Avoid Common Work-From-Home Pitfalls
Remote work allows you to spend less time commuting and creates opportunities for you to work with clients or organizations outside of your immediate area. This can be a wonderful perk for those who live in areas with limited opportunities or for parents who have young children and are looking for more flexibility in their working hours. There are some who find that they are more productive when working outside of the traditional office environment. These are very valid and positive aspects of working remotely.
Unfortunately, there are several pitfalls that occur when working from home.
Isolation – It is very easy for many to get up, walk into their home office, work, log off for the day, go to sleep, and repeat. Over time, the lack of human interaction can cause depression. This can be prevented by co-working, scheduling face-to-face meetings on a regular basis, having lunch with colleagues, connecting with other remote workers, or simply working a few hours each week from a Starbucks or other location that has Wi-Fi.
Lack of discipline – It takes a lot of discipline for anyone to successfully work on a remote basis. It is very important to remember that just because you are not physically in an office, you are expected to work as if you were. Set up a proper office space, keep to a regular schedule, shower and dress each day as if you are going to an office, and be clear and consistent with family and friends that you are working. When you need time off, ask your manager. Treat your vacation, sick, and personal time the same as if you were going into the office. Never forget that your manager can make your remote work an easy-come, easy-go situation. Even though you are at home, you are still working for your employer and need to always respect the fact that part of your job is to always meet the needs and expectations that your employer has for your remote work.
Burnout – Because you never technically leave the building you work in, it can be very easy to work more hours than if you were in a traditional office setting. It is important to set out for yourself a daily schedule and a timeline of work that you adhere to. This goes back to exercising discipline each day. Maintaining regular office hours will help combat burnout by keeping you on a manageable pace. Taking a traditional lunch, away from your desk can also help.
Inactivity – Until many begin working from home, they do not realize how much they actually got up from their desk and moved around during the course of a day. If you normally took a walk at lunchtime, for example, continue that practice when working from home. The things that worked for you on-site should be incorporated into your daily work routine at home too. It will break up the monotony of the day and mentally re-stimulate you. Remember that regular exercise will help curb feelings of isolation, depression, and burnout. It is not only about being disciplined with your work, it is also about being disciplined in maintaining your health and morale too.
Becoming a remote team member can help boost your productivity and alleviate your commuting woes, but it takes a disciplined person to be successful at remote work. Having a full understanding of the common pitfalls and how to avoid them will help you transition well from the traditional office setting to the home office.
Gary Vice, CPC
Strategic Recruiting Partners
214-392-3592 (cell) (24/7)
469-402-4008 X 410 (office)