One of the greatest misconceptions about working from home is that you’re living the easy life. While it does offer some advantages over going to the office, it also poses different challenges.
Why working from home isn’t as easy as it seems
There are no fixed schedules
Another thing that most folks who are working remotely struggle with is schedule flexibility. In most cases, those who work from home have the freedom to work whenever they want to as long as they meet their deadlines and deliver what’s needed. Not having a routine can be quite problematic because you might end up slacking off or demotivated.
It doesn’t feel like the right place to get work done
The line between work and business is diminished and unclear under work-from-home arrangements. Normally, our minds are trained to function according to our environment.
Working at home, a place of rest and relaxation, sends mixed signals to our brains that make it harder for us to get motivated to work.
Getting cut off from human interaction
Let’s be honest, a lot of us like going to work because of the people we work with. It’s more fun to get work done around people. It doesn’t matter if you work for a company that manufactures industrial trash compactors or you work for a small laundromat a couple of blocks away. Human interaction gets you out of bed every morning.
But now that you’re working from home, you find it harder to get work done because no one’s around to pep you up and encourage you. Feelings of loneliness and isolation are struggles a lot of remote workers get.
Most Common Distractions at Home
Unlike working in an office setting, working from home pressures one into getting some chores done at home. However, that will only take you away from your work. If you need to get chores done, set a different time for it so you can be productive with both your job and your responsibilities at home.
Family is harder to resist because they’re family. But you need to let them realize that they need to respect your working hours, too. You must place boundaries and enforce them as needed so that you stay productive with your work and at the same time have plenty of time for family afterward.
How to Stay Productive amid the Distractions
Embrace the situation
Remote workers have different reasons for being in this particular working arrangement. Some prefer a work-from-home set-up because of the flexibility it offers. Others are somehow forced by circumstances, pretty much like everyone else who has been working remotely since the start of the pandemic.
Whatever your reasons are, whatever circumstances led you into this, just accept the situation and learn how to work with it. You won’t feel “normal” unless you accept things for what they are and embrace them.
Be proactive and take charge of your day. Don’t let your feelings dictate what you should or should not do. Rise to the challenge and prove that your boss can depend on you to still do your very best despite the circumstances.
Get out of your PJs
We’re not asking you to wear a suit and tie as you get your work done in your living room or your office. Psychologists have found that our minds adapt to how we’re dressed. If your typical day starts off with you rolling off your bed and going immediately in front of your laptop without even bothering to fix up, your mind will be in a state of relaxation and rest for the most part.
Getting out of your PJs and into a pair of jeans and shirt — actual clothes — sends signals to your brain that you’re in work-mode which helps you become more productive.
Establish a routine
When you start working at home, you will immediately notice the lack of structure unlike being in an office. You were used to a daily routine when you were still commuting to work but now that you’re stuck at home, you might feel that you have all the time in the world.
Why don’t you use this opportunity to work on a new routine to help you stay productive? All the time that you recovered that remote work has afforded you can be channeled into other things that can help make you perform better. You no longer need to wake up earlier and feel sluggish throughout the day because you lack sleep. You can also squeeze some exercise into your schedule.
Now’s the perfect time to organize your life and start a new routine. Set definite work hours and honor them. Include time for family and socialization in your daily schedule. You can even set aside time for your hobbies and interests.
More than just ticking off items in your to-do list for the day, you also need to take care of yourself. If you push yourself too hard, you will eventually get burned out. Be kind to yourself, too. Know that we are living in extraordinary times with extraordinary pressure. Use your leaves and take a breather when you need to. Don’t forget to take your breaks daily. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself to avoid burnout.
Working from home is equally challenging just like any other job, even if the challenges are different. Keeping yourself focused and motivated is the key to being successful at remote work.