Challenges of remote work

Challenges of remote work.

We have all been through a rollercoaster year. While working from home hasn’t always been easy, we are now more experienced in remote working. Many of us still struggle with the challenges of remote working and are looking for possible ideas that can help. As we do not know how long this remote working state will continue, it is worthwhile discussing the challenges and proposing some ideas which can be helpful.

1. Space

As we have transitioned from working at the office to working at home virtually overnight, it might have been a big challenge to find the right spot to work from at home in order to be productive. If you do not have a separate room at home, you might have settled in the kitchen, the bedroom, or even the balcony (yes! desperate times lead to desperate measures!) in order to work where you are not easily distracted. The issue with space might be due to the limited amount of space available at home, or not having enough boundaries when you are sharing a house with your partner, children, or roommates. In any case, it is a challenge for most people and it forces them to rethink their interior design and make certain changes in order to create a space for remote working. A potential solution might lie in making smart choices when it comes to limited space. By investing in flexible furniture, for example, you can save space and enjoy better functionality. For instance, desks that can be folded up can save enormous amounts of space when not in use!

A potential solution might lie in making smart choices when it comes to limited space.

challenges of remote work
2. Work and social life balance

Remote work made it difficult for employees to balance their work and personal life. As work moved into our homes, our personal and work lives have become intertwined. Add to that the fact that our social lives have been tremendously hindered by lockdown, social distancing, and other pandemic-related measures. Before the pandemic, home was a place of relaxation, play, and personal dynamics. Nowadays, home has to provide for work, personal and social lives. Hence, it might be challenging to balance all these different dynamics. A possible solution would be creating boundaries at home. For instance, the living room could be for relaxing and not for working in. Or if you work in the living room, then the bedroom can stay a work-free zone. Segregating spaces can help you relax more easily and spend quality time after work reading a book, watching a movie or cooking, as we would normally used to do.

3. Overworking

Another crucial point to discuss is the working hours which have become somewhat more fluid when working remotely and can easily lead to overworking. For instance, when working from an office, working hours are better defined and easier to stick to. Now with remote work, hours can shift back and forth, leading to over or under-working which are both equally dissatisfying in the long run. In order to balance our work and personal lives, it is a potential solution to create your own working from home hours and stick to them. Those hours do not have to be the usual 9 to 5. In fact, recent research has shown that night owl – i.e. people who are more productive later in the day and into the night – have been striving during the last year, since they are able to accommodate their own preference and work into the late hours.1 Whatever your hours are, stick to them. By implementing a routine – whether the same or different than the one you would normally have at work -, you can avoid fatigue and burn-outs. If you want more on the topic of routine and wellbeing you can check out one of our previous articles about taking care of your mental health while working from home. In that article, we shared our learnings about how to support your mental health in these tough times.

If you find yourself distracted due to various chores, or activities, or even your choice of furnishing or perhaps interior design, it might be a good idea to rethink what is causing your distractions and choose to make some changes.

challenges of remote work
4. Distractions

Until about a year ago, for many of us home was associated with everything but work. Therefore it might embody a number of distractions, due to the fact that by nature our homes have not been designed for working. If you find yourself distracted due to various chores, or activities or even your choice of furnishing or perhaps interior design, it might be a good idea to rethink what is causing your distractions and choose to make some changes. This is not only to avoid distractions but even better it is to empower your concentration. If you are working from home and have a roommate or a partner who also works from home, it might be a good idea to have an open conversation in order to discuss mutual distractions and maybe come up with some ground rules and boundaries to limit the potential distractions that can arise. Living with people is fun but if you need space or quiet time, it is important to communicate this as soon as possible and avoid misunderstandings and frustrations. For further information on how to reduce sound while working from home, check out this other article for some useful tips!

For more ideas on how to deal with homeworking and homeschooling in Covid-19, we have come across a great article on the topic, here.

Whether you have challenges due to limited space, distractions, or hard-to-stick to work hours, you might be finding it difficult to balance work and personal life. However, there is always a way to implement useful changes around your house, and/or your routine, to have a happier work/personal life. After all, working from home is challenging for all of us and the only way to make it better is by keeping an open mind and asking for help, and making changes when necessary. Either with your employer or your roommates, an open conversation might be needed to overcome these challenges. Feel free to take a look at our working from home series, Part I, for optimizing your workspace, Part II for enhancing your well-being, and Part III, for mental health preservation. You can find more ideas and get inspired for a positive change!

During the pandemic, you might have realized that you needed to make changes to the interior design of your home or you may have decided you need a makeover altogether. If you are considering renovating your home and would like help in deciding which options are best suited for you, or you simply need a second opinion, get in touch! We would be happy to help with any questions you may have.

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