The work-from-home trend means working from a remote location instead of a traditional office setting, which has become increasingly popular in recent years due in part to advancements in technology. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the trend as many companies were forced to implement remote work policies to comply with social distancing guidelines. As a result, more and more people are choosing to work from home either full-time or part-time, and many companies are adopting a hybrid model that combines remote work with in-person collaboration. Although it has both fans and haters, work-from-home does definitely have its challenges. Now let’s talk about those challenges and how to overcome them!
- Challenge #1: Maintaining productivity
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is maintaining your productivity all day –but no worries, there are several strategies you can employ!
It is important to set a schedule and stick to it as closely as possible since having a routine helps create a sense of structure and makes it easier to stay focused. You can also set specific goals for each workday to provide a sense of direction and purpose during remote work.
Where you work is really important for maintaining productivity too! Creating a dedicated workspace helps minimize distractions and increase focus. Ideally, this space should be separate from the rest of the living environment and should be equipped with all the necessary tools and equipment.
Last but not least, don’t forget to take breaks! Short breaks can help reduce mental fatigue and increase energy levels, while longer breaks can provide time to recharge and avoid burnout. Experimenting with different types of breaks, such as taking a walk or doing some stretching, can help find what works best for everyone.
- Challenge #2: Staying connected with colleagues and clients
Working from home might feel like you’re disconnected from your team. That’s why you need a way to stay connected! One of the most popular and effective ways to stay in touch is through video conferencing. Platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams allow for face-to-face interaction and can help build and maintain relationships.
Email remains a popular method for communicating with colleagues and clients, but it should be used judiciously to avoid information overload.
It is important to note that communication and collaboration are critical to the success of any team, and working remotely can make it harder to build and maintain relationships. Therefore, don’t forget to establish regular check-ins and set expectations around communication to ensure everyone stays on the same page.
III. Challenge #3: Overcoming distractions
One effective strategy is to use noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs to block out external noise and create a focused work environment. Setting boundaries with family or roommates can also be helpful. This might involve having a conversation about when it is and isn’t appropriate to interrupt or setting up physical barriers to create a private workspace.
Eliminating unnecessary notifications can also be an effective way to minimize distractions. This might involve turning off notifications on your phone or computer for non-work-related apps or using apps like Freedom or Cold Turkey to block distracting websites or social media platforms during work hours.
It can also be helpful to take regular breaks to recharge and avoid burnout. This can include activities like taking a walk, stretching, or practicing mindfulness exercises to help reduce stress levels and maintain focus throughout the day.
- Challenge #4: Balancing work and home life
Working from home can easily become working 7/24 if you can’t balance your work and personal life. Creating a routine can be helpful to establish a clear separation between work time and personal time, which might include setting specific work hours, taking regular breaks, and establishing a clear end-of-day routine. Setting boundaries is also important, such as establishing a designated workspace and communicating with family or roommates about your work schedule and availability.
It is also important to prioritize mental health and self-care when working from home. We recommend practicing mindfulness, taking regular breaks throughout the day, and seeking support from colleagues or a mental health professional if needed.
- Challenge #5: Tracking and achieving goals
OKRs are a popular goal-setting framework that can be used by individuals or teams to set ambitious, measurable goals and track progress towards achieving them. The framework involves setting a specific objective, along with 2-3 measurable key results that will help track progress towards achieving that objective.
OKR software can be a particularly effective tool for setting and tracking goals when working from home. These software allow individuals or teams to set and track their OKRs in real-time, providing visibility into progress towards achieving their goals. It can also help increase transparency and accountability, as individuals can easily share their progress with colleagues or managers.
OKR software can also provide valuable insights into how different objectives and key results are interconnected, helping individuals or teams make data-driven decisions about how to allocate their time and resources.