The coronavirus has forced many people to work from home, and it may become a permanent arrangement for a lot of workers. Some probably will look forward to it, while others may be less enthusiastic.
Working from home does have advantages – there is no commute, you can dress casually, you have more oversight over your schedule, and a kitchen is only a short distance away.
It is not without drawbacks, however. It presents challenges that workers need to learn how to cope with. Here are a few and how to handle them.
You may have to deal with family members interrupting you because they don’t understand that you are actually at work. Having small children can be especially difficult.
You need to talk with your spouse and older children to explain your working arrangements and the need to avoid distractions. Set up specific times they can interrupt if they need to see you. If you have small children, you need to talk to your spouse about child care arrangements.
When working at home, it is more common for work to bleed over into your personal life. Because you are not at the office, you may feel obligated to check email even after work, or work a little later just to handle small tasks that arise.
For this reason, it is important to set boundaries. You should have a space dedicated just for work. Have a set time when you will finish work for the day, and when you leave your workspace, leave the work behind with it.
Working from home, you may feel that you are missing out on what is going on at the office. The solution to this problem is communication, staying in touch with supervisors and coworkers to stay up to date on office activities and events.
4. Getting outdoors
It’s nice to be able to roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee, and walk to your desk without ever leaving the house. But that can be a problem also if you don’t make the time to get outside for some fresh air and sunshine occasionally. Make the time to get outdoors for some exercise, such as going for a hike or walk.
5. No tech support
If you have an IT problem at work, you can call the IT department and have someone come and help you. You may be able to handle the problem over the phone, but sometimes that is not possible.
If you are at home, you won’t be able to have someone from IT come and help you. One way to handle this situation is through planning. Work out in advance what you will do if you encounter a particular tech problem. Have backups ready to go. For example, have a tablet and a laptop in the event your laptop experiences problems.