Challenges Working From Home
Are you thinking of taking a remote work opportunity but wondering what challenges you may face when working from home? If so, you’ve come to the right post.
Working from home is extremely exciting because of the freedom, mobility, and flexibility you have to work more or less on your time wherever you want with a wifi connection.
However, as you’ve correctly presumed, with every upside there are some downsides to working from home you should know about.
As someone who works remotely to keep this blog running while steering clear of my husband, who works remotely sitting through hours of meetings from his computer, I’m going to share the 5 biggest challenges working from home and how I’ve overcome them so you can too!
Let’s jump in.
*This post is about challenges working from home*
1) The first challenge when working from home is staying focused.
Unless you’re in meetings all day or you have to make calls to customers/clients all day to keep the work going, staying focused on a task can be challenging to do.
At home, you don’t have to worry about your boss walking by and catching you on the phone, so scrolling and getting distracted by social media posts becomes an easy, tempting trap to fall into.
Your phone doesn’t have to be on silent or vibration, so you can hear and review every ping or buzz (distraction *cough*) your phone makes.
And you’re always just a phone call away from getting distracted since everyone who knows you work from home thinks you’re free to talk and text whenever.
In addition, if you have a child in the home depending on you for their care and needs of the day, staying focused on a task for several hours at a time uninterrupted may not be an option.
Nevertheless, there are effective things you can do to improve your focus while working from home so it doesn’t become a challenge in your life.
Remove notifications from the lock screen of your phone.
Phones in and of themselves do not cause people to lose their focus… It’s those dang notifications that pop up on the screen of the phone that does!
So get and keep your focus by removing all notifications from your phone’s lock screen except your calendar.
Doing so will help you feel less tempted to check your phone since notifications from social media and contacts won’t pop up on your screen anymore.
Remove app notifications from your phone’s home screen.
Looking to see if you have a social media notification may not be the only reason you check your cell phone.
You may need to check your calendar, respond to a text from your boss, or use the calculator on your phone to do work.
Nevertheless, seeing social media notifications at the top of your phone’s home screen can tempt you back into the world of social media and throw you off your game completely.
For this reason, I would also encourage you to make sure that you remove social media notifications from your home screen.
Doing so has personally helped me feel less tempted to look at social media on my phone.
Remove push notifications from your laptop
Push notifications on our laptop is another easy way to lose focus.
Facebook, for example, will tell you that a friend you never speak to “posted a story” or that someone three days ago liked your post, just so you check it out.
As such, remove all push notifications from social media, the news, and any other unrelated-to-work site to avoid distraction.
Play focus work music
Sometimes working in silence can be hugely demotivating and make it hard to maintain focus on work. As such, one awesome way to overcome the distracting silence is by playing focus music.
For me, my focus music is the Old Church Basement by Elevation Worship and Maverick City.
For you, it might be 9 hours of Focus Music for Work by Greenred Productions.
Either way, listening to music can help you improve your focus significantly.
If you want to learn other strategies that can help you improve your focus, I share ten more genius focus hacks in this post here.
2) The second challenge working from home is staying active
A survey shared in the New York Post revealed that office work kills people’s willpower to exercise. Out of 1000 people surveyed, only 1 out of 10 reported that they exercised regularly.
Over 57% of these workers blame their sedentary work-life for affecting their attitude toward exercise.
They are just not that motivated to move.
However, moving the body and getting enough exercise is so important if you want to decrease your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
To increase your willpower to exercise, try:
- exercising in the morning before work
- switch between a stand and sit posture at your desk
- take a break every 30 minutes to walk or stretch
- do simple stretch exercises to the tune of your favorite song after a long day of work
Doing these activities will make a big, positive difference in your life.
Need some specific exercise ideas? This article by Breaking Muscle gives you 11 sneaky ways to incorporate exercise in your every day.
3) The third challenge working from home is working in isolation
If you’re an introvert, you may not view this as a challenge but a gift from God. If so, feel free to skip this challenge.
But if you’re like me, a social butterfly who loves interacting with others, you may feel very lonely working by yourself every day.
One popular way remote workers overcome the loneliness of working from home is by paying a membership fee to work at a co-work-sharing community, such as WeWork or Industrious.
Nevertheless, if you can’t afford or do not want to pay $30+/month on a co-work sharing space, there are free and easy alternatives to cure the loneliness.
You can play “work with me” videos on YouTube and work alongside someone who works from home.
Shameless plug…I’ve created some work with me videos you can check out here.
Or you can call a friend who also works remotely and co-work on Zoom together.
Both options are great for curing loneliness and both will boost your motivation and focus 10x for a great day.
4) The fourth challenge working from home is having fewer resources than what you might have had access to in a traditional office space.
Working in an office definitely has some perks that you miss out on when you’re working from home:
- Unlimited printing
- Unlimited office supplies
- The fancy stamp machine
- custom envelopes
- fax machine
- massive shredding machine
The list goes on and the $$ add up big time when you stop to think about how much money a person spends to use these office resources.
Equipping your office to function the same way can be a hurdle but there are ways to overcome it.
Invest in the equipment and supplies that you will use the most.
No matter where you go to seek services, the company who is serving you will always do so at a profit, not a loss.
That means you’ll often pay 30% – $200% more than if you did it yourself. Those monies add up big time at the end of the year.
Save your money by investing in the thing you’ll use the most to do you job…so if that means get that fancy printer with fax, scanning, and copying capabilities, get it.
If the equipment or tool is something that you need to do your job but expensive, talk to your employer about comping you for it.
Many employers are willing to cover work-related expenses of their employees so they are prepared to work and work effectively and efficiently.
Finally, consider getting on a subscription or talk your employer in getting a subscription for the team to have access to certain resources.
Whether that’s Adobe or FedEx, paying a subscription for resources you use often will always come out cheaper than if you paid separately for each transaction.
5) The fifth challenge working from home is finding the motivation to work.
If you have a very flexible work schedule with long term deadlines it can be hard finding the motivation to work.
No boss is watching to see exactly how much you get done that day. In fact, there matra might be: As long as it gets done by the deadline!
For this reason, finding the motivation to make every minute of your working day a productive minute is quite challenging.
Nevertheless, there are things you can do to boost your motivation and maintain productivity.
You can work with someone else by playing a “work with me” video or coworking live with someone on Zoom.
Watchng someone work will motivate you to get work done the same way being surrounded by people studying in a library will motivate you to study.
Set a timer on your work assignments/tasks
Setting a limit on the amount of time you have to complete a task will motivate you to try and get the work done before time is up.
Your brain will go from feeling relaxed about an assignment that you hypothetically have all day and night to complete to feeling game-like stressed (in a good way) to get it done and win!
Your prize, one task complete in a productive session!
Work by using the pomodoro method
This technique works somewhat like the timer in that you work in sets with a break in between.
The most common set used by people following the pomodoro method is 50 minutes with a ten minute break. And then 50 more minutes with a 10 minute break.
While your not limited in how long you ultimately spend completely the task, the timed sets will motivate you get as much work you can get done before the next break.
Plus, knowing that you have a break coming lets your brain know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can take a mental break and be free to look at or do whatever you want without feeling.