Since the worldwide pandemic in 2020, more and more people have started working remotely. Offices were forced to close, and many workers haven’t completely returned to a physical premises. Other people have started businesses from home, saving money by not renting or purchasing a separate office building.
There are many benefits to working from home, which is why it’s stuck around. Remote working offers more flexibility, sometimes allowing people to work at times they find more productive. It also saves time, money, and fuel on the daily commute. However, it does come with some unique challenges as well. Here’s how to tackle some of the most common ones.
One of the biggest challenges with working at home is dealing with all of the distractions that everyday life brings. When you work in an office, it’s easy to switch to “work mode” and leave your family and personal matters at home. When you work from home, you’re surrounded by everything else in your life.
Family members may distract you, or you may find it difficult to get into the right mindset for work. This is especially true if you work in a public area of your home.
The best way to resolve this is to set up a home office, where the only thing you do is work. A similar solution could be to create a garden office space, so you’d still physically leave your home, but the commute is a 30 second walk rather than a 30 minute drive.
Some people have the opposite problem to being distracted by their home life, they may find that their home life becomes overwhelmed with more work. It’s been found that remote workers sometimes work more hours, including on weekends and at evenings.
This is partially because their office setup may make it easier to become distracted, which leads to projects taking longer than usual. As well as that, workloads may increase and there’s an extra pressure to support the business.
It’s much easier to switch off from work if your office is in a separate office, but less so when it’s sat on the kitchen table or in your bedroom. There’s always the temptation to check one more email and finish one last project.
This can lead to burnout and can impact your physical and mental health. A home office is a good way to combat this, but you should also be strict with your scheduling. If you should clock off at 6pm, then finish everything off before then. Schedule in breaks as well.
When you set up a home business, you want your clients and customers to see you as a professional who they can trust. While you can be perfectly competent working from home in your pyjamas, it’s still best to set a good impression with your clients.
One way to do this is to dress for work. You don’t need full business attire, but something neat and comfortable will work. Also, a virtual mailbox looks more professional than sending and receiving things from your house, and provides a measure of privacy.