The challenges of working from home

Sunday 21 July, 2013

The Internet has created the potential for more employees to work from home. However whilst the idea of sleeping in instead of commuting and having unlimited coffee and tea breaks may entice some to ask their employer for the opportunity to turn their living room into a miniature office, there are some major challenges that an individual must be aware of.

Image Image source: technologywoman.com

The distractions

Unusually, it's not the TV, fridge or ability to access Facebook 24/7 that creates the distractions '“ it's other people. Many believe that if you're working from home then you're more 'available' to duck out for a quick catch-up coffee or that you're free to speak on the phone for hours on end.

If you're working from home it's important to be stricter with your personal and social life. Don't answer your mobile to non-work calls and set times (much like you would have at the office) for beginning and ending work and lunch breaks.

Motivation

Without other employees typing away, making calls and holding meetings around you, it's harder to find the motivation to get the work done.

It's important to set daily deadlines for yourself, even for those trivial tasks, so that no time is wasted procrastinating.

Missed opportunities

Out of sight and out of mind. Without having a physical presence in the office, an employer may not immediately think of you to complete those additional jobs that can earn you brownie points and lead to promotions or pay rises.

Remember to stay in regular contact with your employer, updating them with your tasks and letting them know whenever you're willing to take on additional tasks.

Isolation

When you're working in an office, you spend the day surrounded by people. You have now replaced people to the friendly wave of the retired neighbor and your dog or pet goldfish.

Everyone needs some form of social interaction; this is especially important to help inspire or conjure ideas and helps you stay more focused and motivated. Try making phone calls instead of emails, or organise weekly catch-ups with other employees to stay in contact. Other ideas include joining a sporting club or team.

Over productive

Another stereotype is that those who work from home end up working less hours than those who stay in the office, To the contrary, those home-nesting workers actually find it more difficult to separate their working hours with their 'at home' hours and end up working more.

Remember to set times for work and to ensure that your emails and computer are switched off at the end of the day. 

Do you work from home? Do you find it easier or harder to stay motivated? What are the benefits of working from home? Let OneShift know. 

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