How to Avoid the Most Common Pitfalls of Working From Home and Grow Your Career
Working from home introduces a plethora of benefits. That’s precisely why so many people are keen to adopt a telecommuting arrangement.
However, it takes time to get used to working outside of a conventional office environment. Those who go in unprepared are likely to end up struggling. What’s more, starting to work remotely without any knowledge about the potential pitfalls of this arrangement can even hurt your career.
Here’s how to recognize and successfully overcome the most common challenges of working from home:
Separate your Professional and Personal Life
First of all, you’ll need to pick a dedicated spot for working.
When you’re working in a regular office, the designated workspace is already there and waiting for you. Once you’re at your desk, you know you’re at work. You need to do the same thing at your home.
What’s more, picking a dedicated spot helps with disconnecting at the end of the working day. With a clear physical separation between the workspace and the rest of your home, keeping a clear mental separation between the two becomes much easier.
Set Boundaries and Ground Rules
Given the current situation, most people will understand that you’re now working from home. Unfortunately, there’s a persisting stereotype of the constant availability of remote workers.
Don’t be afraid to set ground rules, whether they’re with your landlord, roommates, or family.
For example, talk to your roommates about acceptable noise levels when you’re working. Or, tell your family members that it’s not okay to disturb you while you’re in your home office.
Be firm about what you do and what you don’t tolerate as a remote worker.
Don’t Neglect Your Health
When you’re not in a regular office, you’re probably even less physically active. There are no hallways to walk through and no coworkers to go on a coffee run with.
Setting aside some time for regular exercise is highly important. Spend some time stretching your muscles and limbs, or take a walk. Regular breaks will allow you to rest your eyes and prevent headaches.
A major remote work pitfall is when you’re in constant pain from sitting in cramped positions. After all, you’re at home, and working from the couch seems tempting. Don’t do that - get yourself an ergonomic chair and keep your spine properly aligned.
Working in Pajamas Is a No-No
Productive remote workers don’t start working while they’re still wearing their pajamas. Instead, they act like they’re working in a regular office - they dress up in presentable clothes.
When you’re working from the comfort of your home, staying in pajamas all day long without judgment sounds nice. However, that’s not really a professional attire that will put you into “work mode”.
Wearing proper clothes when working from home also brings a bonus - you’ll always look presentable in case of impromptu video calls.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
People who work in regular offices interact with each other - hence the term watercooler talk. Remote workers? Not so much.
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to feel isolated and lonely. Although this is normal and unavoidable, it can turn into a big issue over time.
Call your family and text your friends, but also don’t forget that nothing beats real human interaction. Whenever possible, leave the house to hang out with friends and acquaintances. After all, humans are social creatures.
Utilize the Right Technology
The fact that so many people work remotely is partly fueled by innovations in technology. For people who work from home, a number of wonderful tools and resources are available.
However, many telecommuters fail to recognize the usefulness and convenience of these tools. There’s a free app for everything - from project managing software to virtual equivalents of water coolers.
Depending on the industry you’re working in, find and use the tools that will help you be more efficient and productive. Your daily assignments and responsibilities will be much easier to handle.
Grow Your Career
Don’t take the opportunity to work remotely for granted. Without having to spend time on commuting and other things that come with working in a regular office, you’ll have more time to grow your career.
Stagnation is the enemy of every remote worker. Aim higher - determine what your objectives are and do your best to achieve them. After all, ambition is the key to all successful careers.
Just like any office setup, remote working has its advantages and disadvantages. Some people are way more productive in their homes than anywhere else.
Hopefully, the tips mentioned above will help you become one of those people.
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle.