6 Common Problems Remote Workers Encounter

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Working from home offers numerous benefits for employees and employers alike. That’s why more companies are opting to hire more remote employees. Unfortunately, there are also drawbacks to working from home. New remote workers will benefit from knowing some of the most common remote work problems and how seasoned remote employees overcome them. If you are about to start working remotely, keep reading.

Problem: Loneliness

Remote work removes you from the context of an office where you are surrounded by people. You may find yourself without anyone to talk to throughout the day, which can be a bummer if you’re an extrovert. Because most remote workers are in different locations, co-workers can’t chat in the snack room, have lunch together, or go for a night out. For many Americans, working remotely means less socialization, which may lead to loneliness. Indeed, being cooped up alone in your home is quite lonely.

Solution: Socialize Outside Of Work

Working remotely gives you more freedom with your time, so use it to cultivate friendships outside the office. Schedule weekly dinners or other activities with your college friends, or join a group fitness class or other niche groups that fit your interests. If you can’t leave the house, connect with your loved ones through video calls. Of course, those are not the only ways to stay social. You could also build rapport with your co-workers by starting a separate thread or group chat where you can talk about your common interests and non-work-related matters. 

Problem: Distractions

New remote workers often find it hard to concentrate on work when they’re at home. They notice all of the chores that need to be done, or they get interrupted with their child’s needs, so they end up multitasking or, worse, procrastinating. This is a vicious cycle that leads to working overtime, and possibly burnout.

There are just countless distractions at home, especially when you have kids. Distractions while working from home are not exclusive to chores and kids; they include e-mails, meetings, and anything that keeps you from focusing and completing one task. So how can you manage distractions?

Solution: Set Some Boundaries

The main solution to distractions is setting boundaries between work and home activities through a schedule. Set a time for doing mundane activities like reading e-mails, during which your family may interrupt you, and a set time for focused work when you can’t be distracted. It would also help to schedule regular meetings. Time management skills are a must for remote workers. 

Problem: Staying Motivated

While remote workers are often found to be more productive, there are days when motivation seems to have gone out the window. If you’ve also been experiencing loneliness from working alone, motivation may further elude you. On top of that, you’re also unsupervised, so it’s so easy to stray from work.

Solution: Find Sources Of Motivation

Low motivation usually has deeper rooted issues, such as mental health, that need to be addressed separately. However, if you simply have low motivation, you can keep yourself motivated by taking regular breaks when you feel tired as well as breaking down your assignments into smaller tasks and setting a timer for each one. You’ll feel accomplished after taking on each task. 

Problem: Feeling Like A Lesser Contributor

A major problem that eats up remote employees is the feeling of not contributing enough. There are still assumptions that remote employees don’t really work, but as studies suggest, remote employees are quite productive. Still, this is a real issue that could demoralize even the best employee.

Solution: Deliver Results

If you are feeling left out, it would help to speak with your supervisor or teammates about ways to improve communication. Align with your team’s goals, and focus on delivering results. If you know what you need to do, focus on doing that, and don’t worry about comparing yourself with office-based employees. 

Problem: Staying Healthy

When people enter into a remote work arrangement, their old routines tend to crumble. A lot of routines revolve around the office and the commute home. So with the elimination of those two major aspects, healthy routines also tend to get eliminated. Eating nutritious meals becomes difficult as well because most don’t have the time to make them (surprisingly). However, health is paramount to productivity.

Solution: Create Meal Plans And Get A Fitness Buddy

One of the things you can do to make healthy living easier is to start meal prep. Plan out and cook your meals for the week over the weekend, and keep them in separate containers. Throughout the week, all you need to do is to take one out and heat it up. If you need some encouragement in going to the gym, find a fitness buddy whom you will meet at a set time so you don’t skip on your workout. 

Problem: Unplugging After Work

Unfortunately, remote work makes it easy to extend one’s work hours. Your teammates are likely in another time zone, but you’re always connected to the Internet, so you can see your e-mails. Or you may have procrastinated during your work hours and ended up cramming everything in the last hours. When it comes to remote work, work-life balance is not enough. There has to be a clear separation between the two.

Solution: Aim For Complete Separation

Experts always advise remote workers to set up a dedicated workspace. To achieve balance in your life, you need to separate your work and your personal life. If you can afford to turn a room with a door into your home office, then it’s better to do so. The idea is to create a zone where you do nothing but work so you don’t bring your work to the rest of your home. This will also simulate the feeling of stepping in and out of the office, which could help you establish a mindset that lets you focus on your tasks.

Unwind And Relax With A Stress Relief Bath

Your mental and physical health are major factors in staying productive. Keep your whole body healthy, and allow yourself some quality downtime to help you overcome 6 of the most common remote work problems and avoid burnout.

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