4 Pitfalls of Working from Home and How You Can Avoid Them

Frustrated Working from Home

Are you efficient when working from home? In comparison to working in your company’s office or lab, are you able to stay on track and maximize your time remotely? The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the majority of employees to shift to virtual work. Even though many professionals enjoy working from home, it can be very challenging to generate the same level of results and team connection as when you and your colleagues are physically in the same location.

Telecommuting, also known as working remotely, is often viewed as an incentive of organizations that prioritize flexibility. At this point, most companies and employees have experienced technical and communication problems as a result of remote work, which can cause frustration. Despite external factors, there are things you can do to maintain a high level of performance while working remotely. Here are four common pitfalls of working from home, and how you can avoid them!

1. You get distracted too easily

The average professional has countless distractions at home including a spouse, partner, children, roommates and/or pets.  Even though you love and care about your family, they can be the largest drain on your work time. Set firm boundaries around your work time when you cannot be disturbed. Create a child or pet care schedule throughout the day and stick to it. Consider asking for help from your partner or other family members and friends to find something that is optimal for you. Also, creating a designated workspace in an office or separate area of a room that is cleaned and organized will help you stay on track.

2. You lose track of time

Most professionals establish a routine when they leave their home to go into an office. There is usually some sort of schedule involving when you wake up, get ready and head out to work. When working remotely, it’s easier for people to lose track of time because they don’t have to stick to a routine. They might start waking up later, just rolling out of bed and starting to work. While this can sound enticing, being too casual can affect your time management. If you include a few distractions, it’s easy to see how an eight-hour day can turn into a nine- or ten-hour day in an attempt to get your work completed. Make a point to use your calendar and prioritize tasks so that you know what you should be working on and when.

3. You become too social with your network

When you aren’t in a professional workspace with your co-workers, you don’t have anyone looking over your shoulder. Technically, you could be doing anything you want at any time. While social media can be beneficial, it can also be one of the biggest time wasters. Most social media websites and apps are designed to keep you scrolling through your feed to see what your connections are up to. When you couple social media with other options to socialize including various chat platforms and talking on the phone, what you think could be a quick break turns into an hour or more of time catching up on personal activities. Limit your time on social media throughout the day. Removing social media apps from your phone can also be a good way to disconnect from the instant updates being broadcasted to you.

4. You isolate yourself from your team

Even though many professionals get carried away with socializing, this doesn’t always carry over to actual communication with their team or department at work.  With all of the other potential distractions at home and online, it’s easy to lose the connection with your colleagues. Proactively reach out via email or phone to check in if you have questions, or for status updates. Even taking the time to contact your coworkers just to see if they are healthy and safe can improve your team dynamic. Everyone is a person with a life away from their job, so showing that you genuinely care about them can improve your working relationship.

Current global health regulations encourage the majority of people to work from home. Telecommuting can be easy for some professionals. However, there are a few pitfalls to avoid to ensure that you are successful as a remote employee.  Getting distracted too easily and losing track of time can throw you off of schedule. Engaging in too much social activity and isolating yourself from your team, can also be detrimental. How do you address potential problems when working from home?

Porschia Parker-Griffin is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. (https://www.fly-highcoaching.com) She empowers ambitious professionals and motivated executives to add $10K on average to their salaries.

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