Working from home might seem like an easy thing to do but it is not. Being in the same room with your family while you work might turn out to be difficult especially if you have young kids. Separating your working time from your other routines at home is very challenging. You might end up overworking or doing less work if you get continuously distracted. At first, you might think you will have more time to work since you are at home but remember that overworking makes a person less productive and it, therefore, it is another challenge of working from home. The surest way to overcome these challenges is to make sure you deal with them head-on.
Many reasons can lead to a person deciding to work from home. It might be out of sheer will but it can also be due to unavoidable situations such as the reduced commuting time or maternity leaves. Whatever the reason for working at home, many challenges follow even though it does not seem like so. Some of the challenges that face people who work from home include;
This is the most common challenge faced by people who work from home. At first, it will not seem like your personal life is distracting you from working, but in time you will notice that their productivity has reduced. The constant mixup of work and personal life can be a huge hindrance to accomplishing daily targets regarding your work. Whether it is your family demanding your attention or personal life interfering with your work, you need to set strict boundaries of when to work and when to engage in personal activities.
Other activities such as watching TV and spending hours on the phone might also be a distraction when you are working. It is often easy to procrastinate your work once you get distracted. To counter this challenge, you have to allocate time for work and time for personal things. Other than this, ensure to inform your family at home about your work timetable and make sure they respect your schedule.
2. Social Isolation
It is well known that humans are a social being which means that we thrive when we are together. Working from home reduces the chances of interaction between workers. This becomes a challenge since the way of measuring performance metrics becomes difficult as well. For the case of people who work for longer hours at home, they might find themselves suffering from stress or depression as a result of isolation.
To deal with this challenge, people working from home should set some time aside for spending with friends and family. Working a lot without go outside is not healthy for your body. Socialize every once in a while and share the challenges that you are facing with other people in a similar condition.
3. A thin line between professional and personal life
The huge problem with working from home is that the mind is used to switching off all work stress and changing to a relaxed mode once you get home. When working from home it is also difficult to concentrate all your focus on one thing due to the temptation of multitasking. The idea of preparing a meal while still working, or doing laundry and working concurrently is a trap. People working from home always find it difficult to relax since they always have the urge to do one more little task. This is a challenge since the body does not have a change of environment when you are working and when you are doing personal tasks.
To handle this problem make sure that you set up a separate room for working. This special room should only be in use when dealing with work-related issues. Be sure to spend all your working hours in the office and avoid relaxing in your pajamas in the working room.
4. Time management
Managing your working time and schedule while working from home is not an easy task. Interruptions arise and cause you to postpone your work which reduces productivity a lot. It becomes difficult to prepare for work especially if you are working from home. This is what makes many people who work from home wear their sleeping attire while working. Remember that if a working environment is not created then the brain can not be in a position to work efficiently. Our brain gets used to patterns and therefore it is why it becomes a huge challenge to work from a place where the brain is used to relax without work’s stress.
To combat this challenge, people working from home should follow their schedules strictly and also ensure that the other family members respect it as well. You cannot be called upon to do a task if you are in the middle of your work, and this will only happen if the people around you do not know whether you are busy working or not.
5. Reduced supervision
Having someone who is in charge of you, helps in many ways such as providing guidelines on what is required of you and how you should do things. When working from home, it becomes difficult for people to get supervision and or directions while they work. This means that some people may not work well or they may choose to spend work time doing personal things. Management is key and it works well when the manager can see what their subordinates are doing, which is difficult to do when people are working from home.
To avoid shortcomings from this challenge, ensure you are in close communication with your superiors. You will be able e to get assistance and directions on all queries that you might have.
6. Communication challenges
Coordinating work among employees that are working from home is very difficult. This is because it does not offer efficient communication, especially when dealing with a group of employees. Holding conference calls to pass information is not efficient as many workers might miss on the calls or get distracted during the call. Nonverbal communication is important but it cannot be conducted when employees are far from one another.
The good news is that technology has come up with ways of solving this problem. The use of team collaboration tools that facilitate communication and coordination has been developed for communication purposes between people who are working from home.
7. Doing all the work alone
The chances of having a family member who can assist in your work are low. When in the workplace, you have the option of asking for assistance from colleagues. This becomes complicated while you are working from home since you have to follow a long process to get help. Exchange of ideas makes working easy since you can brainstorm ideas until you come up with the best solution for your work problem. The workload becomes huge while you are working from home whereas you don’t even have someone to help you out in your vicinity. To overcome this challenge, try to be in close contact with your work colleagues and also try to make use of communication tools.
8. You neglect to spend time with family
Having spare time to spend with your family, while working from home is rarely accomplished. People who work from home find themselves working more hours compared to people who do not. This makes them lack enough quality time to spend with their family members. Constant absence from family activities leads to resentment from your family members which is a difficult and painful experience. To avoid this problem make sure you allocate enough time for spending with your family and follow up on it keenly.
Not having a clear distinction between the working hours and personal time may result in doing more work than it is recommended. Overworking has many disadvantages compared to benefits which are close to none. Quality of work produced after the recommended limit is exceeded is often very low, a challenge that is facing many people who work from home. They should set daily work limits to prevent overworking.
10. Issues with technology
Technology is reliable unless it fails. There are times when technology such as connectivity hinders working from home. The problem might take longer before it gets sorted compared to when a problem arises in a company. When working from home and you face challenges involving technology it takes more time for the involved personnel to have it checked since you are a single person compared to an organization.
11. Team building is made impossible
When colleagues work together in the same place, they develop good relations and so they become supportive of each other. The problem with working from home is that it makes team building very difficult. Colleagues working from home spend minimal time together with minimum interaction.
Working from home whether it is by choice or under forced circumstances will have some challenges. The good news is that there are many ways of overcoming these challenges as long as you are disciplined and you follow your schedule keenly.