Knowledge Centre

Work from home challenges and how to successfully negotiate them

Published on Sept 10, 2020. EST READ TIME: 5 MIN   

Work from home is a concept that was utterly alien to a vast majority of the working class. Covid-19 has seen us embrace this concept. With most jobs now being shifted to a decentralised workspace, it is now the new norm. Work from home can be incredibly satisfying. On the flipside, however, it can also be frustrating and challenging. From something as simple as flawed time management to inability to focus, if left unattended, these challenges can impact performance, productivity, and mental health.

Let us explore these challenges and see what we can do to make this situation better.

  • Time management can prove difficult: Office work means knowing when to leave one’s home, because of the commute. It also means a routine that one is very used to and comfortable in. It also means that working physically with a team present gives one a sense of one’s deadlines and ensures completion of tasks on time. Also, having a workflow means that anyone slacking gets corrected with the assistance from one’s teammates. With work from home,a lot of this is not possible. Housework, caring for kids and family, and other responsibilities are distractions that cannot be eliminated.

    Tip: However, designating time for work, creating an active schedule for tending to household chores can be done. An open and honest conversation with family members about a new work schedule must be had. It is the only way your mental health won’t take a hit, and you can continue your work well.

  • A dedicated workspace: With space coming at a premium in most Indian cities, a dedicated workspace is something you’re bound to miss.

    Tip: Setting up a work desk can solve that problem. Choose a well-lit space. Make sure that you have a supportive table. A high back chair is of utmost importance for your posture and comfort. Keep a desktop clock handy. Use it to mark out your work and break time. Always ensure that you take a 10-minute breather for every 1-hour of work. It would help if you made a clear workday schedule. Login at your designated time. Make your calls on time. Virtual meetings should also follow a strict timetable. Most importantly, make it clear to teammates that work ENDS at a particular time. Spend your non-working hours de-stressing and doing things with loved ones.

  • Know when to STOP working: Since most office-goers know that their shift has an end time, it becomes easier to dissociate from work at the end of the day. Remote working or work from home, however, sometimes can be an unending workday.

    Tip: It is up to you as a responsible professional to know when to STOP working. Not taking adequate time off to unplug and reboot, can have a significant impact on your mental health and productivity. So make a workday schedule and stick to it as much as possible.

  • Have regular team calls: One of the things that make people tick is interactions with teammates. Work from home fragments team dynamics.

    Tip: This is why using online software and platforms to stay in touch with your team is a good idea. Even if it is a simple meet and greet, human interaction is critical to ensure that your teammates and you can maintain both morale and productivity.

  • A sense of isolation: The mere presence of a team in an office for most people is a comforting thought. But work from home can make people feel isolated and alienated. A problem if unattended can have a severe impact on mental health.

    Tip: A weekly check, therefore, is highly recommended. A simple phone call to teammates throughout the workday can be uplifting and comforting for everyone involved. 

Conclusion

These were some of the most pressing issues with work from home. We hope that the simple solutions to these problems will help one manage this period better. And take care of your mental health, do not stress yourself.


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