With the rise in technological advancements, there’s no denying that working from home is the new normal. During the pre-pandemic, the idea of remote work was more of a perk—more flexibility and less travel time—but everything changed when the pandemic emanated and rattled businesses in 2020. Companies started rolling out remote work policies quickly to address the COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
At first, remote work seems terrific—no more dealing with the commute, no managers constantly looking over your shoulder, no pesky coworkers stealing your food from the office kitchen. But as time passed by, remote work also posed new challenges.
In this blog, we laid down common WFH challenges and some helpful tips to overcome them.
1. Staying on top of your priorities
Working from home requires a great deal of self-motivation. Constant temptations can arise at home and take you away from your tasks at work.
To help you overcome it, focus on your most important task and finish the first thing in the morning. Punting it if off for later may lead you to more distractions and find yourself procrastinating even more.
2. Managing your time
Before COVID-19, managers were opposed to remote work because they feared employees would slack off at home. But what often happens is the opposite. Typically, an employee logs off, but when emails come in, they respond, and next thing they know, they’re still answering emails and have found themselves in unintended overtime.
Start setting boundaries to avoid burnout. Once you have finished your workday, log off your workspace and other work applications completely. Put away your laptops and turn off notifications from your work phone. Small steps like these will help you establish a clear start and end time between your work and personal life.
3. Dealing with social interaction
The four components of communication include written, verbal, nonverbal, and visual. Remote work needs extra communication. One of the biggest impediments to effective communication when working from home is the lack of physical cues. Nonverbal communication plays a significant role in improving relationships and establishing meaningful interactions in everyday life. When working remotely, this type of communication may not be available. Written communication is the most common channel with remote work, but miscommunication happens down the road.
Take advantage of modern technology like Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 helps you create workspaces for each department, spaces that will help you collaborate and connect with your employees and departments. Knowing the correct communication channel to use will establish clear guidelines with your team regarding which communication tool to use for which purposes.
With many remote workers, it’s vital to create a space for your team to interact about their interests outside of work. Social connection and team bonding bring the team closer together. Set aside a specific meeting where your employees can chitchat about what’s going on with their lives outside work. This will enhance your company’s culture and boost employee morale.
4. Coping with mental and physical health
Health intertwines with work. Work stress often causes and exacerbates health issues. 97% of people said that work flexibility, such as remote work or flexible hours, would play a huge, positive impact on their mental health. Working from home may often cause your employees to slip into bad habits. Common bad habits include overeating or not eating at all. With the fridge a few steps away from you and not having common lunch breaks, your regular eating schedule may be disturbed.
Being constantly at home may give you a reason to forget to exercise and do physical activities. Instead, you’re always indoors, and your eyes are on the screen. This can lead to eyesight issues, not to mention lack of Vitamin D. Reduce eye strain by making sure your eyes take a break from your devices after work. You can also try spending some time outdoors for fresh air and sunlight. If this is not possible, you can take multivitamins. Make sure that you’re building good habits when working remotely.
5. Combatting technology hiccups
Remote workers can manage to work most of the time efficiently. However, you can expect some unforeseen circumstances that bring everything to a standstill. Internet connection issues and technological hiccups are the most common fears of those working from home. You can remedy this situation by making sure you have a backup Internet connection readily available at home. A mobile hotspot or a cellular plan that allows tethering can get you back online until your home Internet connection is fixed.
If your computer suddenly lags, crashes, or stops responding, sometimes it can feel like the end of the world. If you’re in the office, that would be easy to fix—call service support, and they would send someone to look at your computer. Perhaps you think this is not feasible when working from home. BlackPoint IT has a dedicated team that offers a 24/7 service desk that manages all your IT needs and gets you back up and running in no time.
Remote work is not always rainbows and unicorns. However, it can be rewarding once you know what to expect and handle all the common issues. The pandemic has brought us many hardships, but in the long run, working from home gives you flexibility, autonomy, a chance to work in the best environment, and more time to enjoy a life outside of work.
If you and your team struggle with technological issues hindering your business from operating effectively, contact BlackPoint IT to manage your systems and infrastructure. Schedule a free consultation with us.