Government imposed lockdowns have greatly impacted the way people work, and working from home has become a popular trend in recent times. Some of this trend has reversed recently with some people working from home returning to work. But it’s probably safe to say the ratio of people working from home has changed long term.
Advantages of Working From Home
- Increased productivity: According to several studies, remote workers are more productive than their office counterparts. This is due to reduced distractions and flexibility in working hours.
- Digital tools: With working from home becoming more common, digital tools such as video conferencing, messaging apps, and project management tools have become essential for remote collaboration.
- Work-life balance: Working from home has allowed employees to have a better work-life balance as they have more time for personal and family commitments.
- Mental health: Remote work has also brought attention to mental health concerns, such as burnout and isolation. Companies are now taking steps to address these concerns by providing mental health resources and support.
The 3 Pitfalls of Working from Home, and How to Avoid Them
While working from home has many benefits, it also has its downsides. Here are some of the disadvantages of working from home, and how to deal with them:
Lack of social interaction
- Schedule virtual coffee breaks or happy hours: Set up regular video calls with colleagues or friends to catch up and chat about non-work related topics.
- Join virtual networking events or professional organizations: Many organizations are now offering virtual events and networking opportunities, allowing you to connect with others in your industry.
- Use messaging apps: Use messaging apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams to communicate with colleagues and build connections.
- Participate in online communities: Join online communities related to your interests or industry to connect with like-minded individuals.
- Take online courses or workshops: Sign up for online courses or workshops to learn new skills and connect with others who share your interests.
- Work from a coworking space: If possible, consider working from a coworking space a few times a week to meet new people and get a change of scenery.
Home environments can be full of distractions, such as family members, pets, or household chores, which can affect productivity. Distractions can be a major challenge when working from home, but there are several steps you can take to minimize them. Here are some tips:
- Set up a dedicated workspace: Create a designated workspace in your home that is free from distractions and noise.
- Establish boundaries with others: Let family members or roommates know your work schedule and ask them to respect your workspace during working hours.
- Create a routine: Establish a routine and stick to it as much as possible, including designated work hours and break times.
- Use noise-cancelling headphones: Invest in noise-cancelling headphones to block out external noise and help you focus on your work.
- Disable notifications: Turn off notifications for non-work related apps and email to avoid interruptions.
- Take breaks: Take regular breaks throughout the day to stretch, move around, and refresh your mind.
- Prioritize tasks: Prioritize tasks and set achievable goals for each day to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by unimportant tasks.
Work Life Balance
It can be challenging to maintain a work-life balance when working from home, as the boundaries between personal and professional life can become blurred. Maintaining a proper work-life balance can be challenging when working from home, but here are some tips to help:
- Establish a routine: Set a daily routine that includes designated work hours and breaks. Stick to your schedule as much as possible to maintain a sense of structure and balance.
- Create boundaries: Set boundaries between work and personal life. For example, avoid working in your bedroom and turn off work-related notifications outside of work hours.
- Take breaks: Take regular breaks throughout the day to step away from work and recharge. Use this time to do something that you enjoy, like taking a walk or reading a book.
- Separate work and leisure activities: Separate work-related activities from leisure activities to help differentiate between the two. This can include changing your clothes or going for a walk after work.
- Prioritize self-care: Make time for self-care activities, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with family and friends.
- Set realistic expectations: Set realistic expectations for yourself and communicate them with your employer or clients. Avoid over-committing to projects or tasks that can lead to overworking and burnout.
Hybrid Work Model
According to Fortune, 63% of high growth companies have adopted a hybrid work model.
Some companies are adopting a hybrid work model where employees work from home and go to the office on certain days of the week. This allows employees to have a balance of both remote work and in-person interaction with colleagues.
When deciding work place models, managers and planners have to take into account the demands and resources necessary for certain jobs, employee preferences and situations, team composition, and more. Some issues with hybrid work models are easily unseen, and can only be worked through iterative adjustment to make the entire company work well.
Also, a hybrid work model does not have to mean everyone works from home some days and comes into the office some days. It can also mean that some team members always work from home, and some are always in the office.