Don’t get me wrong, no one like to wake up early in the morning, get dressed and go to office. We all wished that we could work from the comforts of our room at home. Remote work makes this dream comes true. That is the reason why remote workers tend to be more productive than on site employees. They are much happier and satisfied than on site employees.
Despite all this, remote work comes with its share of challenges as well and in this article, we will highlight some of these common productivity challenges and provide you solutions on how you can overcome these challenges and make remote work fun.
Temptation to Stay In Bed
What happens to your body parts if you stop using it for long periods? It will slowly start to lose its capability and become incapable to perform its basic functions. Similarly, once you make the transition from 9-5 job to a remote work environment, you start to become lazy and lethargic. Your temptation to stay in bed increases.
You might be thinking, “That is why I choose remote work”, right. Unfortunately, this routine might not be good for your productivity. It is harder to convince your brain that your workday has started when you are wearing the same pajamas you wore last night for sleeping. You will stay in the same sleepy mindset, which negatively impacts your productivity.
Get out of the bed, get dressed and have a wholesome breakfast before you kickstart your remote work day. This will help you to shift gears and set the ball rolling, which would in turn lay the foundation for rest of your day. Getting out of the bed is the first hurdle that might stop you from starting a productive day so don’t let it come in the way of your productivity.
We have talked about one extreme. Let’s discuss the second one. Believe it or not, there are people who work overtime even when they are working remotely. This might be because there are no time limits as in nine to five jobs or you might be struggling to draw a line between your professional and personal life but there could be other reasons for it. No matter what the reason might be, you should turn off your computer at the end of the remote work day.
To do this, you should be clear about when your work day starts and when it ends. Just because you are at home working remotely does not mean that you have to work overtime.
Conrado Lamas, CMO at Carts Guru says: “There is always something to be solved–and when you have an office routine, it’s easier to leave what you do at the workplace. When you work from home, your office is where you live. So I’m constantly closing small pending tasks late at night before I go to bed or early in the morning, when I really wanted to be reading the news.”
When you work overtime, your productivity takes a hit. According to a study conducted at the Stanford University, employee output starts to take a dip when they clock in more than 50 hours per week and decline sharply after they have crossed the 55-hour mark. Additionally, working for long hours is linked to higher employee turnover rate, more absenteeism and a host of health concerns.
Take regular breaks, set appointments for end of the day and tell your team clearly when your workday ends so they don’t send messages and emails. Doing all these will help you minimize the chances of working overtime.
Jason Fried and Heinemeier, founders of Basecamp wrote a book “Remote Office Not Required”. In that book, they highlighted why communication is pivotal for remote team’s success and why it is challenging to ensure uninterrupted communications.
Here is an excerpt from that book: “When the bulk of your communication happens via email and the like, it doesn’t take much for bad blood to develop unless everyone is making their best effort to the contrary. Small misunderstandings that could have been nipped in the bud with the wink of an eye or a certain tone of voice can quickly snowball into drama.”
Have your ever noticed that your computers have slowed down over the years? It is not working as it was when you first bought it few months back. Computer is not the only culprit, memory, storage and internet can all contribute to the woes of remote workers who have to get work done at home.
One of the best ways to overcome hardware problems is to harness the power of cloud computing and eliminate the need of hardware from the equation. Store files in the cloud and you can access your files from anywhere, at anytime and from any device. Use a productivity software to keep everything organized.
Another problem with remote work is that you end up gaining those extra pounds and fat across your waistline because you indulge in poor eating habits and lives a sedentary lifestyle. You end up eating fatty foods and spend a lot more time on the couch, which cast a negative shadow on your health.
Even when you are working remotely, you should not skip on exercise and workout. Hit the gym even if it is for short periods. The more consistently you hit the gym the healthier you will be. Sweat it out and burn extra calories you have consumed, or your sedentary lifestyle has added to your body.
Distractions and Loneliness
When you are working from your home, there are many distractions to put you off. Your pet, a family member or your kid might put you off your routine. If you staying alone then you might get bogged down by loneliness and lack of human interaction. Try to hit the sweet spot and balance your personal and professional life. Take some time out and chill out with your friends every now and then to keep you energized.
Which is the biggest challenge you have ever faced during remote work? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.