When you first heard the news that you’d be working from home, chances are you were a bit excited. You could save money on commuting, keep your job, and be there for your family during these uncertain times. However, most remote workers soon discovered that being home 24/7 is a challenge.
Believing that this would pass in a few months, they tried to weather the storm. Unfortunately, the pandemic and the challenges of remote work continue a year later.
Although COVID-19 vaccines are available and restrictions are loosening, the return to normalcy is still a long way off. Ultimately, if you’re going to continue to thrive, you must learn how to identify the problems and find practical solutions. Here are a few suggestions to assist you with this process.
The internet is riddled with video clips of employees dealing with distractions from curious pets to energetic children. It’s kind of hard to engage in a virtual meeting when your cat hops on the keyboard, or your kids are shouting or running around the house.
It weakens your focus and slows your productivity. If you’re going to keep your job, you have to find a way to minimize the distractions.
One suggestion is to create a home office. You need a designated space to complete your work without interruptions (or at least not as many). If you have a spare bedroom, attic, basement, or garage, consider making this your office. You’ll need to select office furniture like a desk, chair, and lamp.
An efficient workspace should also have the appropriate technology, equipment, and supplies to complete your job. Organize your space so that it coincides with your daily workflow. Then inform your family that when you’re in the office, you need peace and quiet to focus and complete your job.
Working from home is lonely. You want to interact with like-minded human beings, but you can’t. Sure, there is video conferencing software, social media, emails, and chatrooms, but it doesn’t compare to in-person contact.
It doesn’t take long to miss your co-workers, lunch dates, and general banter at the watercooler. Although feelings of loneliness are common, remaining in this state of mind can lead to mental health problems.
Socializing with your co-workers through digital platforms during and after work hours is highly recommended. At the very least, it provides you with an opportunity to talk to people that know what you’re going through.
They can give advice, motivation, and support during this experience. Another suggestion is to find time to socialize in-person. While safety must remain a priority, you don’t have to stay disconnected from the world. Have a bi-monthly lunch in the park with co-workers and friends or invite guests over for a backyard barbecue.
You may have thought that maintaining a work-life balance as a remote worker would be easier, but it’s not. The lines constantly blur, making it difficult to be successful in any area of your life. If you focus too much on work, something or someone in the home gets overlooked.
However, if you prioritize home, you could lose your job. Before you know it, you feel defeated and unaccomplished, which can lead to mental health problems.
The first recommendation is to develop some structure and discipline with a daily schedule for your household. Although everyone is home, they all still have obligations and daily tasks. Create a morning, afternoon, and evening routine that enables you to care for your family, do your job, and finish out your day on a positive and more productive note.
Last March turned everyone’s life upside down. In an instant, the pandemic took away everything familiar. Adjusting to the new normal hasn’t been easy. If you are among the remote workers that have been struggling with distractions, social isolation, and work-life balance, there is hope. By using the recommendations listed above, you can overcome these challenges.