So, you’ve finally done it, you’ve managed to land a job with flexible hours and allows you to work remotely.
No more insane commutes, no boss breathing your neck and plenty of time at home. Doesn’t that sound absolutely amazing? Well, yes and no actually.
While remote working does have a myriad of benefits, it’s not all sunshine and roses. In fact, a recent study conducted by the United Nations International Labour Organization revealed that remote working employees had a tendency to work harder and longer hours whilst being more susceptible to other stresses.
This unfortunately is a sentiment echoed by many remote working employees. Many freelance employees often find themselves being unable to “switch off” after a long day at work with others forgetting to take breaks in between.
With many of our team members Budgetandbees.com working remotely, we asked them what some of the biggest challenges were and how they managed to overcome these challenges.
Here’s what we learnt:
- Working over the limit
The illusion most employers have about remote working is that employees will tend to slack off and take it easy.
Working from home blurs the lines between the office and the home as both places have now been merged together. In the past, we could leave commitments at the office and leave it for tomorrow.
In the case of a remote worker however, all of this is quite contrary and many often find that work has become a regular part of your home life.
For example, having logged off after a hard day’s work, you find yourself tempted to check up on a few emails and close up a few loose ends. Before you know it, it’s now 3am and you’ve been working since 7 in the evening.
This inability to switch off leads to additional stress and will eventually cause burnout if left unmanaged. On top of that, stress from work can severely impact your relationships with both family and friends.
Ideally, you’ll want to overcome all of this by setting clear boundaries during and after work. Create a physical barrier between work and home by preparing a home office and locking the door after work.
- The inability to prioritize
Working from home requires you to be a self-motivated starter with a strong sense of discipline. Being at home, you may sometimes be tempted to run a few errands in the middle of the workday or procrastinate when it comes to work.
This severely affects your productivity and can leave you with nothing much to show at the end of the workday. Besides annoying your boss, this chronic procrastination can wreak havoc on your schedule and morale. Just like a top player in the NBA expert picks, having a high morale is important to be successful.
So, when you’re working from home, setup a schedule with a list of items to be done for the day and stick to it. Lock the door, put up a do-not-disturb sign and keep your head down while you power through the day.
This strategy helps me focus on the most important tasks and the satisfaction of keeping to a schedule gives me the motivation to keep moving forward.
Despite what you may think of your boss and co-workers, there’ll come a time when you’ll begin to miss them. In fact, research has shown that loneliness is a serious problem for remote workers who tend to interact with their colleagues via email or teleconferencing.
Even with plenty of perks and flexibility, it gets lonely being cooped all day in your home office with nobody to talk to. While some dream of such isolation, even the most reclusive amongst us will eventually desire some form of human contact.
To combat this, try to incorporate social breaks into your schedule. Meet up with a friend for lunch or cool off over drinks with some friends after a hard day’s work.
No person is an island and continued isolation can have a negative effect on both your physical and mental wellbeing.
Remote working may be one of the 21st century’s greatest workplace innovations. But care needs to be taken to ensure that remote workers stay healthy (and sane).