lack of body language factor that actually does everything when it comes to the successful and clear communication. There is also another thing – that is a feeling of being out of the loop. Especially, when some of your team members work in the office, but you don’t. Missing all the discussions and meetings might make you feel paranoid that others are making decisions without you. And, to be perfectly honest, you might be right. Unless your manager is always involving you in the meetings, you might be out of sight and out of mind.
Not applicable to those who have family members home with them when working. When you’re home alone during your work, it’s not that cool not to have anybody to talk with. All in all, we are social creatures, and although we usually need silence to focus on a specific task, we all need somebody whom we can talk with during the break. How to not feel isolated when working from home?
- Include social breaks in your schedule (unless you’ve already lost all your friends – just a joke!)
- Try working at co-working spaces, coffee shops
- Join local groups or organizations
There are definitely more challenges remote workers come across everyday during their work. Nevertheless, Despite the challenges above, remote work is very rewarding–as long as you know what you’re getting into and can handle these common issues. If you feel like adding something to the above described issues remote workers are facing while doing their job, please share them with us!