What You Didn’t Plan for When Switching to Remote Work
As times are changing and more people are working remotely, you may be facing some challenges you weren’t expecting. Moving your work life and daily routine from the office to your home requires you to adopt different habits and a new mindset. You may not have been prepared for the change, or even known where to start. Here are some things you may not have planned for when switching to remote work.
Workspace Set Up
If working remotely came suddenly for you, you may not have had a dedicated workspace set up and ready for work. You might not have had the necessary equipment either, such as multiple computer monitors. It’s important to have a dedicated workspace just as you would at your office. A proper workspace promotes efficient and productive work, and minimizes distractions—especially when at home. Working without a desk and an ergonomic chair can cause you to feel unmotivated and even fatigued.
While in the workplace, you’re in close contact with colleagues and clients, permitting effective and regular communication. Working remotely means that this regular line of contact is interrupted—and it can cause some difficulties. You may not be able to get in contact with someone when you need to, and the information you require may get lost in the shuffle of busy days. You may also miss out on the daily conversations that update you on any information and developments. To avoid this, make sure to diligently take notes and follow up with colleagues as often as needed. They may be having the same issues as you!
Software That You Are Unfamiliar With
Working remotely requires certain software and apps that are designed to connect you with your colleagues, attend meetings, track travel expenses, manage your time and take notes. You may even need a mileage tracker app, too. If you’re unfamiliar with these programs, ranging from a mileage tracker app to a full-scale organizing operation, it can become overwhelming. Take your time and get familiar with each program and app—the learning curve won’t be as steep as you think.
Although technology is reliable most of the time, there are potential defects. When you experience any issues with technology at the office, there is usually someone around to help. When working remotely, however, you may not have access to this help if something goes unexpectedly wrong, and acquiring help remotely may be difficult. Ask your employer if they have a process in place to assist remote workers dealing with a tech problem. This is a very normal thing that can happen, and it’s important to know which steps to take in order to get the issue solved quickly.
Amount of Distractions
Remote work means you are open to many daily distractions. If you’re working from home, there are many potential distractions that could interrupt your day and productivity. Daily chores may be on your mind, and your family might be demanding your attention. While working on the computer, websites and social media may be tempting you to stray from your work. If you’re feeling unmotivated and fatigued, watching TV may seem more appealing than getting your work done. Deal with distractions by maintaining boundaries around your workspace and dedicating blocks of time to focused work. It will take a bit of discipline, but once you have it down you’ll feel like you’re back at the office.
Missing Out on Socialization
Working remotely may leave you feeling isolated, since you were probably surrounded by people at the office. Daily encounters and conversations with colleagues and clients are no longer possible, and you may also be missing out on social activities such as getting coffee or lunch together. Before isolating yourself even more, make sure to take breaks where you spend time with your family and friends—whether that’s on video chat or safely in-person. That way you can have a motivating socialization boost during your productive workday.