5 challenges working from home and how to fix them

Over the last year, more and more people are working from home.  I’ve worked from home for the past 13 years so it wasn’t really different for me although being home almost ALL the time has been an adjustment.  Working from home definitely has its perks but there are a few areas that can really be a struggle and hopefully, this will help you enjoy working from home as much as I do. 

Finding Balance between Work and Home Life

A survey done by Glint, an employee-engagement company, found that from March 2020 to April 2020 employee comments about burnout increased from 2.7 percent to 5.4 percent.  Finding a healthy balance is essential to your mental health and level of happiness.  Be sure to have set work hours and a dedicated space to work.  It’s best to have a space where you can easily step away, close the door and enjoy your non-work hours.

Lack of Motivation 

It can be hard to work sometimes when no one is watching.  I find if I like the tasks I’m doing, it helps but this isn’t always the case.  When I’m having a hard time feeling motivated, I take an approach I refer to as the One Thing.  I choose:

  • One thing that I really love doing.  This really helps motivate me and get me excited about working.
  • One thing that’s been weighing heavy on my mind but I’ve been putting off.  You’d be surprised how much headspace this can take up, making it difficult to focus. It’s such a great feeling when I can finally cross it off my list.
  • One thing that has a pressing deadline.  These are important and they just have to get done. 
  • One thing that can make me money.  This can include reaching out to someone new, following up on a proposal, sending out invoices, etc.

Lack of Productivity

For me, the key to productivity lies in working when I’m at my best, keeping a solid task list that I set aside time every day to stay on top of, and getting rid of distractions…a door on my office helps with this one but my kitties still seem to want to hang out and it’s hard to say no to them.

Interruptions

My family is pretty respectful of my work time (outside of the kitties) so I’m really lucky in that regard.  My interruptions come more in the form of emails, text messages, alerts on my phone, etc.  This is definitely an area I struggle in so if you have any amazing suggestions that work for you, I’m all ears.  The one thing I have found to be helpful is a Pomodoro Timer.   This keeps me focused for a period of time where I work as hard as I can and as efficiently as I can and then I take a short break.  During that break, I can tend to those items that were calling for me while I was busting my butt.

Feeling Isolated

This is also a tough one, particularly during COVID.  I’ve spent more time at home alone than any other time in my life.  I miss going to restaurants or coffee shops to work.  I miss having lunch with clients or colleagues.  I find the Zoom meetings help with my sense of isolation but I’m looking forward to more in-person connections at some point here.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you’ve found a nugget or two that can help you work better at home.  It’s not always easy but can be very rewarding.  There’s no way I’d ever go back to working in an office.

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