There is no denying that the pandemic has changed the way millions of people work in this country. With nearly 71% of people working from home, there have been many remote work challenges to overcome.
As we recently passed the one-year point of working remotely, it’s time to gather the things that don’t work and apply some helpful solutions.
Remote Work Challenges
While remote work opportunities were pretty niche pre-2020, that number drastically grew with companies closing offices to help keep everyone safe. For those who have never telecommunicated before, several new challenges arose, like those listed below.
- Schedule Troubles
- Defining Work Spaces
- Lack of Motivation
- Missing Deadlines
- Communication Problems
- Social Isolation
Let’s dive into some challenges of working remotely and ways to help, below.
Balancing Your Schedule
It’s hard to find structure throughout the day if you don’t have similar time markers to keep you on track. The solution: setting and keeping the same workday schedules.
A great example is to work from 7:30 am-1 pm, eat lunch, or go for a walk for 60-90mins, then return to work until 6 pm. That creates routine, balanced work hours, and helps you stay on track.
Separate Your Work Space
Did you know that the human brain groups certain activities with certain spaces? That means that if you try to work and sleep in your bed, your productivity will be impaired, and you might find it harder to fall asleep.
That’s why it’s so important to carve specific areas in your home for both personal and professional use. Don’t forget to change out of your PJs for this reason as well!
Whether you have an office at home or even a small corner of your apartment, it’s important to only focus on work in that designated spot. You’ll notice how it allows you to still feel relaxed and secure in the rest of your home if you can spatially separate yourself from your work environment.
Bonus, ask your accountant if you’re available for a home office tax deduction.
This can be one of the biggest challenges for working remotely since you’re surrounded by all the comforts and chaos of your home. The solution: try removing as many distractions as possible from your space.
This includes books, TVs, phones, and other knick-knacks. It can also be helpful to invest in noise-canceling headphones, especially if you have other roommates or significant others in the space.
Address Communication Challenges
Since virtual communication is challenging, and it can lead to people mistaking the tone or true intention. This can lead to frustration, insecurity, as well as confusion over project details that no team leader or employee wants.
The solution: try using collaboration tools, apps, and take the extra time to ensure tasks are properly explained. Read more about how to balance productivity, keep team members up-to-date, easily share files, and avoid falling behind on deadlines.
We are social creatures who thrive in encouraging environments. While some people are motivated to do all of the above on their own, others need some motivation.
The solution: writing out career goals, connecting with your employer on opportunities, and staying up-to-date on the latest in your field. While this won’t completely staunch the social isolation, it will help you stay focused on your goals and check-in.
Another great solution is establishing social nights with friends or coworkers once a week.
Addressing Challenges in Remote Working
Don’t continue to struggle with remote work challenges. It’s time to find creative solutions, like distinguishing your space, keeping to a set schedule, and keeping up the communication.
Want more professional insight? Check out our blog for more!