Working from home is great! However, it doesn’t go without saying that it has its fair share of challenges. It may be hard to imagine but working from home can leave you feeling isolated, unbalanced, confused about your day and even confused about what you should wear. Let’s take a look at these 4 challenges and discover their simple solutions!
Working From Home Challenge #1: Isolation
One of the challenges of working at home is being alone. There are no office politics, chatty cubicle neighbors, or lines at the bathroom door. But, when you find yourself working at home alone you start to miss that ambient buzz of the office and the comfort of just being able to drop in and have a colleague share your frustration about the printer being down (again). There is a lot to be said for the solidarity that comes from working closely with others that are invested in the same goals and successes.
If your company has a social media page, chat, or email chain available; make sure that you are involved and invested in getting to know your co-workers. If none of that is available, or you are working for yourself, then reach out on social media pages like Facebook or LinkedIn to connect with others in similar businesses or situations. Having someone that can relate or offer some antidotes to your challenges and congratulate your victories is a huge comfort.
Also, don’t forget the friends and family that you already have in your life. Those are the constants that will carry you through when your work day gets lonely. Some things that can help keep you connected: schedule lunch dates, once a week make a special date with a friend, relative, or former co-worker to stay in touch and up to date on all that buzz that you are missing. Connect with co-workers and/or like-minded business associates:
Working From Home Challenge #2: Balance
Another problem with working at home is not having a balance. Maybe you make your own hours or you have a set schedule and report-in time, but regardless your office is also home sweet home. Keeping the two separate can be a challenge. Your home office could be only a few steps away from any number of things that demand your attention.
Being at home can be so comfortable that time slips away and you have neglected parts of your home life that are very important to you. It can be tempting to jump in and out of your workday. You walk into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and see those dishes that you didn’t finish last night, and then suddenly five minutes becomes 35 minutes and you are off schedule for the day. Friends and family know that you are home and suddenly drop by to say hello, bringing more distractions and knocking you even more off balance.
Working From Home Challenge #3: Boundaries
When working from home you have to know your boundaries. If you don’t have a set schedule, it is vital that you make one for yourself and stick to it! Holding yourself accountable will be even more important. Let your family and friends know what your work hours are and that you are unavailable during those times is vital to your success. Use a sign on the door as a reminder if you need to. Close your office door. As simple as it sounds, this should be a signal to you that you are available or unavailable; even to yourself. When the workday is finished, close the door and let the work day be complete. It’ll be right there waiting for you the next day. I promise.
Working From Home Challenge #4: Dress Code
Working from home allows you to wear pajamas when you work. It’s something you’ve always dreamed of. There’s no dress code or bad hair days when you work from home. However, as tempting as it may be, working in your pajamas and neglecting your daily hygiene rituals can also be demotivating and can really be a blow to your confidence and motivation.
Just as you have set your schedule, make sure that you allow time to take a shower and take time for your appearance. An early morning shower alone can boost your energy significantly and get you revved up for your day. So maybe you can still take advantage of casual Friday every day and put yoga pants and a ponytail in your weekly rotation just don’t forget that being confident and energized will help you get a good start to your day and keep your day going strong. You’ll be less tempted to sneak in an afternoon nap or crawl up on the couch with your laptop if you are dressed for your day.
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